Renewing the insurance on a commercial motor vehicle, especially a semi-truck, is more involved than it is on a personal vehicle. For most small trucking companies, insurance is usually your highest fixed cost and in the top five of all your expenses. It's important to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck when it comes from insurance. I just went through the renewal process for Haulin Assets and want to share some of what I learned.
What To Expect From Episode 47
During this episode we are going to explain how truck insurance works and answer some important questions. How truck insurance works is complicated, and understanding who is involved and their roles will make you a much smarter shopper.
- Insurance Agents/Brokers - These are the people you talk to when you are looking for insurance. In most situations, they represent several different insurance companies.
- Insurance Companies - These are the people who actually provide the insurance and pay the bill if there is a claim.
- Underwriter - These are the people who take a deep look at your company, determine the risk, and price your policy. They sometimes work directly for the insurance company, but sometimes they are independent and represent several different insurance companies. In this case, they are typically what is called a General Agency.
Here is a list of most of the questions we answer during this episode.
- Can I expect my insurance cost to change?
- What are the main factors that affect cost?
- Years in business
- FMCSA SAFER Scores (Hours-of-service violations, vehicle maintenance) Here is the link to the public system. Here is the link to the FMCSA portal where you can log in to your company-specific information.
- Safe driving habits (Driver Motor Vehicle Records)
- Accident and cargo claims
- Should I shop around? The answer is a little more complicated than you think. Yes, you should, but you need to be smart about it. Make sure you get a copy of your loss runs. This is a critical item; you can't skip it, and it usually takes about a week. We give you some tips on how to get them.
- When should I start shopping?
- What information should I give to each agent?