As an owner of a commercial trucking fleet, you think about safety all the time — the safety of your drivers, your fleet, and your transported goods. One of the ways you protect all three is with commercial trucking insurance. And while the monthly premiums are a significant expense, you can’t do without it.
So how can you lower your insurance costs while making sure you have the coverage you need? Here are eight ways to reduce premiums and still feel good about your commercial coverage:
Purchase newer trucks. Whenever possible, drive trucks less than ten years old with modern equipment. A lot of preferred truck insurance providers will have underwriting guidelines that relate to the age of the power unit. Newer units have fewer mechanical issues, which helps keep CSA scores low, which in turn helps the cost of insurance to remain low.
Plan routes carefully. Map out routes for your vehicles that avoid high-traffic metro areas or areas that could pose potential hazards. Rollovers continue to be a leading cause of physical damage claims for trucking companies. Look ahead for areas that might have tight turns or narrow roadways so that you can mitigate the potential for a rollover.
Employ stable truck drivers. Insurance providers prefer drivers with a steady work history. Also, be sure to verify their employment history and check references. Look for drivers who have multiple years of experience under their belt.
Hire skilled drivers. Drivers with no more than two minor moving violations in three years will qualify for low-cost premiums. Having experienced drivers with limited moving violations will help keep premiums manageable while maintaining proper safety.
Make safety a priority. In addition to new hire training, make annual safety training a part of your workplace culture. Employees should be encouraged and even incentivized to follow safe driving practices. Set procedures for situations that every driver must follow so that your safety program is uniform across the fleet. Consider adding driver- and road-facing cameras to monitor that your drivers stay true to your safety program. Cameras are also an excellent defense to vilify your driver in the event of a catastrophic claim that was truly not at fault.
Monitor your DOT score. Your DOT score through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration greatly impacts your insurance cost. Check it regularly. Often trucking companies will find that they have been given an incorrect violation or are out of service. In this case, promptly file a DataQ so that you can challenge the accuracy of the data.
Join a trucking association. You need to weigh the pros and cons, but trucking associations offer members group or association rates as a membership perk.
Consider a high deductible. If you’ve done all you can to lower your rates using the tips above, the next place to look is your policy. Adjusting to a higher deductible will lower your premiums, but you’ll need to be comfortable with higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.
Trucking insurance is a must — and while it’s not easy to lower your expenses in one fell swoop, these cost-saving tips can help you save. If you’d like to discuss how you can lower your premiums, give us a call today. We’d love to help.
Thomas Wilson Group, LLC is a trucking insurance agency that has specialized in the trucking and transportation industry for 18 years. If you are interested in how we can find you the best trucking insurance coverage at a competitive price, call our office today! We would love to speak with you!