People often look at the price of truck insurance in one of two ways: It’s a lot of money for a product you hope you never need, or it’s an investment in the protection of your assets and your livelihood.
When it comes time to sit down with your trucking insurance agent to determine what coverage you need for your operation, it’s important to understand exactly what your policy covers, what it does not cover, and what questions you should ask about your insurer’s value-added services.
Here are four questions to start the conversation with your agent.
Do my insurance underwriter and my agent specialize in truck insurance?
Why is this important? Many insurance companies write policies for all sorts of industries and customers - homeowners, businesses, and organizations. While their breadth of knowledge is great, their understanding of trucking may be limited in scope. Ask about what percentage of the company’s written business is truck insurance.
Knowing this information can help determine how much an insurer knows about the trucking business, industry regulations, gaps in coverage, and more.
Is the coverage offered suited for trucking?
As is the case with any product, insurance policies can vary. A lot. Is all of your equipment and property covered? Are there potential gaps in your policy? What exactly is, and isn't, covered? These are just a few of the questions you should explore with your agent before you choose a truck insurance policy.
Take cargo coverage, for example. Does it include coverage for these losses?
- Pollution losses.
- Off-temperature cargo losses.
- Freight charges.
- Cargo coverage in absence of damage.
- Delays resulting in direct loss.
- Punitive damage coverage.
8 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR TRUCK INSURANCE AGENT
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Is the company flexible in its underwriting procedures?
Your agent should understand your needs as a motor carrier and also understand what options your insurer has when your business changes. Fluctuations in miles driven, revenue, and operational requirements can change your trucking company and require more underwriting flexibility.
Ask your agent how you can connect with your underwriter if a problem arises or you want to learn more about other options.
Who will be handling your claims?
One of the most crucial times you will need your insurer is when you have a claim. For that reason, it is a good idea to discuss what happens when you file a claim, who will handle claims, and how the claims department can help minimize your loss.
Ask about what office handles claims, whether you’ll have a dedicated claims contact, and inquire about 24-hour claims service. This can be critical to getting your incident resolved in a timely fashion and getting drivers back on the road quickly. Does the company have adjusters on call at all times? If so, test this – call the insurer this weekend at 2 a.m.
How long does it take the company to get you back on the road, and what services are covered in the meantime? You should know whether the company uses its own or outside adjusters and if it handles exclusively truck claims. Also, does the insurance company have a working relationship with repair shops? Does it prioritize repairs based on that track record?
Remember that when you choose an insurance policy for your company, it’s not just about price. Many factors contribute to a policy’s cost, and many of them may not be obvious. Be sure to ask your agent these important questions to start the conversation.
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This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.