Trucking insurance is a major expense, and no one is ever not trying to save money. Whether you’re an owner-operator or independent driver trying to lower your rates, these are the seven fastest ways you can cut your insurance costs quickly without giving up important coverage.
Extend Your Policies
Because there are so many different types of commercial trucking insurance, most providers offer flexible terms. If you buy truck insurance and then extend coverage to multi-year policies instead of one, you might qualify for a discount that can lower your annual costs.
You should also consider buying tuck insurance from a provider that offers a single deductible endorsement. This makes coverage more accessible in the event of an accident. For example, you can roll your cargo, physical damage and liability insurance together, so you only pay the highest deductible of the three before your insurance provider covers the rest.
Pay Your Premium in Full
When you buy truck insurance, paying upfront can save you as much as 15 percent per year. Although this may not be a practical solution for every driver, it can cut hundreds or even thousands of dollars off your annual insurance expenses. If you’re interested in paying your insurance policy off when you sign up, it’s a good time to really look at your existing coverage and determine which policies you actively need and those that are just taking money out of your wallet.
Lower Limits on Your Lesser-Used Policies
Lower limits results in smaller deductibles and reduced premiums. While you shouldn’t cut corners to the point of jeopardizing your safety, you might be able to shave a few thousand dollars off certain policies and still be completely covered while lowering your expenses.
Consider looking at your non-essential coverages. Especially those you’ve had for years, but never used and no longer require. There might even be some extensions to your trucking insurance costing you more per month without giving you any real value. Your needs change after you first buy truck insurance.
Do Everything to Improve Your DOT Score
There are numerous ways you can improve your DOT safety score such as:
- Install safety technology in your trucks.
- Ensure all drivers carry a valid medical card.
- Immediately repairing any broken lights, damaged tires or other equipment.
- Always having rigs inspected before a job to avoid vehicle maintenance violations.
- Hire drivers with a minimum of three years of trucking experience and a clean record.
Pay close attention to your DOT score, which is accessible through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
Choose Shorter Routes and Safer Jobs
Geography is another large factor in insurance rates. Longer routes and rough terrain have a higher risk of accidents, so it’s only natural commercial auto insurance costs more for drivers who take these roads. If you’re looking to lower your coverage all around when you buy truck insurance, play it safe and pick shorter jobs that don’t have any high-risk commodities involved.
Keep Your Equipment Maintained
Rig and equipment maintenance are imperative to both driver safety and insurance costs. All trucks should be inspected before setting out for a job. And annual maintenance should be done by a licensed mechanic who specialized in commercial vehicles.
New carriers must have all trucks undergo a safety audit within the first six to 18 months after receiving their DOT number. Lowering new venture trucking insurance is difficult, but having rigs in optimal conditions can help significantly lower costs when you buy truck insurance.
Raise Your Deductibles
Some policies have low deductibles that are easier to pay off, but ultimately cost more to keep. When it comes to your most vital policies, you should always make the deductible as low as you can comfortably afford. Additional policies providing excess coverages should be thoroughly examined to determine whether they may be costing you more than they have to.
You might find that raising a deductible by several hundred dollars doesn’t impact your ability to gain adequate coverage, but it does lower your monthly premiums. Before you buy truck insurance, evaluate your financial ability to absorb deductible payments and obtain quotes that meet your current financial resources.
Work with an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents are always working for their customers, not companies. It’s their job to make sure every client finds the best insurance for their needs, lifestyle and budget. Commercial trucking is a vast and sometimes complicated field. An agent who knows exactly what risks you’re up against and the type of coverage you really need can help you buy truck insurance policies that are actually worth paying for.