Your truck or trailer may be insured for accidents, but what about your cargo? Do you also have coverage for downtime in case you can’t work because your trailer is damaged? These are some of the things that your hotshot insurance or that of your expediter should cover.
Hotshot trucking is a tedious and competitive job but it attracts many because of the potential earnings you could get out of it. It’s important to understand though that there are some risks associated with this job as you have to deal with different types of cargo and spend long hours on the road. Having the right coverage can protect you from most of these risks and save you thousands of dollars on unnecessary costs.
Before we jump into the different types of hotshot insurance coverage, let’s first check the minimum coverage that you’ll need to get to show the shippers and load brokers that you meet the insurance requirements:
- Liability coverage – FMCSA requires $750,000 in liability coverage but many shippers and brokers require $1,000,000
- Cargo insurance – the minimum required is $5,000 but shippers would like to see a higher coverage.
- Physical damage coverage for your truck and trailer – not required but it’s a good idea to consider having this.
What Your Hotshot Trucking Insurance Should Cover
Each hotshot trucking insurance policy is different. What one policy would cover may not be covered by the other policy. It is important that you get the most coverage for your needs at a premium you can afford.
- Physical Damage – Your hotshot trucking insurance protects your tow vehicle and trailer against property damage in case of collision. The coverage should also include damage to other vehicles and stationary objects.
- Vehicle and trailer repair – In case you get involved in a covered accident, the insurance covers the expenses of repairing and replacing not just your vehicle and trailer but also other properties involved if you are at fault.
- Medical expenses – If you suffered injuries due to the accident, the insurance will also take care of the cost.
- Lost wages – In case you can’t work due to a covered accident, your policy should also cover lost wages.
- Cargo – Many hotshot trucking insurance providers also cover for loss or damage of cargo in the event of fire, vandalism, theft, collision and other physical causes.
- Other coverage – Some policies also provide coverage for the tow vehicle and trailer in case of vandalism, fire, theft and other physical causes other than a road accident.
How much does a hotshot trucking insurance cost?
The cost or premium depends on your insurer as well as the extent of coverage you get and for how much. On average, you can get a quote for as low as $5,000 annually and it can go higher depending on how comprehensive the insurance policy is. It’s important to thoroughly review the policy before committing to make sure that you won’t be paying for coverage that your business doesn’t need.
Stand-alone Hotshot Trucking Insurance
For some, getting stand-alone insurance customized for your business needs is a better option than getting a comprehensive one that does not offer the kind of coverage you are looking for. Some insurers may offer the following:
Your cargo insurance should match the type of loads you are hauling. Some cargo insurance companies allow you to temporarily change at a moment’s notice if you come across an opportunity where you have to haul a load you are not normally covered for.
If your business entails hauling multiple types of load on one trailer with multiple Bill of Ladings, each load has to be insured. There are policies designed to handle this while others are flexible enough as long as there is prior notice.
Loading and Unloading Insurance
This is a very useful insurance if you frequently haul high value items. It provides coverage in case the cargo gets damaged during loading and unloading.
Towing and Storage Insurance
This insurance covers you in case your truck or trailer is towed or placed in a storage facility after an accident.
Debris or trash removal after a collision or accident can also be costly and this insurance will help cover the costs.
Earned Freight Insurance
While we don’t want it to happen, in case you get involved in an accident and cannot deliver the load, this insurance will cover your lost income.
Insurance for Medical Payments
We don’t know when the next road accident may happen, but if it comes and you got injured and require medical treatment, this insurance will cover for the costs.
Lease or Loan Gap
This is a special type of insurance that will help pay for your lease or loan in the event that your truck or trailer is totaled while not yet fully paid.
Bobtail insurance is for hotshot drivers who are driving big rigs. The coverage is for the rig when it is not attached to the trailer. The insurance will not cover physical damage to the truck but it will pay the costs associated with liability such as medical bills for injured, legal fees and settlement expenses.
How to Get the Best Coverage at Lower Rate
Comparison is key to getting the best deal when getting hotshot trucking insurance. You’ll need to request for quotes from the insurers and compare policy features and rates. This may not be an easy task but a truly rewarding one once you find the right cover for your needs.