Business Auto and Trucking Overview
The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Nearly 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. 9.2 billion tons of freight is moved annually and requires nearly 3 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3 million truck drivers. It also takes over 37 billion gallons of diesel fuel to move all of that freight. Simply – without trucks, the economy stops. With that being said, it’s no wonder why the insurance field for trucking and hauling is so complex. Additionally, with state to state law variations and the constant change in regulations and classifications, it’s important to have a brokerage which understands the industry and knows your market. DT Insurance Brokerage can help you navigate the difficult field of insurance for business auto, trucking and hauling.
The first and foremost need when being a trucker on the road is making sure that you have trucking insurance. There are many types of trucking insurance policies available, but the most important is liability insurance.
To stay legal while on the road, you will need primary trucking liability insurance as a minimum. This type of trucking insurance covers the injuries and damage that would occur to the other driver and their vehicle in an accident. As a truck driver, your primary liability insurance must be at least $750,000 worth of coverage.
This means that if you are in an accident, your insurance will cover up to $750,000 of damage or injury to the other person and their vehicle if it is found that you were at fault.
If the damage exceeds $750,000 the injured person may hire a lawyer to come after your business to retain more money.
Because of this, when you are shopping for trucking insurance, you might want to consider more than the minimum limit for primary trucking liability insurance. Based on the nature of your work we can help you assess what size policy you will need to keep you safe and secure.
“Cargo coverage” is the most basic and standard need when it comes to trucking/hauling insurance. Whether you are transporting food, cars, clothing or equipment almost every truck will need this included in their policy. The amount, size and value of your cargo, along with many other factors, play a major role on how complex and expensive your policy will be. Additionally, there are options for this coverage to also cover your liability for cargo that is lost or damaged due to causes such as fire, collision, or striking of a load. DT is here to help you get the proper policy to fit your specific cargo needs.
“On-hook” coverage is needed if you are running a towing operation and are towing other people’s vehicles. This coverage is necessary in case a vehicle which is being transported is damaged. Should a vehicle you are towing get into a collision, experience theft, or unexpectedly catch fire, on-hook coverage will cover this loss. “On-hook” coverage is also referred to in certain states as “garage keepers insurance.” But do not confuse the two! In most states garage keepers insurance is used to protect you if someone else’s vehicle is being stored on your property and gets damaged. However garage keepers insurance and “on-hook” insurance means different things in different states. Reach out to DT to find out and ensure that you are being covered properly.
On-Hook Coverage vs Cargo Coverage
It is important to know the difference between on-hook coverage and cargo coverage. The two are often confused and they provide very different coverages. On-hook insurance only protects the vehicle itself; it does not protect personal items, like purses, laptops, and cell phones, left inside the vehicle. So if you are a tow truck, on-hook insurance would not protect any of the items inside the car you are towing. Cargo insurance protects any personal item left inside a towed vehicle from physical damage, theft, or vandalism. Cargo insurance is usually a good idea for towing businesses and can be bundled in with on-hook coverage.
Trailer interchange is a coverage that has become very important and well known in the trucking industry over the last few years. It is important to understand what trailer interchange is so in the event of an accident you are covered. In short, trailer interchange is an agreement among common carriers whereby one trucker will transfer a trailer containing a shipment to a second trucker to transport the trailer to its destination or to a point of interchange with yet another trucker. The arrangement continues until the cargo reaches its destination. The effect of such an arrangement, which should always be in writing, is that the trucker will be hauling trailers of others. This means, trailer interchange is essentially third-party liability coverage as opposed to first-party physical coverage. It is imperative to make sure you understand in which circumstances you need this coverage and that you have access to it if needed. DT can help provide you with a competitive quote and answer any questions if you’re unsure whether you need this coverage.
Filing with the US DOT
If you have company vehicles or trucks, you will need to file with the US DOT. Filing with the US DOT and acquiring a DOT number can be a real hassle. At DT we pride ourselves on being “more than just a brokerage,” and see ourselves as consultants and extensions of the companies we work with. We aim to help with all the confusing and complex insurance issues which you don’t want to deal with. Filing with the US DOT is just another simple example of where our motto comes into play. We are here to help you understand the coverage you need for your business auto and trucking and are committed to helping you get the proper coverage at the best price.