Outside of fuel and truck payments, insurance is one of the biggest expenses for a driver. Being able to find ways to reduce your month premium is a great way to add a little extra money to your pocket. Driver experience, age, upkeep of the vehicle, and the time your operation has been in business are key factors insurance providers use to determine premiums. Below are a few tips on how to get the best truck insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost.
Employ experienced drivers
Years of driving experience is one of the key factors insurance providers use to determine truck insurance premiums. Having more experienced truck drivers implies that your drivers can more easily deal with inclement weather, along with other less-than-ideal operating conditions.
Tip: Hire drivers with at least 2 years of CDL experience.
Consider the age of your drivers
Truck drivers who are very young or very old tend to be involved in more accidents than average, and as a result employing these higher risk demographics will result in higher trucking insurance premiums.
Tip: Hire drivers between 30 and 62 years of age.
Hire drivers with clean driving records
Drivers who have been involved in fewer accidents are less likely to be involved in further accidents in the future. To keep trucking insurance costs down, consider drivers with fewer accidents and violations.
Tip: Hire drivers with no more than 2 minor moving violations in 3 years.
Verify driver employment history
The number of years a driver has worked with different companies is a key factor in determining truck insurance premiums. The chance of an accident is reduced if the driver is experienced with specific routes and equipment.
Tip: Verify each prospective driver’s employment history and references.
Consider your routes
The different routes on which your trucks operate can impact your trucking insurance premium. Factors include population density, frequency of inclement weather, and so on.
Tip: Avoid high-population metro areas like New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Use newer trucks
The age, condition and value of your company’s vehicles are a factor in determining trucking insurance premiums. Upkeep of trucking fleets and recently installed equipment is also a factor.
Tip: Utilize newer trucks (10 years or newer) with modern equipment whenever possible.
Stay in business
Simply staying in business under the same name and maintaining your operating authority will result in lower trucking insurance premiums because new trucking operations are considered more risky to insure.
Tip: Stay in business and don’t change or revoke your operating authority.
Keep a clean DOT safety record
Your DOT safety record includes your owner-operator or fleet DOT safety rating, Safestat and Inspection, Selection (ISS-2) scores, violations, and so on.
Tip: Monitor your DOT safety record and maintain a good standing.
Employ other safety features / programs
Employing safety features like warning stickers, company safety programs and driver safety training shows insurance providers that safety is important to your organization.
Tip: Periodically evaluate the safety features your trucking operation employs.
Consider a higher deductible
If you’ve addressed the factors above and are still seeking lower premiums, adjusting your policy is the next place to consider. A higher deductible will result in a lower trucking insurance premium, but you’ll incur higher upfront cost in the event of an accident.
Tip: Use a deductible of at least $1,000 -- consider a higher deductible such as $2,500.
Choose the right insurance agent
Last but not least: not all insurance agents are created equally. Consider an agent with access to many insurance carriers and specializing in trucking insurance in particular. Choosing a trucking insurance specialist is critical both to getting the right coverage and getting the most value for your dollar.
This article was originally published on eCapital.com.