Insurance Basics: Choosing the Right Automobile Liability Policy
At the top of the list of things to do for any trucking business is the guarantee of basic auto liability coverage before you hit the road. For those new to trucking, figuring out how to get the right insurance can be daunting.
Reliance Partners Sales Manager Brandon Richards reassures newcomers that insurance doesn’t have to be big, as long as you partner with the right provider.
“If you are a new business and this is your first time dealing with regulatory insurance, you should definitely consider your options, but it is very important that you speak with an agency that has experience with new ones. customers and who understands exactly how to educate them about their needs, ”said Richards.
Knowing exactly what you need before signing the dotted line on any police form is imperative, so don’t be afraid to ask an officer plenty of questions. Remember not to think of insurance as a transaction or a commodity, but as an agreement resulting from a business relationship.
So is automobile liability required?
The answer is yes – all trucking companies are required to have this line of coverage. Motor vehicle liability insurance or truck liability insurance protects the motor carrier against legal liability arising from the ownership, maintenance and use of any insured automobile.
Richards suggests weighing your options first: compare the covers of a handful of vendors to find out what’s on the table. He recommends taking the time to consider a policy that protects against uninsured motorists and personal injury, as well as deciding whether or not you will need incurred and unowned automobile liability or an additional insured rider.
Another thing to keep in mind is insurance endorsements, which are amendments, modifications or additions to the original policy. There are many types of inclusions or exclusions that could be listed in a policy, so be sure to ask your agent for all of the items that appear on the endorsement list.
“Always look at the policy forms of the coverages offered. Look through sample policy forms for a list of endorsements so you know what is stated in each document, ”said Richards. “Is there a radius restriction listed?” Are there strict guidelines for drivers that might prevent you from recruiting the drivers you are looking for? Does the policy place restrictions on the age of power units? “
After considering all the bells and whistles of a policy, the next on the agenda is to determine the coverage needed. The minimum that can be purchased is $ 750,000 single limit combined by federal regulation. However, Richards says $ 1 million is generally the norm, which is the minimum amount he recommends his clients consider. If it fits within budget, he also suggests clients purchase excess liability or umbrella policies for added protection.
Reliance Partners states that motor carriers that transport certain dangerous goods must maintain a total of $ 5 million in automobile liability insurance in these cases, in accordance with BMC-91 / 91X requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Price is always a factor in the decision-making process, but Richards cautions against viewing it as the main selling point, explaining that quality is often based on the price you pay.
The key to getting great coverage ultimately rests with your insurance provider. That’s why it’s important to choose a partner wisely whom you can trust, and choose a plan that gives you the peace of mind to operate effectively without worrying about potential gaps in coverage.
Richards also suggests revisiting the carrier’s AM Best rating. The financial strengths of an insurance company are often of great interest to shippers and brokers, so it’s important to know whether you are partnering with an A-rated carrier or not.
To learn more about auto liability insurance and the coverage plans that best suit your business, contact Brandon richards and Reliance Partners today.
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