How to Get the Best Deal on Your Truck Insurance

Knowing what’s happening in the industry helps Western Truck Insurance Services remain a reliable resource to both clients and prospects. As a result, we are always eager to learn how things are going and what you think about DOT enforcement activities, fuel prices, and the effects of laws, rules, and regulations on your business.

As the market is constantly changing, Western Truck Insurance wants to make sure you get the best deal on truck insurance at your next renewal. Here is a step-by-step approach how we plan to help you.

  • 60 days prior to your renewal date, call us to request an assessment of your situation and risk exposure. Be prepared to allow us to obtain your loss history and IFTA mileage reports. We will need to know the particulars about your business and how much you are paying for your truck insurance.
  • Call your existing agent to inform them that you will be shopping your insurance this year and that you want to be straight forward about it. You want to make sure that you are getting the best price on your renewal quote. Also, let them know that you expect the renewal quote to be available for review at least one month before the renewal date. For emphasis, let them know that you have Western Truck Insurance also working on your behalf.
  • The timing of when you receive your renewal quote speaks volumes about the agent and insurance company. If they are really working for you, they will get your renewal quote to you early enough for proper consideration. “Early enough” is 3 to 4 weeks before your renewal date. Once you receive your renewal quote, call us with the quote amount so that we have complete information to negotiate with. Insurance companies will compete for your business if they know what they are up against.
  • When you get our quote amount, compare the two quotes noting all the differences. We will help you understand the various aspects to the quote. If our number is lower, take it to your existing agent and ask him to beat it. If our coverage levels are better, ask to match them.
  • After you have given your existing agent a second chance, share this new number with us so we can go back to our underwriters and attempt to negotiate a better deal for you.
  • Once you receive our number a second time, you will be ready to make an informed decision. Both brokers involved have been treated fairly and have had two chances to give you their best quote. A fair amount of conversation, analysis, and negotiation will have taken place between you and us and your existing agent by this point.

Consider all you have learned. How do feel about the advice you have received? When fully considering price, coverage levels, quality rating of the insurance companies, and your comfort level with the agents involved… which is the best deal?

  • Make your decision and inform each party.

If you follow this approach, you will get the best deal around. Try it and see for yourself!

Truck Insurance Agent/Broker Selection Criteria

It has been determined that one of the most difficult things a buyer of truck insurance goes through is how to qualify the insurance broker.   All brokers are not alike and, especially with commercial truck insurance,  the differences can be staggering. 

So what’s a buyer to do ??

It has come to our attention that a recent independent study was done to address this issue.   In that study many areas are covered that deal with learning how to obtain the perfect coverage and pointing out some of the problems with insurance coverage in general but the best takeaway from it certainly is the detailed list of capabilities that a qualified commercial truck insurance broker should be able to do.

This listing solves the problem and all you need to do is inquire from the broker who you may already be using, or plan to use,  if they 1) understand the capabilties you are asking and 2) do actually perform those items.

Check out this link to see the preview of the full study and request it for free.  There is no charge for this vital information which will make your job in qualifying an insurance agent or broker much easier.  Goto:   http://truckinsure.com/slideshow2.html

LA /Long Beach Harbor Clean Truck Program

Developments on the LA/Long Beach Harbor Clean Truck Program

Since 2008, the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program has had the goal to make the surrounding area eco-friendly. Additional updates have been made throughout the years, and if you are wondering where the project stands now, here are the basics you need to know.

Timeline of the Project

The Clean Truck Program is actually one component of a much larger plan referred to as the Clean Air Action Plan. This plan was developed in 2006, and authorities in both Los Angeles and Long Beach came together to attempt to reduce the number of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Aggressive milestones were put into place to make the trucks that come into the Long Beach Port more energy efficient.

In 2008, the port banned all trucks that were using engines  made in 1989 or older. In 2010, additional measures were taken to prevent truck engines made between 1989 and 1994 from entering the port. Another provision was added to limit truck engines produced between 1994 and 2003 that did not receive eco-friendly retrofits. Finally, in 2012, trucks could only enter the port if they met all specifications stated in the 2007 Federal Clean Truck Emissions Standards. The goal of these measures is to get companies to invest in more recently made vehicles that produce far fewer emissions than trucks in the past.

Concession Program

A big part of this plan was the development of the concession program. This program creates a relationship between the port and the licensed motor carriers. This program allows the owners of the vehicle to obtain funding and grants to phase out old, inefficient trucks. Since its implementation, the program has helped over 900 licensed motor carriers get new vehicles.

Success of the Program

Many people who heard about this program years ago may be wondering how successful it has been. In the first year alone, the program reduced emissions at the port by nearly 70 percent. By 2012, that number rose to 80 percent. As a result, the program has been extremely successful in achieving its goals, and many companies have moved over to using cleaner vehicles. This is advantageous for both the companies and the people in the community who live in the vicinity of the port.

While more work is required, the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program is an excellent start. With the great success it has seen, hopefully more programs can be implemented in the future to make Los Angeles and Long Beach greener cities.

Beyond Truck Insurance – Great Benefits that Matter Most.

Most Important Benefits to Get With Truck Insurance

Truckers need to insure their vehicles, and for most, they simply look for the most cost-effective policy at the most reasonable price. It is vital to get good coverage, but as you are speaking with various truck insurance brokers, there are other qualities to look out for. There are numerous benefits to be gained, but you need to seek them out.

Assistance with Resolving Inaccuracies

A big component of the cost of someone’s insurance policy are prior claims and driver motor vehicle reports.  Therefore, a trucking company that has had some accidents in the past will have to pay more for the same policy as a company with a clean history. However, various government agencies make clerical errors all the time, and it is entirely possible a company that has never had a problem will have a mark on its record. When searching for a new insurance provider, it is helpful to try to find an agent who will lend a helping hand in these instances. An insurance agent will most likely have greater success convincing an outside agency to change an error.

Availability to Talk

You will find yourself in situations where you need to talk to your insurance agent and the last thing you want is to deal with someone who is hard to get a hold of. As you are reviewing different policies, pay attention to how easy it is to get in touch with someone. You may contact an agency and get put on hold for a while only to be told the agent is currently out of the office. You want an agent and agency who makes an effort to always be accessible and a live body answering the phone.

Willingness to Give Options

An insurance agent should be there to give you exactly what you need and ask for. An agent will most likely inform you of different services you could potentially benefit from, but ultimately, it comes down to what you and your company need. Always look through a proposal  yourself before making a purchase. An honest, upfront agent will tell you everything and not leave out any important details. That kind of transparency  should be a priority for you  in selecting  an agent.

Buying insurance means you are entering into a partnership, and you want to make this union as viable as possible for years to come. Pay attention to what you are truly receiving  to get the most out of it.

Catering Truck Insurance

What to Know About Catering Truck Insurance

Food trucks have grown in popularity in recent years. Many consumers appreciate the fact tasty food can be delivered to their home or business. If you operate this kind of vehicle, then it is vital to get it insured. It needs to be insured no matter what because it is a vehicle, but if you sell food, then you need to obtain a specialized catering truck insurance policy. When pursuing this, it is vital to keep several points in mind to get the best coverage out there.

Buy From an Experienced Food Truck Insurance Agent

Since food is being sold from the truck, different types of policies are required. That means an operator of a catering truck needs more than simply a standard auto insurance policy. For this reason, it is good to work with an agent who has dealt with catering trucks in the past. Someone who has never done this before may be willing to take on the job but does not understand everything that needs to go into the policy. Experience matters in the insurance world.

Get Every Policy You Need

Owning a company vehicle usually requires the owner, whether it is an individual or company, to have commercial auto insurance. A catering truck requires much more than that, such as:

  • Auto Liability Insurance: Vehicle insurance should cover damage caused by collisions and damage caused by fire or other natural disasters. It is also good to acquire uninsured coverage in case you end up in an accident with someone else lacking insurance.
  • Commercial Property (Equipment) Insurance: This covers additional property you own outside of the truck. That includes kitchen equipment and any computers you need to operate the day-to-day actions.
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance: This insurance protects you in case of property damage or injuries you cause in your food services business.. If the food from your truck makes someone sick, then  commercial  general  liability coverage protects you. 
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Various employees need to work on a catering truck including the driver and  the cooks in the back. You need to ensure employees injured in a vehicle collision or from getting hurt in the kitchen have safeguards in place.

Catering truck insurance technically consists of several different coverages, and they are all essential. Professional brokers will assist you in finding a policy that covers everything you need, so you can operate your business with peace of mind.

“Bad Apple” Truck Insurance Brokers

Watch Out for unscrupulous insurance agents/brokers who falsely scare unsuspecting truck operators that their truck insurance is cancelled.   I learned of an incident where a trucker was called by one of these “bad apple agents” and told their insurance policy was not going to be renewed and was being cancelled.   The frightened trucker was smart enough to call his insurance broker to see what was happening and the current broker explained there were no problems.

Be careful who you buy your truck insurance from. There are a bunch of scam truck insurance agents who’ll do or say anything to mislead in order to make a sale.  Check out the agent before you buy insurance!

Truck Insurance Sales People Needed

A quick tally on the pulse of the insurance professionals who specialize in placing insurance for the trucking industry reveals a strong need for quality sales people.

A regional business development manager from Great American Insurance Company recently stated that the brokers he works with are all looking for new producers, or sales people.  

This is an interesting development as this form of insurance sales is a great place to be working in; as far as insurance sales go.   The cost of truck insurance is relatively expensive and the commissions can add up fast as compared to personal auto or homeowners insurance sales.    The sales person needs to understand the trucking industry,  commercial trucks,  and the appropriate insurance coverage needed but this is relatively simple and can be learned in depth within 6 months.

Good sales people,  especially those already in insurance, should hunt down the high quality brokers who specialize in this line of insurance.   Take a look at this commercial truck insurance sales ad.

Truck Insurance Rates Fall

Truck insurance rates continue to spiral downward as the long term Truck Insurance providers compete with new Insurance Company entrants into this industry.  Rates are down, on average, about 15% last year from 2006 and it is expected to fall another 5-15% again this year. The home page of Western Truck Insurance shows how much their customers have saved on their rates from 2006 to 2007. Great news for owner operators and trucking companies. Let’s hope the trend continues.