For independent truckers and fleet owners, trucking insurance is one of the biggest monthly expenses they have to contend with. Regardless of how straightforward most insurance plans appear at first glance, there are several hidden fees that contribute to the overall insurance premiums.
Even with modest claims, these hidden expenses might boost premiums by up to 20%, making business cost management increasingly difficult. While there’s no legal way to cut out semi-truck insurance costs, there are legal ways to reduce them and effectively manage business overhead.
This article describes how to reduce semi-truck insurance costs and still get the most out of your truck’s insurance policy.
A semi-truck insurance, alternatively referred to as commercial truck insurance, is the cost paid by independent drivers or trucking companies to cover legal liabilities in accident or damage scenarios that could arise from hauling freight.
Insurance companies often collect information from truck owners about how their vehicles will be operated and develop a suitable plan that successfully covers the risks and regulations in their business. However, these insurance policies frequently carry hidden fees that can substantially impact a company’s finances.
The estimated typical insurance cost for leased trucks is about $3,000 to $5,000 per year and $9,000 to $12,000 for truck owners operating under their own authority. This price may shoot to $16,000 for new New authority owners.
Having said that, the cost of semi-truck insurance varies greatly and is affected by several factors. Insurance companies consider essential elements such as the driver’s skill and profile, as well as the vehicle’s maintenance and operations, to establish a truck’s insurance premiums.
Insurance providers also offer specific coverage types that suit a business’s particular needs. Some of the coverage types present are;
- Auto liability: average cost of $5,000
- Non-trucking: average cost of $400
- Occupational accidents: average cost of about $1,600 to $2,000
- Cargo insurance: average cost of about $400 to $1800
- Physical damage: average cost of about $1,000 to $3,000
- Workers’ compensation: average cost of about $3,000 to $5,000
- Trucker’s general liability: average cost of $600
These truck insurance costs are, however, subject to a steady increase based on different factors, such as claims, high occurrence of crashes and DOT violations.
Insurance is frequently technical, and various factors need to be considered to help filter out the best plan for your business. Understanding these factors is the first step to reducing your commercial truck insurance cost.
Some of these factors include:
- What you haul
- Expertise and profile of drivers
- Current location
- Operation locations
- Claims history
- Semi truck’s year, model and make
- How long business has been running for
Aside from these considerations, additional circumstances have an impact on insurance coverage. In a leasing arrangement, for example, the lessor assumes all or a portion of the insurance liability. Most leasing businesses cover full insurance expenditures; however, smaller organisations are more likely to shift some insurance duty to the lessee.
It is critical to recognise that different insurance providers analyse insurance quotation elements differently. Consequently, getting many quotes from different insurance companies provides multiple possibilities for picking the best insurance plan.
With insurance companies considering a variety of criteria when deciding your insurance quotation, understanding what exactly providers keep an eye out for could help tilt the insurance quote favourably to your benefit.
Here are tips on how to reduce semi-truck insurance cost:
Annual payment is a definite method to save money on your semi-truck insurance. Although paying an enormous sum at once may seem daunting, most insurance companies give considerable reductions on yearly payments. As a result, you spend less on annual payments than on monthly payments made over a year.
Depending on the insurance carrier, these reductions might shave anywhere from 10% to 20% off the overall quotation.
A solid driver profile is also highly important for an individual trucker or trucking firm looking to gain a reduced quote.
For starters, insurance firms pay close attention to a driver’s experience. They can afford to provide cheaper truck insurance rates if a truck driver has substantial expertise driving a truck and other commercial vehicles.
Younger drivers are often inexperienced, making them more careless and prone to accidents. This may also result in increased insurance rates. So, if you have a trucking company, hiring drivers with a favourable profile, experience, and skill may compel a lower insurance premium.
DOT safety records can affect a semi-truck insurance premium considerably. These records provide various pieces of information that show a driver’s degree of compliance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This safety record contains selection (ISS-2) scores, fleet DOT safety ratings, infractions, and inspections.
DOT violations drastically raise a truck’s insurance premium. And some of the common DOT infractions are:
- Driver not having relevant qualifications and licences
- Poorly maintained vehicle
- Vehicle not inspected as required
- Failure to test or look into driver’s drug and alcohol tests
- Unsafe and unlicensed transportation of hazardous materials
This is another excellent option for lowering the cost of your commercial insurance. A higher deductible essentially reduces insurance premiums by having you bear more upfront costs in the event of an accident.
For this option, choose a deductible that conveniently fits into the company’s budget with no additional burden. Enlisting the services of an insurance agent would also help in identifying the best options for reducing insurance costs.
Routes also have a direct impact on insurance rates. The greater the distance you operate, the more hours you spend driving. And the more hours you spend driving, the higher the likelihood of an accident, the rate at which your truck wears out, and the need for maintenance.
These variables raise the amount of risk an insurance company takes on, resulting in higher rates.
You can get around this by splitting your route to decrease the number of hours drivers must complete. This is possible when you hire more drivers or require current drivers to work more days. The money saved from a reduced insurance cost would be more than enough to pay for more drivers or compensate workers for any extra labour.
With leasing companies bearing all or most of the insurance responsibilities, leasing a truck can save you a significant amount of money than operating under your own trucking authority. You may save up to 75% on insurance by leasing.
However, if you already have your own authority, you may save money on insurance by using newer trucks. The age, present condition, and a truck’s worth all factor into how much insurance coverage you’ll need. Regular maintenance also determines the premium cost decision.
An insurance firm would give lower rates to newer trucks and commercial vehicles equipped with advanced technologies that might help to avoid accidents.
“Competent” is the crucial word here. The entire insurance process may be too vast and technical for everyone to comprehend, and an insurance agent may help determine which is best to meet individual needs.
Not all agents are competent. So, choose one who specialises in trucking insurance and has access to many insurance providers. Enlisting the services of a knowledgeable agent will guarantee that you have the best coverage for your truck.
We have answers to some of the frequently asked questions on how to reduce semi-truck insurance cost here:
For a new truck owner, the basic and most common insurance coverages include commercial auto liability, physical damage coverage, motor truck cargo and non-owned trailer coverage. However, insurance plans are selected based on specific needs and operations.
It is possible to get insurance with a DUI or a poor driver profile. Insurance providers offer different policies that cover all drivers. However, the insurance quote for such drivers would be very high to cover a higher insurance risk.
The average period is about 2 – 3 years. If you want more exact timeline, ask your insurance provider.
While lowering the cost of your truck’s insurance is critical, it is never easy. You must seriously analyze many elements to determine which will be effective in helping to reduce your semi-truck insurance cost.
The procedures we outlined can assist you lower insurance premiums for your truck or fleet while retaining above-the-minimum coverage on your truck’s policy. And if you are overwhelmed by all the possibilities, you may hire an agent to assess your options and determine which ones might minimize company expenses.