Category Archives: Truck

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Get the right insurance for your trucks—and save money, too

Five things you should consider before your next renewal

 

By Andy Fulford, product manager, Progressive

Your vehicle insurance could be as much as 40 percent of your total operating budget.  A Regular policy review is essential in making sure you have the right insurance for your truck—and your business. Plus, you could save big buck if you qualify for additional discounts.

To get started, ask yourself these five questions—then give your local agent a call.

1.    Are all of my employees covered when they drive my trucks, even if they’re not listed on my policy?

You should always list employees who regularly drive your vehicles. Ask your insurance company if it covers temporary drivers as long as they have your permission to operate the vehicle.

Some insurance companies will only cover drivers who are named on the policy. So, if you regularly employ temporary workers, you need to call your insurer and add them to the policy every time they drive to ensure they’ll be covered in an accident.

Permissive use policies don’t require you to add temporary workers.

2.    Will my policy pay to repair my employees’ personal vehicles if they get into an accident while running a business errand?

If you often send employees on business errands in their personal cars or trucks, or, if you use rental vehicles, consider adding optional coverages to your policy to protect those vehicles. In many cases, a standard commercial auto insurance policy won’t cover damages in case of an accident. Your agent or insurance company can walk you through all of your options.

3.    Should I maintain my policy during the off-season if I’m not using my truck?

When the season’s over, consider switching to Comprehensive-only coverage instead of canceling your policy altogether. This coverage protects your vehicles against incidents like vandalism or hail that can happen when they’re sitting for long periods during the off-season.

If you do decide to cancel your Liability insurance, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles first. There may be some additional steps you need to take to comply with the insurance laws in your state.

4.    How quickly does my insurance company resolve claims?

Find out how long, on average, it takes your insurer to resolve claims. The faster they take care of your claim, the faster you can get back to work.

Also, ask if your insurance will cover a rental vehicle or provide downtime payments.

That way, if your truck’s out of commission, your business will stay profitable.

5.    What can I do to control my insurance expenses?

Discounts can make a big difference, especially with commercial insurance. Progressive offers several, like an experienced business owner discount and a discount if you have a General Liability or Business Owner’s Policy. Other ways that you can save include increasing your deductibles and paying your premium in full.

Andy Fulford is a product manager for Progressive. Progressive, in business since 1937, offers products and services that simplify buying and using auto insurance and is the #1 truck insurer in the U.S.

Truck Insurance Myths Debunked

By Mike Miller, product marketing director, Progressive

Your truck is the backbone that keeps your business up and running. But when it comes to insuring your truck, it can be difficult to distinguish insurance facts from myths. And buying insurance without knowing the facts might cost you big bucks in damages or downtime.

We’ve compiled a number of truck insurance myths and facts. Use them to make sure you have the right insurance coverages for your truck.

Myth: If you’re on a motor carrier policy, you’re covered.

Fact: Motor carrier policies often provide only liability coverage to owner-operator vehicles on lease, so you need to have your own physical damage coverage.  Plus, the motor carrier policy only covers you when you’re driving for work or are under dispatch. So if you have a claim when you’re on a non-business or personal errand, it likely won’t be covered. A non-trucking liability and physical damage policy can protect you and your truck.

Myth: You should have a separate cargo insurance policy.

Fact: Consider adding your cargo insurance as an endorsement on your vehicle policy instead of carrying cargo coverage with a different carrier. If you’re in an accident that damages both your truck and cargo, you won’t need to waste time waiting dealing with two separate companies for your claims. Plus, a cargo endorsement can be less expensive than carrying a separate policy, and one policy means paying just one bill instead of two.

Myth: Downtime following a truck accident is annoying, but won’t significantly affect your bottom line.

Fact: If your truck is out of commission for 30 days, your business could only have a 50 percent chance of survival. Make sure that your insurance company will provide a rental vehicle or downtime payments to help you get back on the road quickly following a claim.

Myth: It’s cheaper to cancel your insurance for stored vehicles if you have a seasonal business.

Fact: Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. A Comprehensive-only policy provides coverage for businesses that don’t need liability coverage during certain months, but want basic protection against incidents like vandalism, fire, theft, falling tree branches, and hail. This is ideal for vehicles that sit for long periods during the off-season.

Plus, a Comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see proof of continuous coverage prior to offering their best rate.

Myth: All commercial insurance companies provide help with state and federal filings.

Fact: Some insurers won’t cover vehicles that require filings, while others simply don’t have the capability to help you get the filings your business needs. Progressive can leverage its truck insurance expertise to provide its customers with filings assistance.

 

Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.

Fact: Many insurance companies are only available during regular office hours, which can make filing a claim, adding a vehicle to your policy, obtaining a Certificate of Insurance, and paying bills inconvenient. Before you buy, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re available when you need them.

Wonder if one of your perceptions about truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to a local independent agent. He or she can answer those questions and help you determine which coverages are right for you.

Mike Miller is a product marketing director for Progressive.  Progressive, in business since 1937, is a market leader in commercial auto insurance and the #1 truck insurer in the U.S. 

Seven tips to keep truckers safe and protected during the winter season

A carpet of fresh snow can be heartwarming when viewed from indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. But for a trucker, that beautiful landscape can mean treacherous roadways.

To prepare for brutal winter weather, here are a few tips from Bill Kampf, Progressive Commercial Auto general manager, to help protect against harm to you or your truck this season:

1.  Pull together a winter survival kit for yourself… – Make sure your truck is fully stocked with everything you might need so a stall-out or breakdown doesn’t leave you stranded.  Key items to include: a shovel, battery booster cables, ice scraper/snow brush, flashlight with extra batteries, and a space blanket to help prevent heat loss from a person’s body.  Additional items might include extra pairs of dry socks and gloves, energy bars or other non-perishable food, bottled water and spare fully-charged cell phone batteries.

2.  …AND your truck – Before the cold weather hits, equip your truck with new winter windshield wiper blades as well as winterized washer fluid and fuel. Also make sure that your tires, headlights, cooling system and battery are all in good shape. With all of these precautions, both you and your vehicle will be ready for any snow, hail, black ice or below freezing temperature that you might face out on the open road.

3. Slow down – Give yourself more time to react if something occurs in the road ahead. Compensate for poor traction by driving slower and making all changes slowly and gently.

4. Give yourself extra space in front and behind – To stay out of harm’s way in a sudden emergency, increase the distance between you and other vehicles and avoid driving in packs. Normal following distances should be increased to 8-10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.

Look further ahead in traffic than normal to get a split-second extra to react safely. Awareness of other drivers can go a long way this time of year.

5.  Keep an eye on the temperature – Be alert to potentially dangerous road conditions. Touch the front of your outside mirror to see if ice is forming. If it’s forming on your mirrors, it’s forming on the road too. Be especially cautious when crossing bridges and overpasses where ice often forms first.

6. Check your favorite station – Listen to the weather forecast before you leave town. If travel seems hazardous, postpone your run.

7.  Be ready for the unexpected – No matter how cautious you are, you still need a safety net on the road. Specialized insurance coverages and services designed specifically for truck owners and operators are offered by commercial insurers like Progressive.

Check with your insurance company to see what they offer.  Make sure your policy has tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of you and your business, including:

  • Cargo Coverage to protect against damage or loss due to theft, fire, collision and hitting or running over cargo. Progressive’s Cargo Coverage includes no co-insurance penalty, no exclusion of coverage if a vehicle is left unattended, and no reduction in coverage limits for items such as electronic equipment.
  • Roadside Assistance that provides 24/7 towing, battery jump-starts, tire changes, emergency fuel delivery, locksmith service and on-scene labor.
  • Rental Reimbursement to pay for a replacement vehicle following a covered claim.

Bottom line: make sure you and your vehicle are safe and covered, even during the coldest and most treacherous winter months.

Progressive, in business since 1937, is a market leader in commercial auto insurance.

Truck Insurance Myths Debunked

By Mike Miller, product marketing director, Progressive

Your truck is the backbone that keeps your business up and running. But when it comes to insuring your truck, it can be difficult to distinguish insurance facts from myths. And buying insurance without knowing the facts might cost you big bucks in damages or downtime.

We’ve compiled a number of truck insurance myths and facts. Use them to make sure you have the right insurance coverages for your truck.

Myth: If you’re on a motor carrier policy, you’re covered.

Fact: Motor carrier policies often provide only liability coverage to owner-operator vehicles on lease, so you need to have your own physical damage coverage.  Plus, the motor carrier policy only covers you when you’re driving for work or are under dispatch. So if you have a claim when you’re on a non-business or personal errand, it likely won’t be covered. A non-trucking liability and physical damage policy can protect you and your truck.

Myth: You should have a separate cargo insurance policy.

Fact: Consider adding your cargo insurance as an endorsement on your vehicle policy instead of carrying cargo coverage with a different carrier. If you’re in an accident that damages both your truck and cargo, you won’t need to waste time waiting dealing with two separate companies for your claims. Plus, a cargo endorsement can be less expensive than carrying a separate policy, and one policy means paying just one bill instead of two.

Myth: Downtime following a truck accident is annoying, but won’t significantly affect your bottom line.

Fact: If your truck is out of commission for 30 days, your business could only have a 50 percent chance of survival. Make sure that your insurance company will provide a rental vehicle or downtime payments to help you get back on the road quickly following a claim.

Myth: It’s cheaper to cancel your insurance for stored vehicles if you have a seasonal business.

Fact: Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. A Comprehensive-only policy provides coverage for businesses that don’t need liability coverage during certain months, but want basic protection against incidents like vandalism, fire, theft, falling tree branches, and hail. This is ideal for vehicles that sit for long periods during the off-season.

Plus, a Comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see proof of continuous coverage prior to offering their best rate.

Myth: All commercial insurance companies provide help with state and federal filings.

Fact: Some insurers won’t cover vehicles that require filings, while others simply don’t have the capability to help you get the filings your business needs. Progressive can leverage its truck insurance expertise to provide its customers with filings assistance.

 

Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.

Fact: Many insurance companies are only available during regular office hours, which can make filing a claim, adding a vehicle to your policy, obtaining a Certificate of Insurance, and paying bills inconvenient. Before you buy, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re available when you need them.

Wonder if one of your perceptions about truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to a local independent agent. He or she can answer those questions and help you determine which coverages are right for you.

Mike Miller is a product marketing director for Progressive.  Progressive, in business since 1937, is a market leader in commercial auto insurance and the #1 truck insurer in the U.S. 

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