2014

Important Business Insurance Policies for Truckers and Trucking Companies

Whether you're a small owner / operator business or a mid-sized trucking company, your business needs insurance to protect it from lawsuits and unexpected property losses.

To cover your business, you may need to purchase a combination of the following business insurance policies.

General Liability Insurance for Owner / Operator Truckers

Hauling cargo and making delivers, your business assumes responsibility for other companies' property. Because General Liability Insurance insures your business for lawsuits should you damage that property, this insurance is vital for truck drivers.

General Liability Insurance can pay for lawsuits over…

  • Damaged property.
  • Personal injury.
  • Advertising injury.
  • Damage to someone's reputation.

Let's say you're backing your truck into a loading dock. One of your client's employees is waving you in, but fails to give you the "stop" sign. You back in too far and smash into the client's building. Your business could be sued for the damages. When this happens, General Liability Insurance can pay for your legal expenses, which include…

  • Lawyers' and paralegals' fees.
  • Settlements.
  • Judgments.
  • Miscellaneous courtroom costs.

When we read about a lawsuit in the newspaper, an article may refer to a "$1.2 million lawsuit." The amount they reference is the judgment, which is when a jury or judge rules on the amount you'll be required to pay the injured third party.

Similarly, many lawsuits end in settlement, which are when the two parties agree outside of court on an amount to be paid to the plaintiff. General Liability Insurance can pay for these major legal costs your business may have if it is sued for damaged property or personal injury.

Property Insurance for Trucking Companies

Property Insurance insures a trucking company's commercial property, which can include…

  • Trucks, tools, and other equipment.
  • Offices, garages, and other buildings.
  • Supplies and inventory.

Even if you're an owner / operator who runs their tucking business from home, Property Insurance is important to protect your commercial property. If a fire burns down your garage and damages your truck parked beside it, your Homeowner's Insurance may not pay for the damages.

Many personal policies don't cover commercial property. If a tree limb falls on your truck during a storm, you could be out of luck.

Property Insurance protects your commercial property when it is lost or damaged by…

  • Fires.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Tornadoes.
  • Covered storms and weather events (typically this includes winter storms, windstorms, and non-major rainstorms).

Many policies include Business Interruption Coverage, which helps businesses that have to shut down temporarily after their property is lost or damaged. If a storm destroys your trucking company's office, the rebuilding process could take weeks or months. Your Business Interruption Coverage can pay for the income you lose and pay for your business to relocate to an interim office.

Business Owner's Policies for Trucking and Transportation Companies

Business Owner's Policies (also called BOPs) bundle the first two policies we've discussed…

  • Property Insurance.
  • General Liability Insurance.

The advantage of putting these insurance policies together is that insurance companies can offer you a discount.

Like the savings offered to good drivers, the lower premiums of a BOP come from insurance companies selling these policies to "lower-risk" small businesses. You can qualify if your business…

  • Doesn't need more than a year's worth of Business Interruption Coverage.
  • Has lower Property Insurance risk (because you have small to medium-sized offices).
  • Has fewer than 100 employees.
  • Doesn't work in a dangerous, risk-prone industry.

Many of our clients qualify, and your trucking business might. Fill out our online insurance form, and our agents will work with insurance companies to see if you can receive this discount.

Cyber Liability Insurance for Truck Drivers

Cyber Liability Insurance (also called Cyber Risk Insurance or Data Breach Insurance) is an important insurance policy for any business with billing data for its clients because cyber criminals often try to hack into small businesses to steal this data.

Your client data, credit card information, bank account info, or even the personal information you have for employees can help hackers commit identity theft and steal money from your clients or your business.

If this happens, your Cyber Liability Insurance can pay for…

  • Investigations to figure out how you were hacked and who did it.
  • Crisis management to help you respond quickly and effectively to the attack, meeting your legal requirements and protecting your liabilities.
  • Credit and fraud monitoring for anyone whose data may have been exposed during a security breach.
  • New advertising campaigns or public relations efforts to help your business improve its damaged reputation.

These are all included with First Party Response Cyber Risk Insurance, which may be available as a rider to your General Liability policy.

Errors and Omissions Coverage: Professional Insurance for Truck Driving Small Businesses

Errors and Omissions Insurance (also called Professional Liability or E&O Insurance) covers your trucking company's professional liabilities, which include…

  • Failure to deliver promised cargo on time.
  • Errors or mistakes you make during deliveries.
  • Incomplete work.
  • Services that fall short of your clients' expectations.
  • Professional negligence.

If your truck gets a flat tire, you could end up running late for a delivery. If you hit a deer, your truck may need repairs, which can cause it to miss a deadline.

If your business fails to secure cargo in its trailer and the bouncing boxes are damaged in transit, you could face a lawsuit. You might not be at fault in lawsuits like this, but that doesn't mean someone won't sue you. Your client could have mistakenly packed their cargo, but you may still have to defend yourself in court.

Justified or not, these lawsuits can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars, which is enough to force many small business to close shop for good.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Owner / Operator Truck Companies

Workers' Compensation Insurance (also nicknamed Workers' Comp or Workman's Comp) protects trucking companies when their employees are injured or get ill from the work they do.

Workers' Comp covers…

  • Medical bills for injured employees.
  • Paid time off for employees who need to rest and recover before returning to work.
  • Your legal bills when an employee sues your trucking company for an on-the-job illness or injury.
  • Funerals and payments to the family of a deceased employee.

If an employee slips, stepping off their truck, and breaks their ankle, you could be looking at legal and medical bills. Medical bills, surgical costs, and paid medical leave add up quickly and can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. If an employee charges you with creating an unsafe work environment, you could face even greater expenses.

Workers' Compensation can cover these costs, paying medical expenses as soon as your worker receives them. This will help diffuse tensions between you and your employees and can help you avoid a lawsuit altogether.

Insureon's Custom-Built Small Business Insurance for Truckers

Insureon has agents who specialize in insurance for truckers. When you fill out our online insurance form, a trucking insurance specialist will provide you with a free insurance quote.

Submit our online application, and get a free quote custom-tailored to your business's needs.

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