How to Shop for Truck Insurance
Any truck owner/driver will know the score pretty well, it comes around every year, it’s time to renew your truck insurance. OK, so here you go again, sit down with an insurance agent, renew your old policy or select a new one which seems to have just about everything covered, sign on the dotted line, put your autograph onto a check and you’re ready to roll again for another year. Seems simple enough, and indeed it very often is. The trouble is with any insurance, you never really know whether you’ve got the best policy for your needs until you need to make a claim on it! Insurance is something which we all need (it’s the law) but really hope that we won’t ever need to use it.
The thing with truckers is that they’re very often busy people, out on the road for days on end and don’t really give the final details of their truck insurance policy a second thought. Well, just like anything else, a little homework can go a long way, and with just a little digging you might find that you’re either paying far more for your truck insurance than you need to, or, just as bad, your policy doesn’t actually cover you for what you thought it did, when the dreaded day comes that you need to try and claim on it.
One of the first bits of advice which I can give you is to find a company which specializes in truck insurance. Truck insurance is a completely different ball game to many other types of auto insurance, and if you use a non specialist company they probably won’t realize that owner/operators may:
- need to upgrade their cover short term, even for a one-off trip if they are hauling a commodity which they don’t usually deal with. Specialists know all about this kind of stuff, so they would think to ask you about what you haul and be able to recommend a company which could provide adequate cover at an affordable price
- know all about the state regulatory agencies and motor-carrier filling requirements. Just imagine being held up overnight at a weigh station as the law enforcement trooper studies your insurance papers, only to tell you that you can’t continue because your proof-of-insurance hasn’t been filed in your home state.
- trucking has a whole load of restrictions regarding what you’re hauling, height/width of load restrictions as well as weight limits which are particular to some states.
There’s certainly a whole lot more to truck insurance than originally meets the eye. Once you’ve found a specialist truck insurance company, satisfy yourself completely by finding the answers to the following questions.
1. How long has the company been trading, and for how long has it been a truck insurance specialist?
2. Is the company in a sufficient financial state to cover expensive claims at the time? They should have reserves which are specifically set aside to pay claims.
3. What cover does the basic policy offer? Are there any options which you can choose to adapt the cover more specifically for your needs?
4. How much does the basic cover cost? How much will any additions cost?
5. Are they a good, straightforward company to deal with. Are claims dealt with quickly and easily. The last thing you want to find is that you’re getting caught up in loads of red tape and time consuming problems when you need to be on the road to make your living.
By taking a little time out before you renew your insurance and really checking out the situation, you can save yourself a whole heap of time, money and trouble later.