July 20, 2016

Identifying Sound Hazmat Transportation Insurance

Similar to any other industry, there are risks that have to be managed by trucking operations. A huge part of managing these risks is having the right insurance coverage. However, in contrast to a number of other businesses, trucking is both a way and an industry for managers of fleets and owner/operators alike. For this reason, it is extremely essential that truckers have insurance from a company that has in depth knowledge of the particular needs of this segment of the transportation industry.

If your job involves transporting hazardous materials, it becomes tremendously important to ensure you are protected by the right insurance coverage against the associated risks of hauling this kind of cargo. Hazmat trucking insurance is designed to take care of these particular needs. This type of coverage is also referred to as hazardous materials insurance. Combustible gasses like certain chemicals, diesel fuel and gasoline and substances like fertilizers can be extremely dangerous to transport. This is especially true if an accident should happen. As such, special insurance attention is required when dealing with this type of haulage.

In fact, hazmat trucking insurance is typically required by law in varying amounts. The required amount usually depends on the cargo being hauled by a particular trucking business. There are professional insurance agents who are willing to help with designing a policy that adheres to the regulations as they regard the type of cargo being hauled. They will also strive to design a policy that will fit within the budget of the trucking company or individual trucker.

It should go without saying that driver safety must come first. This is particularly true when hazardous materials are being transported. There are some additional restrictions on potentially dangerous freight regarding the manner in which it can be transported. It is tremendously important for trucking companies and their drivers to be fully aware of these terms. With the knowledge and experience of an experienced and knowledgeable insurance agent, you can get the help you need to safeguard against the risks associated with hauling cargo that contains materials that could be detrimental if an accident occurs.

Types of Coverage Available for Hazmat Transportation Insurance

Below are some of the components and features of a well-designed hazmat trucking insurance policy. The types of coverage include:

• Excess Liability

This provides an extra layer of liability coverage. This coverage goes beyond the primary liability limits of hazmat truckers insurance; up to $50,000,000.

• Pollution Liability

This provides support for cleanup expenses that result from an accident. It includes damages that arise from discharged pollutants that are owned, on, in, being transported by, unloaded from or loaded to a covered vehicle. This provision should be contained in every well-designed hazmat trucking insurance policy.

• Hazmat Truckers General Liability

This provides liability coverage for wrongful delivery of liquids and other non-trucking related claims. This is typically required by contract.

• Collision and Comprehensive

This is designed to safeguard tractors and trailers against collision. It also provides coverage from causes of loss such as overturn, fire, vandalism and theft.

• Combined Deductibles

This coverage enables you to pay a single deductible if a loss takes place that involved both cargo and physical damage.

• Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments

As suggested by the name, this provides coverage for the payment of medical and other related expenses. For example, it covers medical expenses incurred from injuries to the passengers and driver of the vehicle during an accident, irrespective of who is at fault.

• Loading and Unloading

• This coverage provides protection for the cargo while material is being unloaded from or loaded onto the rig.

• Downtime

Downtime coverage can be added to your physical damage policy. This will provide further protection against loss of income if a covered loss has taken place. This type of coverage can assist you in keeping on top of bills like your truck payments if a covered loss has rendered your vehicle inoperable over an extensive period of time. The majority of insurance carriers provide downtime limits at a value of $100 for each day up to 35 days. This is usually subject to certain policy restrictions.

• Truck Rental Reimbursement

A comprehensive loss or a collision is not an automatic indication that you have to stop working. When a truck rental reimbursement coverage is added to a physical damage policy, you will be able to rent a replacement trailer and truck. You will also be able to recover a large part of the cost of renting the vehicle from your insurance provider.

• Loan or Lease Gap

From time to time, trailers and trucks depreciate more rapidly than the equipment financed value. This type of coverage is especially designed to assist in ensuring that a total vehicle loss will not leave you out in the cold on your loan or lease.

Tips on Identifying a Good Hazmat Insurance Provider

• An insurance company with market clout will be able to secure the most economical terms on your policy.
• The insurance provider you choose should be able to offer a customized analysis of your SMS/CSA scores. They should also be able to make recommendations on ways in which you can reduce your scores.
• They should also be able to assist you with DOT Safety and compliance.
• The chosen provider should offer certain incentives like a discounted cost on dash camera systems from their network of providers
• They should provide drivers with MVR and PSP (Pre-Employment Screening Reports)
• A good hazmat trucking insurance provider offers online access 24 hours a day to certificate of insurance. Additionally, they should be able to send a certificate anytime and anywhere.
• Your insurance provider should intelligently and accurately handle policy changes and do so in a timely manner.
• They should provide a dedicated safety engineer to work along with you to decrease frequency of accidents and claims.
• When renewal time comes around, your provider should work with you to get the most competitive terms available.

When comparing quotes for hazmat transportation insurance, you should never base your insurance decision on the cost alone. Normally, when individuals purchase a product, the majority look for the lowest cost. If everything else adds up, that is usually the one that is purchased. However, it makes no sense to buy insurance at lower if rates timely service cannot be provided by that company. The lower premiums will not do you any good when you cannot get loaded because of problems with your insurance.

The same is true for cases in which a claim cannot be covered because a “subprime” policy was sold to you by your insurance agent. You should also bear in mind that your actual proposal could vary depending on age of driver, location, MVR and other underwriting factors.

Allow a reputable and professional insurance agent to help you with figuring out the best coverage for the type of hazardous materials you haul. Many of the risks faced in the commercial trucking industry are unique, immediate and should never be overlooked or undermined. Contact a reputable insurance company today and get started by filling out one of their free quote forms for hazmat trucking insurance.