A quick guide to finding reliable truck insurance
If you don’t have easy access to a spare truck (and let’s face it, that’s most of the little guys), unexpected events such as theft or accidents can deal a huge blow to your cash flow and productivity.
As well as forking-out for staff wages and hidden costs like vehicle finance repayments, having a truck off the road could end up costing you contracts – and, in the most dire of cases, your business.
To keep your business moving in the right direction – even when your trucks aren’t – we’ve come up with a quick guide for finding insurance providers you can rely on when the proverbial hits the fan.
Finding an insurer with a solid reputation in the trucking industry is one way to fast-track your way to a reliable underwriter.
Do your homework. Check if they have strong ties with leading trucking industry associations, and if they present a good claims record and customer retention rate.
You’ll need to know, that come claim time, your provider has the financial stability and infrastructure in place to get you back on the road as quickly as possible – so look for one that’s been around the block.
Some transport insurance specialists will have pre-authorisations with repair networks in place so work can get started on your truck before the assessor even arrives.
Don’t be swayed by newcomers offering cheaper premiums – when it comes to insurance you really do get what you pay for.
Understand the costs
Whatever you do, don’t risk being under-insured.
Here are just some of the costs you could be up for in the event of an accident:
- Towing costs
- Medical bills
- Legal costs
- Work cover
- Vehicle repairs/replacement
- Cost of hiring new staff
- Staff wages
- Loss of income
Look for a specialist who aims to get you back on the road as quickly as possible to keep the downtime, and the expenses, to a minimum.
How can I bring down my premiums?
Put simply, insurance is all about risk management and mitigation.
Your risk profile will be based on what you carry, where you travel to, your contracts, accident history and your driver selection and training processes.
You’ll need to make sure your drivers are correctly licensed for the vehicles they’re operating and of course the more experienced they are, the better.
Some providers, such as National Transport Insurance, offer a simple, online acceptance guide that will let you know if your driver is covered based on their risk profile and freight task.
If your driver workforce is young, it’s worth talking to a provider about what you’ll need in place to still achieve competitive premiums for your business.
Using on-board technology such as telematics, can help you establish a robust, driver training strategy that will be especially beneficial if you’re working with less experienced drivers.
Telematics provides valuable driver behaviour data such as over-revving, harsh braking and speed adherence, which will give you ‘eyes’ on the road when you need it.
The better your risk profile, the lower the premiums so it pays to invest in safety and driver training wherever you can.
Don’t ignore the fine print!
We’ve all been guilty of this at some point. Legal documents may be long and boring but it really is so important to know what you’re signing. If something seems to be missing – ask about it. If you don’t understand what a particular clause means, get your insurer to explain it. A small investment in time up front could save you a lot over the long term.
Talk to your dealer
If you’re a small operation, you may find your dealership has all the insight on insurance that you’ll need and they can often sort it all out for you at the point of sale.
They’ll have a good working understanding of what your business needs and will no-doubt have the lowdown on the good insurers that cough up come claim time.