Firstly, truckers, tractors and trailers are insured as commercial equipment and do not automatically afford the coverage extensions of a personal auto policy. Electronics, loading equipment, load securing equipment, rental reimbursement and personal property are otherwise insured and are not automatically covered.
Commercial auto liability is pretty straight forward. If a tracker has ICC authority, the Feds will be given a certificate of financial responsibility. Filings are what a tracker compliant with the Federal (ICC) authority requirements. Uninsured / under insured motorist is also helpful for a tracker who is injured by a vehicle without insurance. Medical payments are helpful when one is injured in and on your truck.
Cargo insurance covers the responsibility of the truckers for other goods that he collects. There are 3 forms or policies: the purges and theft with a narrow coverage, broad form that adds certain coverage to the basic form, and all risk coverage that offers coverage for all reasons, unless excluded by the language in the policy. Regardless of the form, there are several coverages that a tracker would need. Truckers should purchase cargo coverage equal to the highest value of goods they carry. Some policies have a co-insurance clause which can limit the coverage limits if you take a higher value charge than the insured limit on your policy.
1) A refrigerator carrier needs coverage of refrigerator or function breakdown to cover the damage of freezing or melting incurred if his referee unit breaks. Remember to find out if the policy covers a mistake in setting the temperature control device. Most referee policies cover only in case of unit breakdown or faulty.
2) A flat bed carrier should have a wet coverage or endorsement if the load is damaged by rain or snow. Most policies have an endorsement of the tarpaulin which limits the coverage to loads that are properly covered. Sometimes a tarp can be damaged or blown loose because of any truck, resulting in damage to the load that cannot be covered unless wet coverage is added. The coverage for tarps, chains and binders is also wanted to replace stolen or damaged binding equipment that are not smartly covered.
3) A dry wagon carrier would be advised to make sure that the shift of a load is covered. In this type of operation, larger and longer trailers are used and load securing equipment can fail. These instances are rare but happen.
Every tracker should have earned freight coverage on his cargo policy. The coverage pays for lost revenue when he is unable to provide his load due to a covered loss. Disposal and cleaning coverage for a loss should be at least $ 10,000.
Physical damage is generally to repair the tractor and trailer in case of a covered loss. The coverage is insured on a stated value. The value set for the equipment is the responsibility of the truckers. The insurance company will pay a loss based on equipment of the same quality. That means market value. The tracker should make sure that his values are accurate. Remember you will pay a deductible for each unit unless your policy has a combined deductible endorsement. Towing is only for a covered loss, not disabling or breakdown. Many policies pay losses and include tow and storage limits in the stated amount of the vehicle, so if you have a loss and a large tow or storage bill, the policy limit may not cover all of your loss. Towing coverage can and should be purchased in addition to physical damage. Make sure your towing policy covers disability and roadside service.
Electronics such as cell phones, televisions and radios are generally not covered unless you purchase additional coverage. Your personal property is also not covered unless specifically covered in the policy, but may be covered by your home owners insurance. Rental reimbursement is also not automatically covered.
I’ve insured trackers for many years and know the emotional attachment to their tracks can be very strong, but the insurance companies see them as a piece of equipment that is used to generate revenue. Therefore, the older they are and the more miles they have, the less money they are worth. These improvement issues come into play. Tractors run many more miles than automobiles and have a longer life. The average tractor travels between 115,000-135,000 miles per year. Some insurance companies take this into consideration when replacing an engine or suspension part after a breakage. If the life is expected to be 500,000 miles and you have a breakage of 250,000 miles, some insurance companies only pay half of the replacement of the part because half of the expected life of the parts is used. If an agent does not know how his insurance company handles this front, it can be a hell of a lot to pay.
General Liability is involved in incidental liability that is not covered by the commercial auto policy this is a good coverage for auto hypers who can drive vehicles to a place after the loading of a trailer. Also a tracker that uses its own forklift to load and unload cargo.
Worker compensation is required for injury to truckers or their employees. Occupational accident is an inexpensive alternative with certain coverage advantages and disadvantages. It is always best to see a truck insurance specialist to explain all the coverage and to advise about types of tracking risks.
For more information about me and truck related issues, see the links below.