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FLATBED TRUCK INSURANCE
Many types of companies use flat bed tucks to take care of a variety of business needs. Flat bed trucks are frequently used by mechanics to transport broken vehicles, by construction companies and heavy equipment contractors to haul machinery, and by retail outlets that deliver farm or yard equipment, large furniture and appliances, or building supplies.
Regardless of why your company uses flat bed trucks, you are at risk of suffering from heavy financial losses if that truck is involved in an auto accident. You’ve invested a lot of time and money building your business and buying your company trucks. Be sure to protect them as fully as possible by purchasing the right types of commercial auto insurance. Here are the most important types of business insurance you should carry on your flat bed trucks:
Liability Insurance – Liability insurance is required by law in most states so that other people are protected from loss when the driver of your flat bed truck causes an accident. Liability insurance pays for other people’s medical expenses or property damages when you are at fault in an auto accident. The amount of money your liability policy pays to other people for damages they incur depends upon how you structure your liability policy. At a minimum, your policy will provide for bodily injury expenses and property damage expenses.
- Bodily Injury - Bodily injuries are when people get physically hurt in an accident. If your flat bed truck causes an accident that inflicts physical injuries on other people, the bodily injury section of your liability policy will pay their related medical expenses. Bodily injury coverage can pay for the cost of emergency hospital care, ambulance transport, extended hospital stays, and rehabilitation costs among other medical expenses. This coverage also pays for the victims pain and suffering, lost wages due to time off work, and funeral expenses when applicable.
- Property Damage – The property damage section of your liability policy pays to fix any vehicles or other property that was damaged due to the fault of your flat bed truck. If the truck runs into another vehicle stopped in traffic for example, and the side of the vehicle needs repairs to put it back into its normal shape, the property damages section of your insurance policy pays the repair costs.
Liability insurance pays up to a set limit based on how your policy is structured. Some policies are configured with a maximum payout amount for all injuries or damages combined in one accident. These are called single claim limit policies. Other policies pay a maximum per person, maximum for all persons injured, and a maximum for property damages separately. These are split claim limit policies, and generally have three number designated like so: $50,000/$150,000/$30,000. The first number indicates the maximum your policy will pay for an individual person’s bodily injuries. The second number is the maximum available for all bodily injuries combined. The third number indicates the maximum payout available for property damages. All numbers are on a per accident basis.
Your company will also be required to pay an insurance deductible when making an insurance claim. A deductible is an initial amount of damages that your company pays out of pocket. When the cost of damages or injuries does not exceed your deductible, the insurance company does not need to pay anything.
Medical Payments – Medical payments coverage is designed to protect the driver of your flat bed truck and any passengers that may be on board at the time of an accident. Regardless of who is at fault for an auto accident, medical payments insurance will pay the medical bills and related medical expenses for your driver and all of the truck’s passengers. This coverage is not available in all areas however, so be sure to contact one of our licensed representatives so that we can help you determine the availability and appropriateness of this coverage for your company.
Physical Damage Insurance – Physical damages insurance is designed to protect your flat bed truck itself. Without this coverage, if your truck is damaged in any way then your company must pay for repairs out of pocket. When you carry physical damages protection however, almost all potential hazards can be prepared for and protected from. This insurance is particularly useful for companies and independent professionals who lease their flat bed trucks, or who are still paying off the auto loan for it.
- Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damage protection insurance protects your truck from anything that is not caused by a roll over or a collision. If your truck is parked on a public street during public celebration or protest for example, and it suffers damages in the form of scratches, cracked windows or dents from people jumping onto it, comprehensive damage protection will pay for the cost of repairs. Comprehensive coverage also protects you from losses due to theft and damages caused by vandalism.
- Collision Damage Protection – Collision damage protection pays for the cost of repairs and replacement when your flat bed truck overturns in a roll over event, or when it runs into another object. If you or your truck driver turns a corner too sharply and impacts with a business sign or fire hydrant for example, collision damage protection will pay for the cost of repairs.
- Specified Peril (CAC) – Specified peril insurance protects you from only those events that are specified in your commercial insurance policy. This coverage is also known as CAC insurance, or Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage. This insurance is similar to comprehensive because it does not include collision or roll over damages, but it is much more limited in scope.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist - Most areas of the United States require all vehicles to be protected by basic liability insurance. Not everyone complies with that law however. Some drivers carry basic levels of liability insurance, but those levels are not nearly enough to cover the full cost of repairs for the damages they caused. When another driver causes an accident with your flat bed truck and is not insured, your company has to pay for the repairs instead. When the driver does not carry enough insurance, your company may also have to pay out of pocket for the differences.
You can protect your company from having to pay full or partial repair expenses when another driver is at fault in an auto accident, by carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. This insurance works similar to your commercial liability insurance policy, except that it is designed to protect your flat bed trucks when another person is at fault in an accident.
- Bodily Injury - As noted Above
- Property Damage - As noted above
- Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) - Since your insurance policy normally requires that you pay a deductible, you could find yourself forced to pay this portion of the repair bills even when another driver was at fault for the accident. If you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury protection however, you can get a collision deductible waiver (CDW) so that you are not required to pay anything at all on the repair bills.
Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance your company should carry for flatbed trucks includes:
- Rental – Similar to your personal insurance, your commercial auto insurance policy can pay for the cost of a rental truck when yours is down for repairs.
- Trailer – If your flat bed truck hauls a trailer, protect that from damages and loss with trailer insurance.
- Trailer Interchange - When you participate in a trailer interchange service you are hauling trailers that do not belong to your company. As assets of another company, you must protect the exchanged trailers with separate commercial insurance.
- Unattended Truck coverage - If your truck is left unattended while your driver rests or eats, it is at risk of vandalism, theft and other potential hazards. Protect it and your company from losses with unattended truck coverage.
- Cargo - If the cargo your truck is hauling gets damaged in an accident, stolen or otherwise destroyed, you can save your company financial hardships by carrying cargo insurance.
- Towing - Towing insurance pays for the cost when your flat bed truck must be towed away from an accident or due to malfunctions and break downs.
- Accessories - Flat bed trucks often have accessories installed so that the drivers can better conduct business. Communications radios allow the driver to stay in touch with the dispatch operator or find out about road hazards and closures. GPS navigational systems help track mileage, truck location and automate weigh station requirements. These types of accessories can be protected from loss with accessories coverage on your commercial auto insurance policy.