Have you ever wondered what stands between the bustling highways and the safety of truck drivers? The answer lies in a vital shield - truck insurance. Picture this: a massive truck hurtling down the freeway, carrying valuable cargo, suddenly, a mishap occurs. In this case, the safety net that ensures the trucker's livelihood and the cargo's security is truck insurance.
In this blog, we’ll explore truck insurance types, costs and how they protect against the common causes of truck accidents. So, let’s delve into the world of truck accident insurance and its significance in curbing the risks of truck accidents:
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Numerous lives are lost yearly, and countless people sustain severe injuries in truck accidents. However, the question remains: Why do truck accidents happen? What factors typically contribute to such accidents? Here, I've mentioned some of the most common causes of truck accidents
Truck drivers often face the pressure of extended work hours. Some disregard the legal requirement to take mandatory breaks. A drowsy truck driver is undoubtedly one of the gravest dangers.
Engaging in distracted driving isn’t only illegal but also highly irresponsible. A mere few minutes of texting or diverted attention from the road can lead to substantial property damage and, worst of all, multiple fatalities.
FMCSA defines that commercially licensed drivers must adhere to a blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.04%, half that of other drivers with a 0.08% limit. Alcohol consumption is prohibited for truck drivers within 4 hours of driving their commercial vehicles. Therefore, driving under the influence is classified as one of the truck accident causes.
Reckless driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding significantly heighten the likelihood of truck accidents.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Large vehicles like commercial and delivery trucks can cause extensive harm to smaller passenger cars due to their size and weight. Legal mandates dictate that truck drivers and trucking companies maintain their vehicles in good repair. They must rectify issues before the vehicle returns to the road.
Rough Weather Conditions
Icy roads, snow, rain, smoke, and fog threaten safe driving conditions and tire traction. Trucks might slide into adjacent lanes, collide with guardrails, or veer off the road entirely. Tractor trailers could jackknife, crash, sideswipe other vehicles, or even cross into oncoming traffic while attempting to regain control. These scenarios can trigger catastrophic crashes in an instant.
Poor Cargo Loading
Improperly loaded cargo can potentially spill onto the road at high speeds or lead to truck rollovers. The responsibility for loading cargo can vary from the driver to the trucking company or third parties. The truck driver must inspect the shipment before departure.
Unexpected road hazards rank among the most common causes of truck accidents. Roughly one-third of all crashes involving large trucks stem from road-related issues. These problems span from potholes to uncovered maintenance holes and inadequate signage. Such hazards can force trucks to swerve, skid, or overturn, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.
Lack of Proper Training
Truck drivers lacking proper training or experience are more prone to errors, jeopardising other drivers' safety. Commercial truck drivers without adequate training might underestimate the danger of certain driving actions
Negligent Hiring Practices
Trucking companies' negligent hiring practices include insufficient background checks, failure to contact references, etc. Such oversights can lead to hiring drivers who might not possess the required qualifications, compromising road safety.
Commercial Truck Insurance Types
Here are some high-risk commercial truck insurance types and their benefits:
Primary Liability Insurance
The benefits of truck insurance primarily focus on injuries to third parties or damage inflicted upon other vehicles after an accident. However, it doesn’t protect your truck, driver, legal proceedings, and similar factors.
General Liability Insurance
This insurance for trucks includes customer injuries, property damage, and advertising-related liabilities. It serves as a shield for your business against the financial repercussions of lawsuits. Often, this form of insurance is obligatory for leases and contractual agreements.
Physical Damage Insurance
While not legally mandated, this coverage aids in covering the expenses incurred in repairing or replacing damaged tractors or trailers. Notably, it generally excludes coverage for cargo damage, personal items of drivers, tools, electronics, or equipment that isn't permanently attached.
This type of insurance usually handles losses or damages to cargo resulting from collision, fire, severe weather, equipment malfunctions, or theft. However, some types of cargo, like art, jewelry, live animals, and explosive materials, might often be excluded.
Trailer Interchange Insurance
Designed for physical damage to trailers utilized under a trailer interchange agreement, this coverage typically addresses harm due to collision, fire, theft, and acts of destruction.
This insurance coverage comes into play when operating a truck without a connected trailer or semitrailer, also called "bobtailing.".
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
This insurance covers medical expenditures and lost wages for workers with injuries or illnesses. Beyond financial coverage, it safeguards your business from legal actions and ensures adherence to state regulations.
How Much Does the Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
Specialized truckers transporting waste, hazardous materials, or septic materials tend to incur an approximate monthly cost of $650. Contrarily, those involved in transport, hauling vehicles, and various commodities are typically required to carry insurance averaging around $ 1,000.
However, insurance for trucks exceeding 26,000 pounds is $50,000 to $300,000, with the precise cost according to the truck's weight class. On average, a large truck collision resulting in a fatality incurs a staggering cost of $3.6 million per crash. In collisions causing injuries, the expense amounts to nearly $200,000 per crash. When considering the whole truck accident insurance, the mean cost is around $91,000 per crash.
Factors Affecting the Average Cost of Truck Insurance
Commercial truck insurance costs may vary due to the following factors:
Size of Operations
The scale of your trucking operation directly influences the insurance cost. A larger fleet of insured trucks translates to higher premiums for truck insurance.
Location of Business
Truck insurance expenses exhibit variation from state to state. Operating across state lines escalates the exposure to risks, leading to increased insurance rates. Conversely, lower exposure correlates with lower rates.
Type of Cargo Hauled
The nature of the cargo carried holds significance. Lightweight cargo typically sustains less damage compared to heavier loads during accidents. Higher-risk cargoes command higher insurance rates. Transporting hazardous materials necessitates specialized coverage, such as hazmat insurance.
Type and Size of Vehicles
Older truck models tend to carry higher premiums due to increased repair and maintenance needs compared to newer counterparts. Furthermore, older trucks are often more susceptible to severe damage in accidents.
Past Accident Records
The driving history of truckers, including their involvement in past accidents, significantly impacts insurance costs. A history of reckless driving, traffic violations, or accidents leads to elevated premium rates.
Level of Coverage and Deductible
Opting for more comprehensive coverage options results in higher premiums. Additionally, selecting a lower deductible increases the insurance rate. Balancing coverage needs with deductible choices is pivotal in managing insurance costs.
Reliable Truck Insurance in Los Angeles!
Regarding commercial truck insurance in Los Angeles, we’re a leading provider in offering a comprehensive array of tailored plans. Our truck insurance perfectly aligns with your business requirements while being mindful of your budget. We can cover auto accidents, cargo losses, pesky injuries, and regulatory intricacies. Think of us as your dependable co-pilots, guiding you through the unexpected terrains of trucking risks.
As we've explored the common causes of truck accidents and the role truck insurance plays, it's evident that proactive measures are the bedrock of a secure journey. Understanding the causes of truck accidents and insurance costs allows you to navigate the highways with vigilance and assurance. Remember, accidents are often unforeseeable, but the preparedness provided by proper insurance coverage is a steadfast guardian against their consequences.