What to Do if Your Truck Breaks Down Mid-Journey

For truck drivers, there are few things more frustrating than going through a breakdown on the road, especially in the winter. What’s more, truck drivers operate on a tight schedule, having to drop off and pick up their cargo, and try to get back home for some much-needed personal and family time. So, any form of breakdown is a huge wrench in their day-to-day.

If a breakdown happens, truck drivers and their cargo are put in a vulnerable and dangerous position. Depending on where they are stranded, they could be open prey for wildlife and thieves, as well as miles away and hours away from receiving any help.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take in order to limit your exposure on the side of the road, get your truck back up and running, and get the right help on time so you can get back on the open road.

Getting in Contact

It’s important to contact dispatch to let them know your location and send help if you need it or give you quick-fix tips to get you back up and on the road temporarily. Common breakdowns are usually related to faulty sending units or emissions equipment, and both require shop repair.

Keep your dispatcher informed of your status throughout the repair process so they can relay information to the customer. The dispatcher will also be able to help out with any instructions on what to do to fix your truck as waiting and repair times may be lengthy.

Another point of contact to reach out to is your truck insurance carrier, like Western Truck Insurance. Western’s roadside assistance coverage is designed to help truck drivers with breakdown problems. This is an inexpensive service option that can help save you thousands of dollars. From towing to flat repair to getting a simple jump-start, Western Truck Insurance’s commercial roadside assistance is a surefire way to get back on the road.

Staying Safe During a Breakdown

Being broken down on the road can be extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. Drivers and their trucks are exposed to speeding traffic in close range among other risks. One distracted driver behind the wheel of any vehicle can create a major hazard.

If you’re broken down on the road, it’s important to stay alert and be aware of the danger that nearby traffic poses and try to stay in your vehicle as much as you can during your waiting time.

If you start to feel your truck fail, pull over on the next off-ramp is possible, which can be much safer than having to wait on the shoulder. If you have to pull over on the shoulder, go for the widest spot possible. Turn flasher on and remember to keep an eye on your mirrors to monitor the traffic coming from behind you. If you’re able to rather than a hard power turn to the side, ease off the road.

When you’ve parked the truck and it’s safe to exit, carefully get out of the truck and set up your flares behind the truck in intervals of fifty feet. It also doesn’t hurt to tilt your hood to indicate more clearly that you’ve broken down.

If you’re able to, try to determine what the issue is and whether or not you can repair it on your own or patch it up until you get it into a nearby location with service. If the problem is something electronic, it will probably mean you need professional assistance to get you back up and running.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

California and Other States Aim to Move to Zero-Emission Trucks

California is leading the charge to enhance public health and move forward more quickly with the transition to cleaner transportation. Along with seven other states, California is committing to develop a plan to put hundreds of thousands of zero-emission trucks and public buses on the road throughout the state.

The California Air Resources Board, in charge of coming up with the action plan, is in the beginning stages of meeting to come up with the particulars of how this can be accomplished. For now, the idea of encouraging cleaner driving opportunities is envisioned through a proposed Advanced Clean Trucks regulation that would establish sales and reporting requirements for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on the road.

It’s not clear whether or not trucking companies and owner-operators who drive traditional emissions trucks in the state will be hit with fines if they don’t fall under regulation. Regardless of this possibility, it’s important for trucking companies to make sure they keep their commercial truck insurance coverage in force and consider pollution insurance as it might relate to their operations.

Trucks are a major contributor to pollution in the country, and since California is a main artery for road-based trade between Mexico, Canada, and the rest of the United States, it’s no wonder something like this is picking up steam. And with the recent passage of the USMCA deal, which is set to enhance more trade between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, using California as a main thoroughfare to move commerce, the chance of cutting down on trucks on the road doesn’t look possible. So, the solution is to come up with ways to cut down on emissions.

States joining California in the regulations and efforts are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Vermont. The collaborative effort will also be put in motion and supported by the ZEV Task Force and facilitated by NESCAUM, or the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. Together, all entities will look to identify and come up with solutions for cost, fueling infrastructure, and other challenges.

California has already invested nearly $1 billion in cap and trade processed into pilot projects to help accelerate the commercialization of zero- and near-zero trucks and buses. Companies like PepsiCo and FedEx are already on board, partnering with stakeholders in the initiatives.

The other states in the effort have offered up incentives for zero-emission freight trucks and transit buses, as well as school buses. Some states have already introduced electric shuttles for public transportation and allocated settlement funds from Volkswagen toward medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Trucking by the Numbers: Cargo Theft, Operational Costs, and More

The trucking industry has seen a seismic change in everything from day-to-day operations, technology, and operational costs, causing operators in the industry to have to review their goals, needs, and finances. With a new year upon us, it’s important to look at the outlook of the industry and see how companies need to adjust heading into a new year and new quarter.

Here’s a closer look at the trucking industry and how everything is stacking up.

Operational Costs

According to ATRI’s newest Ops Costs report, operational costs in the trucking industry haven’t changed too much from the prior year. The average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers in 2018 increased by a 7.7-percent mark to $1.82. Costs rose in every cost center, save for tires, with fuel costs experiencing the highest year-over-year growth at 17.7 percent.

In the truck insurance industry, insurance costs saw the second-fastest yearly growth at 12 percent. But even with this increase, trucking companies are needing to fit this expense in their monthly budgets to protect against costly claims on the road or to even protect them from roadside incidents, such as accidents or lost or stolen merchandise.

Repair and maintenance costs have increased by 24 percent since 2012, hovering around 17 cents per mile, even with an increase in sales of new trucks and trailers. Altogether, motor carrier operational costs have jumped up by more than 11.6 percent.

Roadway Incidents and Deadly Jobs

Transportation incidents have continued to rise in the industry, representing the most common fatal workplace injury. Roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles are the leading fatal cause, followed by pedestrian vehicular incidents. Increased efforts in the industry are in motion to provide drivers with the tools to drive defensively even with a higher rate of traffic congestion.

In 2018, the industry saw a two-percent increase from 2017 in fatal work injuries in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fatal work injury rate remained the same at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers. Truck drivers had the most fatalities of any broad occupation group in 2018, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the second-most fatalities.

Cargo Theft

The holidays have just passed, and numbers out of the season in terms of cargo theft are expected to be high, as usual. The Christmas season is usually the busiest time of year when it comes to cargo theft, and with a rise in e-commerce causing more trucks to be on the road, it’s no secret that cargo theft is something to be concerned about at a growing rate.

It’s estimated that about two thefts take place every day during the holiday shopping season, a 20-percent increase compared to the remainder of the year with electronics being the main target.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

How to Stay Warm When Trucking in the Winter

Winter is well on its way and has even settled in in some parts of the country. Major snowstorms can back up traffic, alter travel plans, delay freight shipments, and, at the very least, make people very uncomfortable. For truck drivers hauling loads on the highway, trying to stay warm can be a struggle when the temperatures drop.

There are many different ways to stay warm and keep the cold out for those who drive 18-wheelers and live out of their truck on long trips.

Here are some ways to keep the fire burning and keep warm this winter:

The Basics

First, it’s important for drivers to check with their company to make sure they have an extreme cold weather idle requirement. Most companies require the truck to run when temperatures get below 20 degrees. When drivers head into even colder climates, they should make sure they’re ready for the cold road ahead.

Also, trucking companies who hire out independent drivers should be sure to have their truck insurance intact, covering any liabilities that may arise from cold weather. Beyond drivers falling ill, risks such as road conditions and majorly inclement weather that causes delays should be covered against.

Inspect the Truck

Truck drivers are required by law to check their vehicles before every trip. A visual, hands-on inspection should check for things like any issues with tires, wiper blades, fluids, and lights. When temperatures go too high or too low, it’s imperative to check even more regularly and thoroughly.

Running a Heater

Truck drivers should opt for running a heater to keep their cabs warm, at least for a period of time to raise the temperature inside. As drivers are finishing up their paperwork for the day and getting ready for bed, a heater can be used with the fan on its highest setting to heat the truck up. It’s important, though, to remember to turn the fan down before the truck is shut off, or else icy air will blast through when a driver strikes it up again the next morning.

Sleeping Bags and Blankets

A basic, but still effective move is to always remember warm items like blankets and sleeping bags. A heavy-duty, low-temperature sleeping bag will help to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep while keeping the cold away. Plus, layering on some thick blankets to pile on top is another important tip do take advantage of.

Another option to increase warmth is to line a sleeping bag with a down comforter or keep one on top. While a sleeping bag is a must-have, it can be cold when slipping into it and zipping up. 

Mattress Pad

Mattress pads not only supply more comfort and support for drivers, especially for those with sore backs, but they can also be heated to add warmth. These pads are popular among truck drivers who have to spend some nights tucked away in their truck’s cabin.

The pads are plugged into a lighter socket and help increase warmth and comfort without having to idle the engine. The 12V mattress pad won’t deplete the batteries if they are in good working condition.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Federal Independent Contractor Model Up for Further Debate in Congress

With the air of the recently passed AB5 hanging over California like a smog, and with executives from ride-sharing tech giants Uber and Lyft failing to appear at a Congressional hearing over lax safety oversight, lawmakers are turning their focus to independent contractor classification in the country.

Debates in Congress have been spurred on by regulations out west in California where legislation was passed by the State Assembly in May and the state Senate in September, outlining a way to determine the work status of independent contractors, such as truck drivers or ride-sharing drivers.

The hearing, which was overseen by the Highways and Transit subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee in October, honed in on the need for driver background checks for transportation network companies. This has all happened in the wake of homicides and assaults committed by people posing as ride-sharing drivers.

“It’s hard to imagine that Uber and Lyft didn’t actually show up here today – it’s really disrespectful to the committee and a bad play on their part,” said Thomas Suozzi (D-New York).

The Democrat from New York and his Republican colleague from New Jersey, Chris Smith, threw their support of laws requiring enhanced vehicle identification to make it more difficult to impersonate an actual ride-sharing driver.

Beyond addressing public safety issues surrounding independent contractors, whether in ride-sharing or trucking, Congressional members also debated the topic of worker classification, a big issue coming out of California, as mentioned above. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020, and will lower the threshold in California for classifying a worker as an employee. This is projected to have major cost implications for everyone from ride-sharing companies to freight companies who hire truck drivers on a daily basis.

Certain Congressional members have shown support for the AB5 legislation, detailing its goal of identifying the difference between independent and permanent employees. This will surely have freight companies rethink the way they hire employees and classify them in their truck insurance options. This issue is gaining attention for its effects on Uber and Lyft in a state where ride-sharing arguably got its start or at least its growth.

The debate around whether or not to elevate stricter tests on independent contractor status outside of California, using the state as a jumping-off point, was also brought up with Republicans on the Hill shooting it down and Democrats wanting to push it along.

“I don’t necessarily think that this committee should blindly follow the state of California,” said Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota). My state is much different than the state of California. It’s much more rural, and I think we have to have a broader look at this issue the transportation network companies, and how we can serve not only urban but rural communities.”

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Layoffs are Part of a Troubling Trend in Trucking

The trucking industry has been going through major reformation in recent years with the push to go more tech-savvy. Autonomous trucking operations are starting to take over the highways and byways in America with companies like Uber Freight and TuSimple planning more available freight deliveries in the coming months.

This push to go autonomous has some trucking companies and trucking professionals worried that the need for drivers will start to go away. But the entire trucking industry has started to see a major slowdown as a whole, adding to the doubts around truck driver job security.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trucking industry saw more than 10,000 truckers lose jobs between July and September. The layoffs are a result of a major slowdown in manufacturing related to the US-China trade dispute that’s currently ongoing, marking a major indication of an entire economic recession in the U.S.

Long Time Coming?

Analysts have been showing concern around the slowdown in the economy for some time, pointing out the role that trucking is playing. Job growth overall has slowed down in recent months across a number of sectors with payrolls averaging about 161,000 per month compared to 223,000 the same timeframe last year. This has caused a stir among trucking companies who need to find ways to do everything from completing their current orders and budget for layoffs. Things like truck insurance and ordering new vehicles may have to be put on hold even though they may be pertinent to an everyday operation.

Trucking has historically been known for hiring and firing thousands of people at once, bringing in loads of people or cutting whole swaths at a moment’s notice. For instance, in the summer of 2018, the industry saw a boost of 37,000 jobs after loads of new trucks were ordered to keep up with the surge in everything from e-commerce to international trade. But with standstills at the U.S.-Mexico border for trucking freight and another standstill with China over trade tariffs, the trucking industry has been caught in the middle.

Recent layoffs also mirror an overall shift in the services offered through trucking, such as same-day or next-day delivery in the e-commerce space. There are still areas where the trucking industry is hiring regularly, such as courier and messaging service companies, which are seeing solid bumps in opportunity due to more activity on sites like Amazon and eBay.

National networks like UPS and FedEx, can provide the dedicated capacity to large-sized customers to make sure there are no gaps in freight service, but for smaller and mid-sized companies that lack scale, this trend could be dire in the long run, maybe even leading to the demise of a number of companies.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Ways to Improve Your Fleet

Managing a trucking fleet comes with a host of challenges for owners and individuals in the industry. From evolving technology to changes in legislation from state to state, trucking fleets have more than just the day-to-day to take care of.

There is a major amount of pressure that comes with maintaining a successful and efficient fleet. A fleet manager is responsible for purchasing vehicles, driver management, record keeping, and vehicle maintenance, among other things. While this can be a grind, there are a number of things that can be done to enhance the efficiency of a fleet.

Here are some things to consider when looking for ways to improve your fleet.

1. Insurance

First, it’s always important to make sure your fleet is running under the right truck insurance coverage. Having coverage such as truck liability policy and physical damage will keep your fleet covered during the time of a claim. Truck insurance is the first step to ensuring your company, employees, finances, and daily operations are protected moving forward. Not having insurance will open you up to major financial and reputational losses that could have devastating consequences.

2. Maintenance Strategy

Fleet managers need to be sure to strategize and create plans to make sure their vehicles are running in excellent condition. Larger truck fleets carry their own in-house service centers for maintenance to be conducted on a regular basis on their premises. If your fleet is a smaller business, it is more practical to hire out a company to keep your trucks serviced. No matter who’s taking care of your trucks, it’s important to get them taken care of on a regular schedule to keep efficiency up.

3. Manage Your Drivers Effectively

Fleet managers need to be able to communicate with their drivers effectively. Communication in the trucking industry is crucial for any fleet. Truck drivers need to be able to reach out to their managers easily and the flow of information needs to remain open and efficient. One way this is being done is by installing electronic logging devices (ELD’s) that monitor driver behavior; tracking if a driver is frequently speeding or breaking excessively.

Through ELD’s and regular communication with drivers, fleet managers can keep everything running smoothly.

4. Evaluate Your Assets

Fleet managers and vehicle technicians should be aware of the status of their assets. Beyond knowing your vehicle’s conditions and current service parts inventory levels, it’s also crucial to completely have a grasp on how every vehicle is used as well as how its components work. For this, it’s important to evaluate your fleet’s assets on a regular periodic basis, which can help you make adjustments to current business demands.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Servicesis a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Intentional Pairing: An Operations Change That Could Lead to Lowered Trucking Costs

Trucking companies have been operating with drop-and-hook operations for some time hoping to maximize efficiency. But while many trucking companies stick with this method, there’s little focus when it comes to matching tractors. In a new report from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), it’s pointed out that a change in operations to allow for more intentional pairing as it’s known could lower overall trucking costs and have more room for needful assets such as hiring and truck insurance.

But while it’s projected to help with efficiency and cut costs, some leaders in the industry argue against pairing, saying that while it’s a good idea, it’s not really feasible. Even with a net improvement of five to 10 percent, as stated by the NACFE, the case to change things up may not be compelling enough.

Studying The Road

In the study, titled “The Feasibility of Intentional Pairing,” the NACFE portrays pairing as a dream for engineers, allowing for the design of an integrated tractor-trailer combination to be operated in a cost-cutting way. The report, which spans 86 pages, outlines everything needed to change for a complete overhaul of how things get done on the road through pairing. Through a survey of 50 fleets, including big names in the industry like Werner, UPS, and PepsiCo, NACFE found that the majority of fleets operate in drop-and-hook with the focus on keeping the trailer in motion as much as possible.

The benefits of pairing would be on a sliding scale according to the NACFE’s findings. Fleet annual net MPGs would improve and intentionally pairing by model type would provide the best opportunity for gains on the road.

The ability to pull this kind of move off is still questionable as many variables are involved and would require a whole new way to go about moving freight around. From time to pricing to asset location, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to an issue.

According to the NACFE, a growing number of GPS tracking systems and more data does present a new opportunity for a more efficient asset optimization in certain applications of freight, such as shipping beverages around. These commodities already operate in a certain manner as fleets pair weight-reduced tractors with weight-reduced trailers to maximize payload.

Altogether, NACFE, concluded that intentional pairing, while a great idea, and something to look forward to in the future, is not a full-fledged reality at this point. But the new technology does offer up opportunities through asset tracking and asset management. With data available around these entities, including driver information, tractor characteristics, asset status, locads, weather, and routes, better operational decisions can be made.

By combining this with the vehicle data, it could allow fleets to match trucks to certain shipping situations. Lightweight tractors could be paired up with lightweight trailers in order to maximize payload potential, even if it’s resulted in a shorter lifespan for those assets. Tractors with down-sped transmissions could be used for routes where technology can best be of benefit.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Compliance Requirements for California Vehicles

In recent years, California has seen a number of regulations change or be created in order to cut down on emissions, greenhouse gases, and traffic while boosting alternative fuels, for example. One industry affected by new rules and regulations is the freight industry, or trucking, which plays a huge role in the state’s economy.

Last year, California saw record-setting levels of freight-hauling demand and driver pay as trucking levels reached a 20-year high. From produce to animals to tech commodities, California sees high numbers of trucking freight hit the roads. But State regulations of trucking and bus operations are finding numerous ways to hit the trucking industry.

Here is a better look at how compliance requirements in California are affecting the freight and transportation industries.

Vehicles Affected by Regulations

The Truck and Bus regulation affects individuals, private companies, and Federal agencies that own and operate diesel vehicles that weigh in at more than 14,000 pounds. But it also extends out to publicly and privately owned school buses, even though their compliance requirements differ. Local and state government vehicles aren’t affected by the regulations because they are already subject to other regulations.

Heavier Trucks and Buses

Heavier trucks and buses on the road that weigh more than 26,000 pounds must comply with a set schedule by engine model year or owners can report to show compliance with more options. Engines made any time after 1996 should have an OEM or retrofit PM filter installed as vehicles made prior to 1996 should have already been replaced by January 1, 2015. The goal from the state is to have all trucks and buses driving with 2010 model engines by January 1, 2023.

PM Filters

Some trucking companies and individual owners have sought more information on PM filter installations. These are the filters that reduce particulate matter and cut down on smog and pollution. Owners who did not install PM filters before January 1, 2014, and do not use flexibility options are required to replace existing trucks according to their model year schedule.

Getting hit with fines can be costly and sideline a trucking company’s business altogether; especially smaller companies that can’t afford to have their trucks sit while they work on getting compliant, which is also a costly endeavor. While not all claims can be held off, there are options to keep fines low and representation costs minimized. Through comprehensive truck insurance, trucking companies can limit their exposures and make sure the increased values of their equipment are properly protected.

What About Lighter Trucks?

Lighter trucks and buses that fit right in the middle of that 14,000-26,000-pound window already had engine replacement requirements set on January 1, 2015. Lighter vehicles with engines that are more than 20 years old need to be replaced with newer trucks or engines, and beginning January 1 of next year, all remaining vehicles who have yet to take this step need to have 2010 engines or newer.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

In the Trucking Insurance Market, High Liability Rates Are Increasingly Common

Liability coverage makes up a big part of an independent insurance cost. This pays out injuries and property damage after a wreck. When it comes to over-the-road drivers or long-haul truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that a $750,000 minimum limit be met for the primary auto liability coverage. However, most shippers and brokers in the industry won’t set up a business relationship with trucking companies that carry anything less than $1 in truck insurance liability.

Rising Costs

Liability coverage costs have gone up year over year and don’t seem to be slowing down. Premiums for a $1 million liability policy can now range between $6,000 and $16,000 depending on the carrier and influencing factors. These high liability rates are becoming more and more common in the trucking industry, making it hard for trucking companies to factor in their budget.

So, what caused this boost in pricing?

According to our President, Bob Holtzman, it can be taken back to the 2008 recession.

Holtzman recently told Overdriveonline.com that the “marketplace was competing for what business was still there, and rates got really low.”

As the economy made a rebound, insurers were slow to react and started seeing losses take their hold well in excess of premiums. In the last few years, truck insurers increased their rates and today’s rates are much higher than the low rates seen around 2011. These rates are expected to hover around those numbers mentioned above for the next few years.

The economy has picked up in recent years, during the end of the Obama administration and into the Trump years, resulting in plenty of jobs and higher wages becoming the norm. Also, there have been more motorists on the road, as well as, more freight, especially with the influence of e-commerce freight.

These factors and others, such as the type of freight, age of equipment, typical length of haul, and states that see freight driving through, all play a role in greater claims frequency which corresponds to increasing liability rates.

In the past few years, as independent contractors have seen an increase in contracts, applications for new operating authority has increased as well. With this in mind, obtaining liability coverage has become a major challenge for those new ventures looking to make a step forward. But since the market has tightened, many truck insurance companies have instituted stricter requirements when it comes to operating experience.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.