Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
I had fun this week renewing my insurance for my truck, trailer and cargo. As an owner-operator with my own operating authority, my insurance requirements are more than a leased operator because I’m operating as a trucking company and therefore must insure my truck, trailer and cargo. The average price for most single truck operations is between $6000 and $8000 a year. For a non-hazardous carrier, the minimum FMCSA required liability is $750,000, however, most brokers require $1 million. This is the primary reason our insurance is so high because the insurance companies are writing a policy where they could be on the hook for $1 million.
For most operations, $100,000 cargo insurance is adequate. However, specialized operations require much more. I required $250,000 when I was transporting cars and there are plenty of operations out there that require much more. All of these are important factors when considering what kind of trucking you want to do. Sure, hauling cars and oversize pays more money, but it requires more insurance so you really need to do a comprehensive analysis to see if it’s worth it.
I talked with my insurance agent and he gave me more information on trucking insurance: He told me, “For Hire Trucking has always been and will continue to be one of the most volatile lines of insurance in the marketplace. All insurance companies writing this class of business are taking rate increases to be able continue writing this type of risk. Since 2008 overall trucking premiums have fallen for companies due to many going out of business and a lot taking units off the road.”
When shopping for an insurance company, you want to find a company with a great rating. I get my insurance through Northland who continues to be one of the most stable companies in the industry and are able to keep their A.M. Best Rating of A+ XV which is the best. Also, it’s better to stay with one company and build up a premium tenure with them in case you have a claim in the future. I’ve been with this company 3 years now with no claims so this will be important if I need to make a claim in the future. My rates will be less likely to increase.