Category: General Trucking Topics

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13 March
Understanding the fundamentals of commercial trucking insurance

For owner-operators and trucking companies, the safety of their equipment and cargo is paramount. Trucks and trailers delivering freight on the roads can be exposed to various risks, such as accidents, theft, or damage, making it a serious safety concern for truckers. Statistics show that thousands of trucking accidents happen every year in the country, causing the trucking industry to lose millions of dollars.

Truckers seek ways to protect their fleet from accidents, damages, or theft. That is where commercial trucking insurance comes in handy. With the right trucking insurance policy, you can protect your business, fleet, and cargo you’re hauling from potential financial losses and damages. In this article, we have discussed the fundamentals of commercial trucking insurance in detail.

What is commercial trucking insurance?

Commercial trucking insurance, also called commercial auto insurance, is a legal contract between a trucker (owner-operator or trucking company) and an insurance company. It provides coverage for the trucker’s fleet, trailers, and cargo against accidents, physical damages, and financial losses that occur due to theft incidents. Commercial trucking insurance is specially designed to protect the interests of trucking businesses.

Why do you need commercial trucking insurance?

If you’re an owner-operator or running a trucking company, you’re legally required to carry the minimum commercial trucking coverage to comply with safety regulations and carry out your business operations without any legal complications. A trucking insurance policy is not only a legal requirement but also in the larger interest of your business. It saves you a lot of money you would likely pay for repair or replacement costs if your truck or trailer gets damaged while hauling freight.

What type of coverage does commercial trucking insurance provide?

Before you consider purchasing a trucking insurance policy for your business, it’s important to know about the different types of coverage it offers. Here, we have discussed some primary coverages that commercial truck insurance provides.

· Liability coverage

Trucking insurance offers two types of liability coverage:

Primary liability coverage

Primarily liability coverage protects you from third-party claims regarding a bodily injury or property damage caused by your trucks or trailers. FMCSA obligates truckers to carry a minimum primary liability coverage of $750000.

General liability coverage

General liability coverage protects you from third-party lawsuits regarding bodily injuries, property damages, or mistakes during loading and unloading processes outside your business premises.

· Physical damage coverage

Physical damage insurance covers the repair or replacement costs if your trucking equipment (trucks or trailers) gets damaged due to an accident or theft. It’s one of the mandatory coverages of trucking insurance. It also covers the damages to your truck or trailer due to a collision with another vehicle.

· Cargo coverage

This type of trucking insurance coverage protects the cargo being hauled by your truck or trailer from damages or losses caused by accidents, theft, or other covered perils. Cargo coverage covers most commodities that are transported on trucks.

· UIM/UM (Uninsured/Underinsured) Motorist Coverage

UIM/UM motorist coverage protects your truck and driver involved in an accident caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers who don’t have enough coverage to pay for your losses. This coverage reimburses you for the repair or replacement costs of your damaged trucking equipment.

· Medical payment coverage

As the name suggests, medical payment coverage reimburses you for medical bills and treatment costs if the driver or passengers of your business truck gets injured due to an accident. This coverage is mandatory in some states and optional in others.

· Non-trucking liability coverage

This type of insurance covers your trucks against damages and losses when they’re parked at your business place and are not in operation.

Besides these coverages, you may also add several other optional coverages to your policy, such as motor truck cargo coverage and trailer interchange coverage. The type of coverage you need on your commercial trucking insurance policy entirely depends on your coverage needs and the nature of the trucking services you offer.


13 March
How can truckers effectively deal with cargo theft during transit?

Cargo theft is one of the risks that truckers may face while transporting goods on the road. High-value items like expensive industrial equipment and hi-tech appliances are more likely to be the target of theft. Cargo theft incidents not only affect the truckers but also create a massive ripple effect that impacts the whole transportation industry. Every year, thousands of incidents are reported across the country in which a cargo theft attempt has resulted in damages to freight, financial losses, or even personal danger to the truck drivers.

In this situation, it has become imperative for truckers to adopt effective practices to avoid cargo theft during transit. Here, we have discussed some helpful tips to help you deal with cargo theft more effectively.

1. Careful route planning

Before starting your trip to deliver freight, make sure you have planned the route carefully. Your route mustn’t have any high-risk areas where theft activities are easier. Don’t forget to communicate with local authorities to get knowledge about cargo theft hotspots while planning your route.

2. Increase the use of technology.

Modern technology can be the most effective tool for you against cargo theft. Incorporate the latest freight tracking and tracing technologies, such as GPS-based real-time tracking systems, into your trucking equipment to ensure visibility into freight for you during transit. You can also use tracking devices on your freight to get information about its real-time location during transportation.

3. Use security devices

Before starting a trip, properly secure the cargo with advanced, high-quality security devices, like digital locks, seals, and alarms. Modern alarms inform you if anybody even touches the freight during transit.

4. Communication is key

The risk of cargo theft can be mitigated to a larger extent if all stakeholders, including the shipper, carrier, and truck driver, stay in touch consistently during transit. Communication is vital, especially between the truck driver and the dispatch center, so appropriate measures can be taken immediately if a threat of theft is looming.

5. Truck drivers must stay vigilant.

Truck drivers must be aware of their surroundings and any suspicious activities happening around their trucks or cargo. If they notice anything suspicious, they should immediately report it to the authorities for further protective measures.

6. Train your drivers

Train your drivers on how to prevent cargo theft, how to recognize potential theft situations, and what to do in case of an emergency. Give them training on how to use modern security apps and devices. They should also know about the cargo theft hotspots in the country.

7. Regular security audits

Conducting regular security audits of your transportation processes and operations allows you to identify vulnerabilities and rectify them before anything wrong happens. These audits also suggest additional security measures to make your systems fool-proof against theft activities.

8. Strategic parking

Isolated parking areas are considered cargo theft hotspots. Therefore, parking your truck in such areas is always risky. You should also avoid parking at uncrowded locations where thieves have easy access. It’s also important to train your truck drivers on strategic parking in which trucks are parked in a way that their tail end faces a hard surface or a wall to block off the opening of their gates. If such a facility is not available, parking against a light pole or pillar can also be helpful. Strategical parking makes it harder to access the cargo, even if it’s left unattended.

Although cargo theft is a growing problem, following these tips can help you deal with it effectively.