Classifying Your Heavy Truck
Trucks come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s best to start with the basics, the classification of your trucks. Currently in the United States there are 8 truck classes, while class 2 has a subcategory. Since heavy trucks are the best, they saved them for last. Classes 7 & 8 consist of heavy trucks with a weight limit from 26,001 – 33,001 and beyond. These are the baddest of the bad. Choosing the proper heavy truck insurance is vital to insuring these big rigs properly.
Here are a few examples of classes:
|US Truck Class||Duty Classification||Weight Limit||Examples|
|Class 7||Heavy Truck||26,001-33,000||Peterbilt 220 & 337|
|Class 8||Heavy Truck||33,001+||Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T600|
What Commercial Truck Insurance To Buy
Now that we understand the heavy truck classes and the types of trucks that fit this category it’s important to know what type of heavy truck insurance to buy. Buying the wrong type of truck insurance could be catastrophic. In the event of a claim the insurance company will review the trucking policy to verify that the trucks were classified correctly. If they were not, then the trucking insurance companies have reason to deny your claim.
When reviewing your heavy truck insurance policy be sure to discuss some of the following coverages with your agent:
Commercial Auto Liability
This is a no brainer as it will be required when operating as a motor carrier. This coverage will protect you from 3rd party bodily injury and physical damage claims, i.e. fender benders. Be sure to verify that your trucks are classified correctly on your auto liability policy. Also, list each truck and trailer on the policy otherwise it may not be covered.
Physical Damage Insurance
Often the heavier the truck the more expensive the sticker price. For example, a brand new Freightliner Cascadia can easily fetch a price tag of $180,000, without physical damage coverage you would be held liable to pay for damage to this beautiful rig. . Purchasing heavy truck physical damage coverage is necessary and will most likely be required before you leave the lot.
Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
Heavy trucks can haul a lot, when you’re pulling a trailer, flatbed, reefer or heavy equipment you have to insure the load while it’s in your care, custody or control. By purchasing cargo coverage you will have peace of mind that the load you’re hauling will be covered if there is an event that damages it. You don’t want to be left liable for the damages done.
What to Expect When Working With An Insurance Agent
Working with an experienced insurance agent that specializes in the trucking industry is vital to you choosing the right heavy truck insurance. Not all insurance agents are created equal and the majority of the current 1.2 million agents in the country specialize in a specific field. Consisting of life, health, home, personal auto and general commercial insurance; there is a huge difference in heavy hauler truck insurance.
To get a feel if your insurance agent specializes in trucking insurance ask them a few of the following questions:
How many motor carriers do you currently provide insurance for?
This is a great question because it tells you if your trucking company is a one off for them or if they actually focus on this industry. Tread cautiously if you are one of very few that they currently provide trucking insurance for.
Do you actively prospect to trucking companies?
This is a great follow up question to understand if they are in the beginning stages of their business but are making the trucking industry a priority. We all know we have to start off somewhere, so simply discounting an insurance agent because they only have a handful of trucking clients isn’t the best. If they are actively engaged in offering insurance for trucking companies then it’s a good sign.
What type of experience do you have in the transportation industry?
Since trucking is so specialized, insurance agencies will often hire from outside the insurance industry and actually look for professionals that come from the trucking industry. This is a great sign that the agent you are dealing with is dedicated to the transportation space.
Your best bet is to work with an insurance agent that focuses on the transportation space to choose the best commercial heavy truck insurance. They’ll be able to guide you through the process, obtain the best quotes and offer the best solution. Do not discount a great advisor, they can make or break a company.