When Do Trucking Operations Need Hazmat Insurance?

Trucking operations already have enough risk on their plate when it comes to making sure to keep liabilities low. Lost or stolen cargo, disrupted schedules, mechanical issues, damaged goods, and more are all in a day’s work for trucking professionals from road to road. But what if you’re handling hazardous materials that need their own special care? Transporting this kind of cargo brings the need to not only drive and transport cargo with more care but to cover the greater risk and environmental issues those loads pose with more specialized truck insurance.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Transportation (DOT) all work together to keep regulations around transporting hazardous materials tight and strictly observed. And with more than 1.5 billion tons of hazardous materials being moved back and forth each year either by truck, train, boat, or aircraft, there’s risk coming from all angles. For trucking companies, specifically, there is special truck insurance that can cover this kind of operation to keep everyone safe on the road.

What are hazardous materials?

Hazardous materials are substances that can be poisonous, flammable or explosive, causing harm to the environment and communities that come in contact with them. Hazardous materials on trucks include items such as radioactive materials, gases, flammable solids, organic peroxides, poisons, combustible liquids, and more.

Also, items that don’t seem as hazardous or harmful as those listed above are considered hazardous as well. These items include adhesives, paint, and fertilizers.

Insurance Requirements and Penalties

Special truck insurance coverage is required in order to haul explosives and other hazardous materials since there is an inherent danger built in. Hazardous materials truckers are required by law to carry between $1 and $5 million in hazmat insurance coverage depending on the cargo that’s being hauled around.

With that in mind, an emphasis is put not only having insurance to cover the trucker and trucking operation in the event of an incident but on staying in line with regulation. If there is a failure to comply with truck insurance needed or other hazmat regulations, then you could face major fines or even jail time. Plus, with hazmat violations on your trucking record, insurance policies will end up being much higher.

What Does Hazmat Insurance Cover?

A hazmat truck insurance policy covers liability for things like site clean up, loading and unloading incidents, in-transit accidents, contamination, and pollution clean up, medical payments and personal injury claims, and lost income or downtime. Trucking Companies usually consider umbrella, or excess liability, coverage on top of existing, or primary, liability policies.

Hazmat/Hazardous Insurance Rates

There are a number of issues that can influence the amount of money that trucking companies have to pay for a hazmat/hazardous truck insurance policy. If there are previous hazmat violations, the insurance rate will likely be higher. To keep insurance rates low, make sure that all hazmat regulations are followed. Additional price influencers include having any gaps in coverage, the type and quantity of hazmat carried, as well as previous accidents or a poor driving record.

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.