Saberlines Truck Insurance Tips: Before you buy truck insurance, read these tips!

Credit History

Saberlines Insurance understand its considered unfair practice in some states, but some insurance companies still base the truck insurance premium on your credit. Normally, they check the credit of the Individual company owner or officer. They normally ask for the name and address of the person financially responsible for the company. Without even disclosing the Social Security or the Tax Id number, insurance companies can still do what they call soft credit checks, just by running the name and home address of the person. So it will help before applying for truck insurance to pick a person that is sound financially to be named the officer or president of the company. Of course that person doesn’t have to be a driver, and in most cased has to sign a driver exclusion for that person. President or officer name should be included on the filing paper for the corporation or the DOT, MCS-150 application. We have seen 40-50% difference in premium when running different credit scenario.

Garaging Address and Home Base

Where you park you truck at home base affects insurance premium. Insurance companies will offer lower rates for rural areas due to higher theft losses in urban cities neighborhoods. So, picking a truck yard away from the city can save you money on truck insurance. Of course you will not park your truck more than 20 miles or so from where you live but it’s something to consider! some insurance companies will ask for a proof of garaging address like a lease contract with a truck yard or a utility bill if using unknown, and/or, far-out parking spot from your original policy home address. Some states have higher truck insurance rates than others. In busy states with urban centers truck insurance almost doubled.

Truck Driver Age

Driver age could be the highest factor affecting truck insurance premium. In case of young, we seen rate changes of 40-50% more just by adding a young driver, and sometimes not so young. Drivers under 21 will pay the highest premium, while drivers 21-25 will pay higher than older drivers. Insurance companies prefer drivers between 35-55. We seen older drivers get lower premiums even with CDL obtained only 1 year ago. So credit is given for experienced older drivers even with newer CDL license.

Length of Haul

How far you drive one way from your home address-home or base terminal- affects your truck insurance premium. Length of trip for interstate -nationwide haul or 48 states- will cost more than local haul; like less than 200 miles from home base. In general, intrastate truck insurance premiums are lower than interstate truck insurance premiums. Insurance companies will consider a straight line from the home address to measure the farthest distance a trucker will go. They will then base their premiums on 70-80% of annual trucker’s trips. So if Truck Driver travels from CA to NYC only once every month or less than 10% of total annual trips, then truck insurance company will not take that long trip in consideration when calculating truck insurance premium. This could depend on the insurance company, but less than 10% of the annual trips should not be a deciding factors when it comes to radius surcharge.

Major Cities/States entered

Truck drivers will pay higher premium for Truck Auto Liability if they drive to major metropolitan cities like San Francisco, NYC, Los Angeles, Houston and other major cities. Even if the major city is not the final destination, truck insurance will be higher for truck drivers only traveling through. The difference we seen is about 10-20% of the annual truck insurance premium. Not all truck insurance companies use this as a factor. Some truck insurance companies will only consider the distance the truck driver travel and they will increase the premium with longer travel. However,  regular trips to major cities means higher risk of accidents due to heavier traffic in urban centers.

Driving Record

Driving record of truck driver will affect the truck insurance premium, normally a bout 10% increase for each violation point in the regular standard truck insurance market, majors like DUI or accidents with injury will have the highest impact on truck insurance premiums, some insurance carriers will not accept drivers with more than 3 total points in the last 3 years, or 2 accidents in the same period, others will insure the driver with more points but at higher premiums, for drivers who can’t find insurance because of driving record, DUI or multiple accidents, we are appointed with state administered programs to provides truck liability of up to $750,000, or higher limit with legal contract or requirements.

Age of Truck and Trailer

Newer truck will get better truck insurance premiums not only for physical damage coverage but even for liability premiums. Newer units are considered safer and needs less maintenance and less likely to cause an accidents. For physical damage and even with much higher requested coverage truck insurance cost will still be lower than older units with the same amount of coverage (truck stated amount). Using higher deductibles could save some money but this factor can have a negative effect when an accident happens and a claim is filed. For $2,500 deductible its about $100 cheaper monthly for physical damage. That’s about $1,200/year. But in case of a claim the first 6 months, then claimant has to pay $2,500 deductible instead of $1,000.Higher deductible are good way of lowering premiums on the long run, and with high value trucks and trailers(above $100,000 stated amount). Units older than 15 years could be a problem to insure, and insurance carriers will require a signed inspection by a mechanic if they accept the aged unit.

Type of Cargo

Truck insurance premium for cargo insurance are lower when insuring dry freight which is not hazmat or high value items. Refrigerated cargo cost more to insure than dry cargo. One of the reason is the reefer breakdown coverage which will cover cargo spoilage due to the thermostat -cooling sensor- failure, since refrigerated cargo normally includes perishable items like high value, easily spoiled seafood. Other dry cargo items like hauling cars will cost higher premiums than simple dry cargo like plastic or paper products. In general, Cargo rates are decided by type of freight among other factors.The more common, easily maintained freight would cost less to insure.

Employment History & Experience

If you are a company driver moving to become an owner operator, gather details about the companies you worked for, as far as 5 years back. Even get letters of experience or recommendation from previous employers. You need company name, address and phone number for each previous employer or leasing company. The same apply for company drivers who need their own insurance. In case they can’t be added to their employer insurance policy, insurance carriers look at the history of employment to verify number of years, type of units driven before, radius traveled before and type of freight the driver was hauling! Credit is given when the driver is expected to drive similar units -in terms of gross weight- and travel same radius.

Uniformed Monitored Operation

Their are other things considered by insurance carriers. For instance, if the trucking company is dealing with load boards or just working with one shipper. Carriers prefer owner operator who is dealing with one or two shippers directly and not through many freight brokers or load boards. Also limiting the radius of travel or the number of states going too. Better rates are given to uniformed operation with steady source of load and steady destination. Using ELD -electronic logging device- and other tracking devices can lower insurance premium about 10% or higher.