Tractor Trailer Insurance, also known as 18 wheeler insurance or semi truck insurance, is an important part of the commercial auto insurance world. Truck drivers will need to familiarize themselves with several parts of this commercial truck insurance type. We will discuss several items that will help guard you against possible losses that can cripple you and your business. We will also explain several insurance terms that will help arm you with the information you need to get the proper coverage and quotes for these insurance types.
Liability insurance is probably the most important insurance type that you will be purchasing. This is an insurance policy that will guard you against any losses that incur to another party due to your negligence while driving your tractor.
If you are at fault in an accident, the amount of liability you have is very important. If you are in an accident in a tractor trailer the loss amount can be very significant, or even deadly.
It is this reason that you should consider purchasing the highest liability limits. In most cases the Federal government will make this decision for you. If you are crossing state lines in a vehicle over a certain gross vehicle weight you will be required to have a minimum of $750,000. In some cases if you are hauling certain cargo such as hazardous material (hazmat) you will need to have $1,500,000 or even $5,000,000 worth of liability coverage.
Insurance rates are determined based on the vehicle type and weight, radius, driver experience, driving record, and items hauled.
Cargo insurance simply covers the load that you are hauling. In many cases, the company you are hauling for will require you to insure the contents that you are hauling while they are in your care, custody, and control. The limits of insurance on this can range from $50,000 on up to $1,000,000 or even more. Typically we see $100,000 or $150,000 cargo limits for dry freight that has smaller values.
Rates are determined by the radius, vehicle, driver experience, driving record, and what is being hauled. You will need to give your agent detailed info to get a quote for this type of insurance.
Physical Damage Insurance-
Physical damage insurance covers the vehicle you are in. This type of insurance is just like the physical damage on your personal auto. You will choose a deductible for comprehensive and collision losses. You will be covered for losses in a collision, theft, fire, hail, etc.
Bobtail insurance covers your tractor when you aren’t hauling the trailer. This could be when you drop the trailer off at it’s destination and are returning home with no trailer. It can also cover you if you are driving it for personal use.
Workers Compensation Insurance-
Workers compensation insurance is required by state regulations by any business employing 3 or more employees. Even if you don’t meet this requirement you should seriously consider having this coverage; even if you employ only one employee. See our workers comp blog for more information on this topic. You may have to purchase a policy through the residual market through the NC Rate Bureau if you have a requirement to have workers comp through a hauling company and you don’t have any employees other than yourself.
Getting Tractor Trailer Insurance Quotes-
The insurance rates on these types of vehicles and these coverage types can be pretty high. It is that reason that you will want to shop your coverage out through a qualified commercial insurance agent.
In many cases you are doing yourself a favor in having each policy type with a separate carrier. This way you are ensured to be getting the best rates on each policy type. Sometimes having everything on one policy type can end up costing you more so be careful.
It is helpful for you to have certain items ready and available for your agent to give you a quote. Some of those items are listed below.
Company info- Including company name, address, EIN, and owner information.
Tractor and trailer info- Including year, make, model, VIN, gross vehicle weight (GVW), and value.
Driver info- Including names, date of births, drivers license numbers, years CDL experience, and driver history.
Motor Carrier Number or Deparment of Transportation Number- Also known as MC number or DOT number.
Insurance Requirements- If you are hauling for a company, they will likely have certain insurance requirements or a sample certificate of insurance that you will need to match. This will be extremely helpful to your agent so the proper coverages can be quoted.
Please contact us at 704-494-9495 if you have any questions on this insurance type and if you would like us to shop our multiple competitive carriers for you.