Owning a trucking company can be a very lucrative business, especially considering the many shortages and shipping delays the country is currently experiencing. The amount of freight needing to be carried is plentiful, and Truckers are extremely sought after to get these goods across America. Before any trucking company can capitalize off the many opportunities to provide their services, though, their vehicles must be insured. Trucking Insurance is an unavoidable and costly expense that every Trucker will incur.
Since we’ve opened in 2016, Roundtable Insurance has had the pleasure of supporting the insurance needs of trucking companies across the Southeast. From independent owner operators to those with large fleets, we’ve serviced companies of varying sizes with varying needs. There are many variables that are considered in truck insurance ratings and, through our extensive experience in the field, we’ve recognized five factors that will make a positive impact on the price you pay for truck insurance.
Trucking companies that get the best insurance rates:
1. Have Good Insurance History
The most obvious way to get a great insurance rate is to have good insurance history. Good insurance history includes having continuous coverage, with no lapses, and little to no losses or claims in the past 3-5 years. Truckers who are first-time Commercial Auto policy holders, but have maintained continuous personal insurance coverage, get better rates than those who have not. Make sure you keep your insurance policies active and that you avoid midterm switching (canceling before the end of term and replacing with another policy), if possible.
2. Have Good DOT Safety Scores
Trucking companies that have good safety scores from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) get better insurance rates. The FMCSA sets trucking regulations and, through audits and inspections, will review your company’s compliance with those regulations. Failing an audit, or having a vehicle or driver put out of service, negatively impacts your safety score. That tells insurance carriers you’re not following regulations and that you could be at higher risk for a claim. Make sure you have a Compliance Plan in place and conduct your own routine inspections to ensure all vehicles and drivers are operating within regulations. Always know your safety scores! You can review your Company Snapshot HERE.
3. Have a thorough Vehicle Maintenance Plan
Speaking of Safety Scores, one of the most significant contributors to a low score is a vehicle being put out of service due to severe maintenance violations. Besides the score impact, vehicles that are not well maintained are more likely to be involved in accidents or breakdowns. As we all know, accidents create insurance claims which will negatively affect your insurance history and rating. Breakdowns can have the same impact. If your neglected truck were to breakdown and cause the loss of the load, you will have a claim against your cargo coverage as well. Make sure your trucks are well maintained and follow all FMCSA regulations.
4. Hire and Retain Compliant Drivers
Look, we get it. It’s very tough to hire good drivers these days. The trucking industry, like many other industries, are facing a shortage of good and talented labor. However, you still need to be mindful of who you put behind the wheel of your vehicles. Drivers with multiple accidents and violations, or those who have worked for a company with low Safety Scores, can cost you A LOT on your insurance premium. The companies that are offered the best truck insurance rates hire drivers that have at least three years of commercial driving experience, clean MVRs, a current and valid Medical Card, clear drug and alcohol histories, and a good safety record from prior employment. Furthermore, retaining those drivers for a year or more will positively impact your insurance rating.
5. Have Good Financials
It often surprises trucking company owners to know that the credit worthiness of the owner(s) and/or the company can make a significant impact on their trucking insurance rates. This is especially true for owner operators and smaller companies. While a personal hard credit pull is not typical, soft credit pulls are frequently performed, so it’s important to make sure your personal credit score is rated Good or better. For larger companies and fleets, positive and complete financial reports are important factors in your rating. Maintaining a positive Dun & Bradstreet rating will also help your company get the best trucking insurance rates.
An additional trait that not all, but many trucking companies with great insurance rates have implemented into their business, is the use of technology. Having your vehicles outfitted with working cameras, GPS, and telematics equipment can reduce your truck insurance premium cost.
No two companies will be rated the same for trucking insurance. We hope that you can utilize some of what we shared to make sure you are among those with the best truck insurance rates. If you’d like more information or are interested in getting a quote, give us a call at (770) 726-8700 or REQUEST A QUOTE.