When you are starting your own trucking business, there are many decisions both big and small that need to be made before you can haul your first load. This is the third in a six-part series covering the key financial considerations for starting your own trucking business.
Financial Consideration 3: Obtaining insurance to start your own trucking company
You may have secured your semi-truck, but to be able to put it on the road you must obtain the necessary insurance. For many owner-operators and small fleet owners starting out, this could be the second biggest expense you encounter with insurance averaging from $8,000-$14,000 per year for many. There are several things you should consider when selecting your insurance.
Your first step in selecting insurance should be to talk with a few brokers to ensure you will get a few different quotes, which could save you money in the long run. Each broker will need detailed information from you to ensure they are helping you get the right policy for your needs. Some key pieces of information they will need include your expected hauling distances, for example, will you provide long-haul services or only have a local radius? Additionally, the types of loads you plan to haul can impact your insurance needs and costs. Providing the same detailed information to each broker will help to ensure the quotes you get back from each broker is comparable and offers more of an apples to apples comparison. It can also be helpful to work with brokers and insurance companies who specialize in and know the trucking industry. This can help guarantee they are asking you the right questions and advising you correctly on what is the best fit for your business.
Once they present you with quotes, it is important not to just look at the price but to also factor in crucial considerations such as the deductible and the coverage and conditions. Insurance is one of those items where you can find that you get what you pay for and often don’t realize it until it is too late and you need to use it, so it is imperative that you understand what is included in each policy you are considering.
When considering your policy, there are several different types of insurance you will need to consider including but not limited to Liability Insurance, Physical Damage Insurance, Cargo Insurance, Non-Owned Trailer Insurance, Trailer Interchange Insurance, Truckers Workers Compensation, Trucking Umbrella Insurance, and Non-Trucking Liability Insurance. If you are an owner-operator the cost and amount of coverage needed varies greatly depending on if you are leased owner-operator or an owner-operator with authority.
Some additional factors that contribute to your insurance rate can include:
- Your credit score. (If you could use to improve your credit score, our post Building and Improving Your Transportation Business’s Credit Score can provide some useful information.)
- Your CDL experience.
- Your desired payment terms.
- Additional safety features on your semi-truck such as fog lamps and deer guards.
Since insurance will be one of the most significant annual costs to running your own trucking business, it is essential that you select a plan that works for you now and also in the case of an unexpected accident. Make sure not to rush your decision and not to just look at the basic cost to ensure you will not have any unanticipated financial surprises down the road.
(Please keep in mind we are not insurance experts, this post was written based on what we have experienced. We recommend you speak with an insurance professional.)