Will having several insurance agents work on your quote help you save money? Many truckers believe this is the case. We receive daily calls from them seeking ways to reduce their insurance premiums. However, this is a misconception. While competition is healthy, it may not necessarily lead to a lower premium for truckers, whose industry depends heavily on their insurance programs. It's crucial to remember that insurance cost isn't the only factor to consider when it comes to insurance programs, especially for the trucking industry. Therefore, it's essential to focus on other factors that can impact your insurance program's overall success.
Just Give Me Your Best Price
Truckers often call us seeking advice on how to lower their insurance premiums. One common belief is that involving multiple insurance agents to bid on a quote will result in a better and cheaper premium. But is this the case? While competition is generally healthy, this approach may not be the best choice for the trucking industry. Insurance programs are crucial for truckers, and focusing solely on cost reduction may only sometimes be the optimal solution. This article will explain why there may be better decisions than bidding with multiple agents to reduce insurance costs for motor carriers.
The Traditional Way
Unfortunately, many trucking companies handle their insurance policy renewal by seeking out 3-4 agents online to obtain quotes. They submit the necessary information and then wait for weeks without a response. With only a few weeks left before their policy expires, they finally receive a call from an agent who claims to be "blocked" from accessing markets due to a prior submission from another agent. The company signs an Agent of Record letter. Still, the insurance carrier cannot provide a quote due to discrepancies between the two agents' submissions. The agent then contacts the company requesting additional information, resulting in further delays. As your policy expiration date draws near, you may be in a frenzy to compare multiple insurance quotes you miraculously receive. This process can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming, leaving you wondering if you are getting the coverage you requested initially. However, even after this bidding frenzy, you may pay a higher renewal rate than what was initially promised. Does this sound familiar?
Details Make A Difference
Trucking companies often make the mistake of treating insurance as a commodity and trying to compare policies based solely on their prices. However, the truth is that purchasing insurance coverage for a trucking fleet is a complex process that you cannot compare to buying office furniture. When multiple agents compete on an account, it can be tempting to think that all insurance policies are created equal, but this is far from true. There is no such thing as an identical insurance policy, and there is no universal coverage that works for everyone. For instance, even when two underwriters quote "cargo," the coverages can differ significantly. One policy may exclude certain types of cargo and have severe coverage limitations. At the same time, the other may broaden coverage with custom endorsements.
Less Competition May Not Mean Better Choices
Although it may go unnoticed, the availability of trucking insurance carriers in the market is dwindling each year. In fact, over the past two years alone, five prominent trucking insurance carriers have withdrawn from the market. As a result, there may not be enough insurance companies to accommodate multiple agents competing for a single account.
The Nature of the Insurance Market
When it comes to multiple agents competing for your insurance policy, a hidden risk is involved. Insurance companies may refuse to offer a quote to either agent or provide a weak one. Underwriters are too busy to participate in practice quoting, which can harm your business. It's essential to choose your agent wisely and assign markets appropriately. Suppose you're not happy with your current agent. In that case, it's best to do your due diligence and find up to two qualified agents specializing in trucking insurance to present your business to assigned insurance companies.
Using multiple competing agents for your insurance needs can result in more work and waste your valuable time. You'll have to contact each agent and provide them with the same information, which can be tedious. Once you receive multiple quotes, you must carefully review and compare them to find the best fit for your company. However, comparing insurance quotes can be challenging even for professionals, and mistakes can have significant consequences. It's important not to go alone and seek help from qualified insurance agents. Additionally, considerable price differences between policies may indicate missing coverage or errors in rating that could result in coverage denial when you need it most.
If you are satisfied with your current insurance provider, it's best to stick with them for your renewal. Engaging with other agents can harm your chances of getting favorable terms. However, if you're unhappy with your current provider and want to consider other options, prequalify prospective agents before making any decisions. Ask questions about their experience with trucking insurance, relationships with underwriters, safety services, and customer service standards. We recommend limiting the number of competing agents to two for your renewal. We suggest marketing your insurance renewal every three years. This can be shortened in the event of significant changes in your company's operations or size. If you're looking for a specialist in trucking insurance, feel free to contact us. We have over fifty years of trucking experience and can genuinely claim to be "truck specialists."