As an independent owner operator of a truck, insurance should be one of your most important expenses. Unlike when you work as part of a fleet or for another company, you are required to carry a certain amount of primary liability insurance. Every state may also have its own owner operator insurance requirements to follow. It’s important to be up to date on all of the requirements. Here is your owner operator insurance 101 with the key details you need to know before you get on the road.
Types of Insurance Needed
When you start out as an owner operator, it might be daunting to look through all of the different types of insurance. There are a lot to choose from and you may not know right away which options you need. Here is a rundown on the types of insurance available.
First, you want to begin with liability insurance. If there is a serious incident, then this type of insurance is what’s going to save your business. With liability coverage, you want to be insured for at least $750,000. However, in many cases, insurance companies suggest that you choose a higher amount. After all, damages to your truck or cargo can be expensive.
Physical damage insurance is another type of coverage designed to account for a truck’s value despite depreciation. With an automobile, you may know that you can purchase gap insurance so that you’re able to cover the difference between the value of the car and the loan balance in the unfortunate event that the car is totaled. This is the same when it comes to owner operator truck insurance.
Cargo insurance is another requirement. Depending on what you are transporting, you may be able to find specific insurance that covers a very particular type of load. The important part of cargo insurance is to make sure that you cover your entire load. Keep price into consideration when purchasing.
As an owner operator, you may end up hauling another trucker’s trailer. In this case, you need to have non-owned trailer insurance. This protects against any damages that occur to the trailer.
Getting the Best Price Available
Once you know the owner operator insurance requirements, it’s time to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. There are a number of questions that you should ask to make sure that you’re getting adequate coverage for the right price:
- Are there discounts available?
- Can you drop coverages without affecting all of your protection?
- Are there coverage limits?
- Is gap insurance available?
- What are the deductibles, and what are the costs if you raise or lower your deductible?
- Is the coverage enough in a worst-case scenario?
Not only are these questions that you need to ask your insurance provider, but you need to think hard on them yourself before you make a purchase.
The type of insurance that you need is going to depend on your operation as a whole. You should look at your specific risks ahead of time and then find out more about owner operator insurance requirements to make sure you’re properly covered.