Originally Published on January 13, 2021 by 925 Partners Insurance Agency
Written by: Jonathan Wallace, EVP at 925 Partners Insurance Agency
At 925 Partners, we love helping owner operators achieve their dream of owning and operating a successful trucking business. This includes Hot Shots, Auto Haulers, Intermodal, Flat Beds, Dry Vans, and more. Our team of trucking experts will help you navigate the truck insurance process and make sure you are insured properly for the most competitive price possible. We want to be with you for the long haul.
Below are answers to some common questions we hear. You can visit 925TRUCKING.COM to request a quote, or call us at 855-925-1200 to speak directly with a trucking insurance specialist.
Q: Why is my insurance premium so high?
Answer: It is not because we dislike like you. For first year owner operators with their own authority, we have seen annual premiums as low as $8,000 and as high as $40,000. This is for all coverages combined. If you have 20+ years of CDL experience, a clean MVR, and excellent credit, your premium could be less than $10,000 annually. The state you are in and the commodities you haul also have a major impact on your premium. For example: An auto hauler in South Florida might pay $30,000 annually, while a dry van trucker in Wisconsin might be $9,000 annually.
Q: Will my rates go down after my first year?
Answer: If you have little to no claim activity and clean inspections, yes you should expect a moderate decrease year over year. A big misconception we hear is that rates are always higher the first year and then they start going down. That is true if you are assuming a perfect first year in business. Poor roadside inspections and/or moving violations can adversely impact your insurance rates just as much as claims. Zero claims in year 1 does not guarantee a rate reduction.
Q: What is the minimum insurance coverage needed to get my authority active?
Answer: While a $1,000,000 combined single limit will be required by almost everyone you haul for, $750,000 is still the FMCSA minimum for truckers who need a federal filing. If you are still a few weeks away from booking your first load but want to get your letter of authority in place, you can start with a $750,000 limit to meet the FMCSA requirement for filings. You will likely need to increase to $1,000,000 shortly after, but this approach will save you some dollars at a time when cash flow is critical.
Q: Do I have to list all trucks and trailers that I own?
Answer: Yes because your insurance company is financially responsible for all commercial owned and operated equipment by your company. This is why so many trucking companies prefer a policy that charges premium based on mileage or revenue. Typically, only fleets with 10+ units will qualify but there is at least 1 insurance company offering a mileage-based policy for new owner operators.
Q: How can I be sure that brokers will accept my insurance?
Answer: We encourage prospective and current customers to send us the insurance requirements section of existing contracts or potential new contracts you are considering. Some of the common requirements that cause issues are: Insurance Carrier must be rated A- or higher, Trailer Interchange, Non-Owned Trailer Coverage, Cargo Limits Higher than $100k, Reefer Breakdown, General Liability, etc.
Q: Do you charge for certificates of insurance?
Answer: No. You should never be charged for a certificate of insurance. We are surprised how often this is asked. 925 Partners Insurance has a certificate of insurance platform that allows our clients to generate their own COI’s 24/7.
Q: Do you offer trailer interchange coverage?
Answer: Yes, every insurance company we work with can provide this coverage by endorsement. However, you must have a signed trailer interchange agreement in place for the coverage to apply.
Q: If I lease another owner operator under my authority, am I responsible for their insurance?
Answer: Yes. You are responsible for Auto Liability and Motor Truck Cargo insurance for anyone hauling loads under your MC #. You could pay for the Physical Damage on their equipment, but this is typically left up to the owner operator to insure on their own.
Q: Do you offer discounts for veterans?
Answer: Yes, there are insurance companies we partner with that will provide a discount if the trucking company owner is a veteran.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions you may have.