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18 WHEELER TRUCK insurance
Whether you are an independent owner-operator or your company owns a fleet of 18 Wheeler trucks, these trucks are the lifeblood of your company. Without them you cannot transport goods, fulfill contracts, and most importantly you can't earn any income.
Regardless of whether your company 18 Wheelers drive across country or serve just a few states in the region, the right types of commercial auto insurance are crucial for protecting your assets. The truck itself may be very expensive. Imagine if you had to personally pay for repairs out of your own pocket. If that's not enough, just add in the value of the trailer and the load you're hauling and you'll agree that an auto accident can financially decimate your company. Choosing the right types of commercial auto insurance protects you from having to pay for repairs or medical bills caused by an accident, and most importantly is can protect you against uninsured drivers. If your company operates one or more 18 wheeler trucks, here are the types of business auto insurance you need to carry:
Liability Insurance – In the United States, liability insurance is required by law. Liability insurance is not only to protect the safety of other drivers but for an active business that operates 18 wheelers, liability insurance is mandatory in order to obtain permits and licenses. Liability insurance protects you and your company from having to pay for medical or property damage expenses that arise when you are at fault for an accident that your 18 wheeler is involved in.
- Bodily Injury - Bodily injury coverage pays for the medical bills and related medical expenses to other drivers that are injured in an accident that occurred with your truck. If you are the cause of an accident and other people are injured, they may need hospitalization, surgery, medical tests, prescription medication, and follow up medical care. The bodily injury portion of your commercial auto liability policy will pay for these expenses up to a set amount per person with a maximum amount per accident, or better yet known as Combine Single Limits (CSL) which offers one large amount for the entire accident.
- Property Damage – Property damage coverage pays for the other person's vehicle or property repairs or replacement. When you are at fault for an auto accident while driving your 18 wheeler, the property damage portion of your coverage will pay for any damage you cause to another vehicle or property such as a building, fence, gate or city property. Your insurance policy will pay for repairs or replacement.
Medical Payments – Medical payments coverage protects the driver of your rig in addition to any passengers that may be aboard. If you are an independent or contracted truck driver and you are involved in an auto accident where the other driver was at fault, their insurance is supposed to pay for your medical bills and expenses. However, even if they have medical coverage on their insurance policy, it may not be enough to pay for the medical expenses sustained by you or your passengers that were in your truck with you at the time of the accident. Medical payments coverage pays for your medical expenses regardless of who is at fault for the accident; it is similar to a health insurance plan. However, this coverage varies from one state to another, so be sure to speak with one of our licensed representatives to determine whether it is appropriate or available by your company.
Physical Damage Insurance – Physical damage insurance protects your company from financial losses and burdens that are caused due to damages to the 18 wheelers you own or lease. Commercial auto physical damage insurance is particularly important for companies and owner-operators who do not own their 18 wheeler rigs outright. If you financed the truck, have a lease, or have a lien of any kind, this insurance provides you with the most protection you can get.
- Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damage protection pays for non-collision, non-roll over hazards that can damage your truck. If for example, an electrical line blows over due to high winds and lands on your truck, comprehensive damage protection will pay for the repairs. This insurance also protects you from losses due to other events such as vandalism or theft of the truck.
- Collision Damage Protection – Collision damage protections pays for the associated expenses when your 18 wheeler is damaged by a collision that involves one or more vehicles or accidents involving other property. For example, if you back up the truck into a fire hydrant, collision damage protection will cover the repair costs. If your truck skids on a wet mountain road and rolls over, collision damage also covers the repair expenses from the roll over.
- Specified Peril (CAC) – Specified Peril insurance is also known as Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage, or CAC. This commercial auto insurance protects you from specific types of hazards and perils. Coverage is limited to items specified on your insurance policy, such as damage caused by a tree falling onto your truck cab or fire.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist - Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance provides you with coverage on a commercial vehicle when the other driver is at fault and does not carry adequate insurance coverage. If the at fault driver does not have liability insurance, or if they do not have enough insurance to cover the full extent of the accident damages, the uninsured motorist coverage on your commercial auto policy will pick up the entire cost or the difference.
- Bodily Injury – Bodily injury coverage provides medical protection from accidents caused with your truck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. If the other driver is responsible for the accident but they do not have basic insurance coverage, your uninsured motorist bodily injury protection will pay the associated medical and hospital expenses. Bodily injury coverage is limited to a maximum amount per person in your vehicle, and a maximum amount total for the accident.
- Property Damage – An 18 wheeler can be very expensive depending on its year and make. If it is damaged or destroyed in an auto accident where the other driver is found to be at fault, their insurance may not be enough to cover your losses. Property damage protection on an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy helps pay for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle in the event the other party does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to cover all losses.
- Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) – In order to qualify for a CDW you must carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury and collision coverage on your 18 wheel truck policy. If your truck is involved in an auto accident with another party who does not carry auto insurance, the collision deductible waiver which replaces the uninsured motorist property damage when you have collision coverage on your truck will waive your deductible in case of repairs. Normally you would have to pay a deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in. If you carry Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury protection and CDW, your insurance company will issue a waiver for the deductible.
Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance for 18 wheelers includes:
- Towing – Towing insurance will pay for any towing services when your 18 wheeler becomes non drivable.
- Trailer – Trailer coverage protects your company from having to pay for repairs or replacement to the trailer that was being hauled by your truck at the time of the accident.
- Trailer Interchange – Trailer interchange coverage protects trailers that you do not own but are hauling as part of an interchange service. This is physical damage protection for trailers that you do not own. It provides coverage for theft, vandalism, explosion, fire and collision.
- Reefer Breakdown – If your reefer equipment malfunctions and your cargo is ruined as a result, reefer breakdown insurance pays for the loss.
- Unattended Truck coverage – When you stop for food or to rest and you must move away from your 18 wheeler and its cargo, it may be subject to theft, vandalism or other hazards. Unattended truck coverage protects you from losses that occur while you're away from the truck and its cargo.
- Cargo – Cargo insurance protects your company from financial losses that can be caused when the cargo you are hauling is damaged or destroyed.
- Accessories (Ex: mileage meters, navigation units, radios) – Accessories insurance protects you from the loss of expensive specialty equipment that you may have installed in or on your 18 wheeler. The GPS units your company uses for navigation and weigh station passing, the communications radios and electronic log books can all be protected with this additional coverage to your commercial truck insurance policy.