Transportation InsuranceGet a Quote
Transportation insurance is a broad category of protection designed for companies that own and operate trucks, buses, van lines, and other specialty vehicles. If your primary focus is the transportation of people, consumer goods, equipment, or waste, then you’re in the right place. Our experts are here to outline the basics of insuring your transportation/distribution business. And if you’re wondering why you need an industry expert to insure your fleet and your team, keep reading…
The Importance of Working with a Transportation Insurance Expert
Today’s transportation industry is in a state of flux. Even before the 2020 pandemic hit, trucking companies faced several troubling trends. While the right insurance partner can’t eliminate these trends, he or she can certainly help to offset their impact on your bottom line. For example:
· Transportation Insurance Premiums Are on the Rise
Premiums rates have been rising at a steady clip since 2010. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, the average trucking insurance premium rose 42 percent over the past decade. It has never been so important to work with an insurance partner who understands effective program design, loss control strategy, workers’ comp auditing, claims advocacy, premium credit negotiation, and other downward drivers of cost.
· Available Markets (Carriers) Are Drying Up
With fewer carriers suitable and willing to write your business, market access is incredibly important. An agent who specializes in transportation insurance can still present you with more options—even within a shrinking pool—and probably maintains better relationships with the underwriters who determine your policy rates and provisions.
· Commercial Truck Driver Shortages are Real.
Intermediate and long-haul operators, in particular, are losing qualified drivers to retirement, local driving opportunities, and—most recently—drug and alcohol violations. Case in point: a whopping 93 percent of drivers registered in in the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse remain sidelined in “prohibited status” because they’ve yet to address required steps for getting back behind the wheel.
By choosing an insurance partner who specializes in your space, you can benefit from well-honed advice on employee benefits and retention programs. So, your best people stick around, and newly qualified drivers are drawn to your organization versus competitors or alternatives.
Ask us what we do differently, to support transportation companies in New England and beyond: 508.339.2951.
What does transportation insurance cost?
Like other market segments, transportation insurance costs are based on a variety of rating factors. Naturally, bigger companies (with more employees and more vehicles) will pay more in premium. Here’s a breakdown of other major cost drivers:
- Fleet – The number and type of vehicles your organization owns
- Usage – The type of work your drivers and vehicles perform
- Drivers – The number of drivers on your payroll and their individual driving records
- Garaging – Where you’re headquartered and/or where your terminals are located
- Radius – Where your fleets travel: local, intermediate, or long-haul routes
- Federal Insurance Liability Laws – Some types of motor carriers are regulated by the federal government—or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to be exact. These entities are subject to minimum liability requirements and surety bond requirements in some cases.
What are some of the key coverages transportation companies need?
Like most other businesses, transportation and distribution companies need general liability and property policies, commercial auto, etc. Here’s a look at some of the more industry-specific coverages that often drive the conversation:
Primary Truck/Vehicle Liability & Physical Damage
Truck drivers need insurance protection on the road, just like any other driver. The difference, of course, is that trucks can cause more damage and often prove significantly more expensive to repair, following a collision. Our experts are here to help you navigate the difference between federal/state coverage criteria and optimal limits, based on your unique operation.
Workers Compensation/Alternative Occupational Accident Insurance
The makeup of your organization—along with the state(s) in which you operate—will define your worker’s comp strategy. For example, if your org is comprised of owner-operators (non-employees), it might make sense to structure injury benefits via occupational accident coverage. Coverages surrounding employee illness and injury are hardly standard-priced. On the contrary, workers comp/occupational accident premiums for transportation companies are tied to a complex list of variables—all of which need to be monitored and managed by an expert in class codes, experience modification factors, and annual audits.
Excess & Umbrella Coverage
On top of your general liability coverage and other policies, it might make sense to raise the ceiling on your limits—either because the FMCSA says you have to, because a client’s contract says you have to, or because the nature of your business warrants extra protection. Excess and umbrella insurance are dynamic options for extending specific coverage lines, or—in some cases—for plugging up gaps that aren’t already addressed at a baseline level.
Motor Truck Cargo & Warehouseman Legal Liability
Whether you’re transporting sofas or seafood, mattresses or medicine, your clients’ cargo is at risk during the loading process, in transit, in storage, and throughout the final distribution stage. Transport operators need shipment and warehouse coverage to hedge against damage and destruction of goods along the way.
Surety Bonds for Trucking
Trucking companies may need one or more trucking bonds (also known as surety bonds) to legally operate. In very general terms, bonds are guarantees that transporters will follow preset rules or contract terms—whether put forth by the FMCSA for brokers or freight forwarders, by U.S. Customs, by state departments of motor vehicles, or other parties . If a trucking company breaks the rules or strays from the contract terms, the bond ensures that partners, employees, shippers and/or customers still get paid. Within the world of transportation insurance, required surety bonds may include freight broker bonds, COD bonds (Collect on Delivery), customs bonds, and service bonds (e.g. motor vehicle registration bonds).
What types of companies need transportation insurance?
Here at C&S, we represent a variety of commercial trucking companies, bus operators, household goods carriers, fuel dealers/transporters, moving van lines, tow truck fleets, waste haulers, and specialty motor vehicles—like ambulances, limo and livery vehicles, paratransit, auto rental and auto dealer fleets. If it’s been a few years since you received an in-depth review of your insurance program (including current coverages, loss control mechanisms, and fleet safety strategies), give us a call: 508.339.2951.