Trucking insurance is one of your biggest monthly expenses as an independent owner-operator or small fleet owner. Unfortunately, rates have been increasing by as much as 20% across the board.
Driver experience, age and upkeep of vehicles, and the time your operation has been in business are key factors the insurance providers use to determine truck insurance prices.
Consider the 11 tips below to get the best trucking insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost:
1. Employ Experienced Drivers
Years of driving experience is one of the key factors insurance providers use to determine truck insurance premiums. Having more experienced truck drivers implies that your drivers can better deal with inclement weather, along with other less-than-ideal operating conditions.
Pro Tip: Hire drivers with at least 2 years of CDL experience.
2. Consider the Age of Your Drivers to Lower Semi Truck Insurance Cost
Truck drivers who are very young or very old tend to be involved in more accidents than average. Employing these higher risk demographics will result in higher trucking driver insurance costs.
Pro Tip: Hire drivers between 30 and 62 years of age.
3. Hire Drivers with Clean Driving Records to Qualify for Low Cost Truck Insurance
Drivers who have been involved in fewer accidents are less likely to be involved in further accidents in the future. To qualify for low cost truck insurance, consider drivers with fewer accidents and violations.
Pro Tip: Hire drivers with no more than 2 minor moving violations in 3 years.
4. Verify Driver Employment History to Get the Best Truck Insurance Rates
The number of years a driver has worked with different companies is a key factor in determining the best commercial truck insurance rates. The chance of an accident is reduced if the driver is experienced with specific routes and equipment.
Pro Tip: Verify each prospective driver’s employment history and references.
5. Your Routes Determine Your Insurance Costs
The different routes on which your trucks operate can impact your commercial truck driver insurance premium. Factors include population density, frequency of inclement weather, and so on.
Pro Tip: Avoid high-population metro areas like New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles.
6. Use Newer Trucks
The age, condition, and value of your company’s vehicles are a factor in determining trucking insurance premiums. Upkeep of trucking fleets and recently installed equipment is also a factor.
Pro Tip: Utilize newer trucks (10 years or newer) with modern equipment whenever possible.
7. Staying In Business Lowers Your Truck Insurance Rates
Simply staying in business under the same name and maintaining your operating authority will result in lower trucking insurance premiums because new trucking operations are considered riskier to insure.
Pro Tip: Stay in business and don’t change or revoke your operating authority.
8. Keep a Clean DOT Safety Record
Your DOT safety record includes your owner-operator or fleet DOT safety rating, Safestat and Inspection, Selection (ISS-2) scores, violations, and so on.
Pro Tip: Monitor your DOT safety record and maintain good standing.
9. Employ Other Safety Features/Programs
Employing safety features like warning stickers, company safety programs and driver safety training shows insurance providers that safety is important to your organization.
Pro Tip: Periodically evaluate the safety features your trucking operation employs.
10. Consider a Higher Deductible
If you’ve addressed the factors above and are still seeking lower premiums, adjusting your policy is the next place to consider. A higher deductible will result in a lower trucking insurance premium, but you’ll incur a higher upfront cost in the event of an accident.
Pro Tip: Use a deductible of at least $1,000 — consider a higher deductible such as $2,500.
11. Choose the Right Commercial Trucking Insurance Agent
Last but not least: not all insurance agents are created equally. Consider an agent with access to many insurance carriers and specializing in trucking insurance in particular. Choosing a trucking insurance specialist is critical both to getting the right coverage and getting the most value for your dollar.