The trucking business is riddled with challenges that, like in any other business, are best allayed by being insured. Yes, insurance is a surefire way to ensure that your operations are never affected by the kind of damaging interruptions that can force a once thriving business down the path of bankruptcy. In particular, refrigerated trucking companies find themselves in a precarious position owing to the perishable nature of the goods they transport. When something as routine as an electrical fault can result in goods being completely ruined, it’s important to always have a plan B in the form of a reliable truck insurance policy.
I’ve often approached start-up insurance companies other than my own insurer with the hope that I’d stumble upon a cheaper and better insurer. Not that there was anything amiss with my insurer. He was awesome and very expedient when it came to the processing of claims. However, what impressed on me was how rare refrigerated trucking insurance was. In fact, most insurance companies have never heard of it, let alone explored the possibility itself.
High Risks=Higher Premiums
Refrigerated trucking insurance is considered a high-risk business for an obvious reason: too much uncertainty. Consider -for a second- the kind of cargo typically ferried by refrigerated trucks. Meat, fresh produce, flowers, fish, seafood, frozen products and the like. As you will soon find out, this is a factor that contributes to the higher insurance rates pegged for reefer trucks. Such goods have a higher likelihood of being affected by changes in weather and technical faults than tinned foods and bottled drinks, for example.
During the excitement of finally finding an insurer to cover your business, it’s easy to forget to read the fine print in your insurance contract -and you can be excused for not doing so, a reefer policy is a rare find. It may later turn out that your policy doesn’t cover certain cargo, like frozen foods, fish or medical products. So before accepting a load, be sure to find out beforehand if your insurer will reimburse you for any losses you may incur.
Choose The Right Coverage
Closely tied to this is the need to choose the right cargo to ferry, as well as the right coverage for such goods. Whilst it may be profitable to haul products such as frozen goods -meat, ice-cream and seafood included- and high maintenance cargo such as flowers, you should also ensure that you are prepared for the worst. Because such goods spoil faster than conventional cargo, the need to exercise proper care is real. Your insurer is not a genie who will grant you every wish. In fact, most insurers emphasize the need for reefer companies to maintain their vehicles regularly as they won’t reimburse clients whose contributory negligence is the direct cause of loss.
So don’t be surprised if your insurer expects you to keep records detailing every maintenance and inspection job carried out on your vehicles. Failure to produce such records can result in an insurer refusing your claim.