Insurance for businesses is not inexpensive. Insuring a trucking business… definitely not cheap. You might cringe when it comes time to pay your insurance bill, or maybe you’re living in dread of finding out how much insuring your business will cost. Trucks are risky – the roads are dangerous, and there are a lot of things that could go wrong. That’s why it’s so important to have the right coverage and to make sure that your business is properly insured. But that doesn’t mean that you want to pay a fortune for it. So, we’ve got some tips to help you save money on your commercial truck insurance.
1. Be careful when hiring drivers.
Your drivers affect your insurance rates because they operate your trucks. Your business could be seen as more of a risk if your drivers have tickets or accidents on their records. When you’re hiring drivers, run background checks and check their MVRs (Motor Vehicle Records) to make sure that the candidate you’re considering is a safe driver. Just be sure that you go about doing your background checks and MVR checks legally and properly.
2. Implement safety policies.
It’s important that you uphold a high standard of safety at your business. Safety helps you avoid claims, which can help you lower your truck insurance rates. To ensure that all of your employees are on the same page as far as safety is concerned, you can create and enforce safety policies. Your policies could cover things such as distracted driving, pre-trip vehicle inspections, speeding, seatbelts, and maintenance.
Another way to commit to safety is to hold safety meetings and training sessions. You can also have weekly check-ins with your drivers to see how everything is going and discuss any safety concerns that they may have. This gives them the chance to bring up anything that’s on their mind. At any rate, the goal is to keep safety fresh in everyone’s minds and to be continually improving safety at your truck business.
3. Do pre-trip vehicle inspections.
Making pre-trip inspections part of the routine can help you and your drivers find any problems with the truck that could make it unsafe. By doing so, you avoid having an accident due to a mechanical problem, and avoiding accidents can help you lower your truck insurance rates – having claims tends to make your rates increase.
4. Don’t drive distracted.
Both talking on the phone and texting while driving take your attention and focus off of the road. The FMCSA has outlawed CMV drivers from using handheld cellphones while driving for that very reason. In the time it takes to read or send a text (about five seconds) a truck traveling at 50 miles per hour can easily travel the length of a football field. You can see how that could lead to accidents, and in turn, that means facing higher truck insurance rates. Make sure that you and your drivers are being responsible and putting the phones away while you’re driving.
5. Consider using GPS systems.
GPS systems aren’t just useful for navigation. They can also monitor the speeds your trucks are traveling so that you’ll be able to tell if someone was driving too fast (it will also discourage your drivers from speeding in the first place.) Speeding can lead to either a speeding ticket or an accident, and neither of those options will help your insurance rates.
6. Save your insurance for big losses.
If you file too many small claims, your insurance company could raise your rates or nonrenew your coverage. When facing a minor loss, you have to consider the cost of the repair or loss and think about your deductible. Is it worth filing a claim? Can you handle the expense on your own? By paying for minor claims out of pocket, you keep them off of your loss record and you can keep your truck insurance rates down. Try to save your insurance for big, disastrous losses.
7. Set up a preventive maintenance program.
Your trucks need to be in good repair and running properly to ensure that they’re safe. One way to make sure your trucks are “healthy” is creating a preventive maintenance program in which you take your trucks to a mechanic for regularly scheduled maintenance. The mechanic is looking for any issues that could cause a problem, and they’re also ensuring that the truck is sound. As with so many of these tips, the idea is to avoid accidents and claims – this time by making sure your trucks don’t have any mechanical problems that could become hazardous.
8. Raise your deductible.
Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim if your business has a loss. Essentially, you’re responsible for paying a certain amount of the claim and the insurance company takes care of the rest (up to your policy limit.) By selecting a higher deductible, you may get a lower premium because you’re less likely to file a claim. But you have to consider how much you can comfortably afford to pay if you have a claim – you don’t want your deductible to be financially ruinous or burdensome. You need to find a happy medium between deductible and premium.
9. Do some risk management.
Risk management means lowering the risks your business faces. Insurance is part of that, but you also have to identify and neutralize risks. Think of things that could cause an accident, loss, or lawsuit and do what you can to keep them from happening. If you’re looking for suggestions as to how to lower your risk or improve safety at your business, you can always reach out to your insurance agent for advice.
One way to make sure that you’re getting the best coverage at the best possible rate is to shop around to compare prices. That involves getting multiple truck insurance quotes for your business. Each insurance company evaluates risk differently, so you may get quotes that are quite different. Just like with any big purchase, you have to compare features (in this case, coverages) and pricing.
Truck insurance can get expensive. The above tips may help you lower your rates and save money on your insurance premium. Remember, safety is key – avoiding claims and keeping a clean loss record is crucial to keeping your insurance affordable. If you’d like to shop around to see if you can save money on your truck insurance, we would love to help you with that. Our team of transportation insurance experts are pros at helping trucking businesses find the best coverage at the best possible rate. All you have to do to get truck insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.