You want to save money on your vehicle insurance, but cutting back on coverage isn’t the answer. That definitely holds true for your vehicle insurance. If one of your tow trucks is in an accident, not having the right coverage could cost you twice: not only will you have to pay to get the truck repaired, you’ll also lose out on jobs while it’s in the shop.
Instead of scrimping on coverage, think about these other ways to save:
Consider raising your deductibles. If you would rather save a little money today but pay more out-of-pocket in the event your vehicles are damaged or stolen, a higher deductible may be right for you.
Keep in mind that driving history influences rates. Run Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs) on potential hires. Your agent can help with this, just make sure to notify your employee(s) first. Also, tow businesses that require larger vehicles and whose drivers hold Commercial Drivers’ Licenses (CDLs) may qualify for pricing discounts.
Think about how you’re going to pay. Some insurers have significant finance charges associated with their bill plans, or don’t have flexibility in payment schedules. Look for companies that offer flexible pay plans, including low initial payments and no finance charges.
Shop around for insurance. One of the easiest ways to save money is to make sure you have a vehicle insurance plan that fits your business’ needs. While commercial auto insurance can seem complicated, understanding the carriers, coverages and services available to you is the key to making an informed decision for your business. Coverages like On-Hook Legal Liability and Garagekeepers Legal Liability are designed specifically for tow businesses:
On-Hook Legal Liability covers towed property, and was recently expanded to cover more than just the vehicle you have in tow. Cargo like equipment or raw materials and select personal items in towed vehicles are now covered if they’re damaged at any time between pick up and delivery. Plus, coverage for transmission and transaxle damage is now included. Limits for this truck insurance coverage are now available up to $100,000.
Garagekeepers Legal Liability covers vehicles being serviced, repaired or stored at up to three business locations. This coverage is also now available in limits up to $100,000.
Also, check with your insurance carrier to see what discounts they offer. Some carriers offer discounts to companies who pay in full, have been in business for more than three years, and more.
Regularly reviewing insurance costs can both save you money and keep your business moving forward. We’ll be glad to help. We can quote competitive tow rates and important tow coverages on the spot with Progressive. Call us today.
Sterling Peaks Insurance
1048 Independent Ave Suite A205
Grand Junction, CO 81505
By Bobby Bates Agent/Owner Sterling Peaks Insurance
Your truck is the backbone that keeps your business up and running. But when it comes to insuring your truck, it can be difficult to distinguish insurance facts from myths. And buying insurance without knowing the facts might cost you big bucks in damages or downtime.
We’ve compiled a number of truck insurance myths and facts. Use them to make sure you have the right insurance coverages for your truck.
Myth: If you're on a motor carrier policy, you're covered.
Fact: Motor carrier policies often provide only liability coverage to owner-operator vehicles on lease, so you need to have your own physical damage coverage. Plus, the motor carrier policy only covers you when you’re driving for work or are under dispatch. So if you have a claim when you’re on a non-business or personal errand, it likely won’t be covered. A non-trucking liability and physical damage policy can protect you and your truck.
Myth: You should have a separate cargo insurance policy.
Fact: Consider adding your cargo insurance as an endorsement on your vehicle policy instead of carrying cargo coverage with a different carrier. If you’re in an accident that damages both your truck and cargo, you won’t need to waste time waiting dealing with two separate companies for your claims. Plus, a cargo endorsement can be less expensive than carrying a separate policy, and one policy means paying just one bill instead of two.
Myth: Downtime following a truck accident is annoying, but won't significantly affect your bottom line.
Fact: If your truck is out of commission for 30 days, your business could only have a 50 percent chance of survival. Make sure that your insurance company will provide a rental vehicle or downtime payments to help you get back on the road quickly following a claim.
Myth: It's cheaper to cancel your insurance for stored vehicles if you have a seasonal business.
Fact: Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. A Comprehensive-only policy provides coverage for businesses that don’t need liability coverage during certain months, but want basic protection against incidents like vandalism, fire, theft, falling tree branches, and hail. This is ideal for vehicles that sit for long periods during the off-season.
Plus, a Comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see proof of continuous coverage prior to offering their best rate.
Myth: All commercial insurance companies provide help with state and federal filings.
Fact: Some insurers won’t cover vehicles that require filings, while others simply don’t have the capability to help you get the filings your business needs. Sterling Peaks Insurance can leverage its truck insurance expertise to provide its customers with filings assistance.
Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.
Fact: Many insurance companies are only available during regular office hours, which can make filing a claim, adding a vehicle to your policy, obtaining a Certificate of Insurance, and paying bills inconvenient. Before you buy, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re available when you need them.
Wonder if one of your perceptions about truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to Sterling Peaks Insurance. We can answer those questions and help you determine which coverages are right for you.
Not all auto insurance is the same. A personal auto insurance policy generally won’t cover damage to your car if you’re using it for business purposes.
Even if your personal policy has “business-use” coverage, you may find yourself at a loss when an accident happens, especially if your liability limits are not high enough to cover the damage. Make sure you’re protected.
Call your insurance company or independent agent and ask these questions:
Even real estate agents may qualify. Fall in to one of these categories? Consider a commercial vehicle policy.
Here are some questions to ask to determine if commercial auto insurance is right for you.
You may also a need commercial auto policy if your vehicle hauls tools or equipment weighing more than 500 pounds, makes deliveries, or requires filings for interstate for for-hire trucking businesses.
Sterling Peaks Insurance can help you better understand business needs and put together a package that meets your needs. Visit us at www.SterlingPeaksInsurance.com.
Seven Tips From Sterling Peaks Insurance To Keep Truckers Safe And Protected During The Winter Season
A carpet of fresh snow can be heartwarming when viewed from indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. But for a trucker, that beautiful landscape can mean treacherous roadways.
To prepare for brutal winter weather, here are a few tips from Bobby Bates, Sterling Peaks Insurance Commercial Auto agent manager, to help protect against harm to you or your truck this season:
1. Pull together a winter survival kit for yourself… – Make sure your truck is fully stocked with everything you might need so a stall-out or breakdown doesn’t leave you stranded. Key items to include: a shovel, battery booster cables, ice scraper/snow brush, flashlight with extra batteries, and a space blanket to help prevent heat loss from a person’s body. Additional items might include extra pairs of dry socks and gloves, energy bars or other non-perishable food, bottled water and spare fully-charged cell phone batteries.
2. …AND your truck – Before the cold weather hits, equip your truck with new winter windshield wiper blades as well as winterized washer fluid and fuel. Also make sure that your tires, headlights, cooling system and battery are all in good shape. With all of these precautions, both you and your vehicle will be ready for any snow, hail, black ice or below freezing temperature that you might face out on the open road.
3. Slow down – Give yourself more time to react if something occurs in the road ahead. Compensate for poor traction by driving slower and making all changes slowly and gently.
4. Give yourself extra space in front and behind - To stay out of harm's way in a sudden emergency, increase the distance between you and other vehicles and avoid driving in packs. Normal following distances should be increased to 8-10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.
Look further ahead in traffic than normal to get a split-second extra to react safely. Awareness of other drivers can go a long way this time of year.
5. Keep an eye on the temperature – Be alert to potentially dangerous road conditions. Touch the front of your outside mirror to see if ice is forming. If it’s forming on your mirrors, it’s forming on the road too. Be especially cautious when crossing bridges and overpasses where ice often forms first.
6. Check your favorite station - Listen to the weather forecast before you leave town. If travel seems hazardous, postpone your run.
7. Be ready for the unexpected – No matter how cautious you are, you still need a safety net on the road. Specialized insurance coverages and services designed specifically for truck owners and operators are offered by commercial insurers like Progressive.
Check with your insurance company to see what they offer. Make sure your policy has tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of you and your business, including:
Bottom line: make sure you and your vehicle are safe and covered, even during the coldest and most treacherous winter months.
Sterling Peaks Insurance
1048 Independent Ave Suite A205
Grand Junction, CO 81505
SPI Reflections Blog
Our blog is about educating our customers and the public about important insurance information that we feel is meaningful.