General liability insurance refers to a particular group of insurance auto policies that are designed for trucking needs. Trucking policies begin with significant liability and develop into other additional coverage. When obtaining getting your trucking authority, you first have to get primary liability truck insurance to protect property and people from damages that may emanate from your truck. A driver who wants to drive independently needs commercial auto liability insurance; however, a trucking company’s proprietor should also include truckers general liability insurance. The policy covers common third-party accidents and injuries.
This insurance policy is also referred to as commercial general liability insurance (CGL); it protects your business if you get sued for bodily harm or property damage. You can obtain the insurance as an independent package or combine it with others, such as Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).
What Does a Truckers General Liability Insurance Policy Cover?
• Bodily Injury- If your truck harms someone; the insurance policy pays for lawsuit costs and medical bills arising from a lawsuit. Anyone who slips and falls within your property is also covered under the policy.
• Property Damage – Property damaged by your truck will be fixed or replaced through the general liability insurance policy.
• Accidents caused by the driver in delivery locations – This covers various variables. Still, it covers actions or errors by the truck driver in other premises, such as loading docks or truck stops.
• Advertising Injury – If you make an advertisement and someone other business in the same industry feels that you have copied them, they can claim advertising injury. Just a claim that your advertising is harming your competitor’s business, your legal costs will be covered by Truckers liability insurance.
• Slander/Libel – This lawsuit results from saying something that negatively affects another person’s reputation. This can happen when you mention a competitor’s product when giving an interview; general liability insurance will take care of your legal costs.
What Is Not Covered In General Liability Insurance?
General liability insurance is not a catch-all so it does not cover everything; you can ask for additional endorsements if you want to cover any of the following scenarios.
• Driver Injuries – This insurance policy does not cover your driver; it covers other people who may be hurt due to your driver’s actions or errors. It protects other people by paying for medical bills and damages and protecting you when facing legal action.
Employee illnesses or injuries sustained while working are covered under a different policy; workers’ compensation insurance. This policy provides benefits for the employees when recovering from an illness or injury acquired while working. For example, it covers their medical bills and other expenses incurred during the healing period. This insurance can be obtained from an agency run by the state, a private insurance company, or a monopolistic state fund.
• Vehicle not Classified as Trucks – Just like the insurance title specifies, the policy covers trucks, but not all trucks. Limos, cement trucks, buses, hearses, passenger vans, and ice cream trucks are not covered by the general liability insurance policy.
• Truck Damages – General liability caters for damage costs to others, not your property or truck. Your truck’s insurance needs physical damage coverage; although it is not a requirement by law, it is a wise decision.
• Loss of Cargo – You must transport a minimum of $5,000 cargo coverage; however, truckers often transport cargo with a higher value than the stipulated amount. To cover the extra load value, it would be best to obtain additional insurance coverage.
• Broken Refrigeration Leading to Loss of Product – If the cooling component of a refrigerator breaks down or the entire refrigeration system stops working, general liability insurance will not pay for the loss of cargo or its replacement. You need to take a different type of policy to cover such a scenario.
• Loss of Income due to an Accident – When your truck gets involved in an accident resulting in your business stalling for some time, this policy will not compensate you for lost income. It would be safer to take business income insurance to cover a loss of income.
Bundle Policies That Increase Security and Save Money
A trucking company with a small office or a property can combine general liability insurance and commercial property insurance into a BOP. It is cheaper to purchase a BOP than purchasing separate policies. The following are the requirements for a BOP for your trucking business:• Have a small property
• Your employees are less than 100
• You work in an industry considered to be low-risk
• Your annual revenue does not exceed $ 1 million
• Your business interruption insurance is below 12 months
Why you should Carry Truckers General Liability Insurance
Legal defense fees, court costs, settlements, judgments, and court costs can be costly. If a lawsuit is initiated against your business:• You will require legal counsel; this can go as high as $100 per hour
• If you end up settling the matter in court, the costs can exceed $75,000
• Despite the lawsuits being dropped, you might still spend thousands of dollars.
Your business can spend bills worth thousands of dollars when you include the cost of legal secretaries, administrative work, judgments, or settlements. Taking an appropriate general liability insurance policy will shield your business from these costs.
How to Save Money on General Liability Insurance for Truckers
There is a way to save money in all insurance policies, but you need to remember that cheaper is not always better. A more affordable policy may be lacking some essential components, which need coverage while on the road. Once you identify the type of policy you want, the following are ways to bring down the premiums.• Your drivers should have a flawless driving record
• Increase your deductibles
• Safe driving, speeding tickets affect premium rates
• Conduct seminars and safe driving licenses for your employees
• Keep your payments up-to-date
• Make annual premium payment in full; you will get a discount when you pay it all at once
• Inquire about discounts
• Take time to know about the cargo under transportation and accommodate it accordingly
Who is most suited for General Liability Insurance?
You are not obligated by the law to acquire general liability insurance. But, your business is at risk if you are working without this coverage. Most companies that want to engage with you will require you to be covered, albeit minimally. They will want assurance that your business can endure a lawsuit and still stay in operation as per your agreement. Thus you have to be ready to enter into a written agreement so that it can be filed for future use. In this regard, they would like to see proof of insurance in the form of a certificate of insurance.
Other Insurance Coverages worth Considering for a Trucking Business
Umbrella Insurance – This cost $500-$700, and it fills any gaps that are present in your general liability insurance.
Trailer Interchange Insurance – This is necessary when hauling cargo using another company’s trailer. When purchasing this coverage you are ensuring that you will return the truck in the same condition or insurance will repair the damages that were caused. Note: a contract must be in place for trailer interchange to apply.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist – This is the most affordable insurance coverage but also very useful. It covers damages you may sustain in an accident, and the other party is at fault but is uninsured or underinsured.
Livestock Cargo Insurance – This coverage becomes very useful if the livestock you are hauling sustains injuries, dies, or escapes while in transit.
Hazmat Insurance – Transporting hazardous materials like fertilizers, chemicals, or fuels will require you to purchase this insurance coverage.
In conclusion, purchasing general liability insurance for truckers is a bold move. The insurance policy protects people and property that your truck driver comes into contact within the course of their duties. Take out this policy and shield your business from legal or medical costs that may arise in the future.