If you’re a trucker, you face a lot of risks. Some of them are pretty apparent – getting into an accident, facing severe weather, something going wrong with the truck itself. But one risk that might not be so clear is the loss of your cargo. For-hire truckers don’t own the cargo they’re hauling, and that means that their standard liability policies may not cover the load they’re transporting if something happens to it en route to its destination. Cargo can be very valuable, and you might be responsible for very high losses if your cargo is damaged. (Not to mention that your relationship with your clients could be damaged.) That’s where cargo insurance can come to the rescue. We’ll explain how cargo insurance works.
What is cargo insurance?
Cargo insurance can help you cover liability for the goods you carry, so if you face a loss like a fire, theft, a crash, or a collision that damages your cargo, you could be covered. It can also help you cover the costs of removing debris from public roads, which is helpful as these expenses can be very high. And it can help with the costs of preventing further damage to the cargo in question and with legal defense costs that you might face.
Basically, truckers probably should consider cargo insurance to cover the liability they face from transporting goods. (You may also be required to carry cargo insurance if you do interstate commerce, and other state and federal laws about carrying cargo insurance may apply to you. It’s important to be aware of any legal requirement you have to carry cargo insurance so that you know you have the coverage you need to transport your load legally.)
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How much does cargo insurance cost?
The value of the loads you typically haul is, of course, dependent on the cargo you’re carrying. That means that your premium and the amount of cargo insurance you need depend greatly on the cargo itself. Other factors that go into the cost include details about your business and the number of vehicles you have.
To find out how much cargo insurance you need and how much it might cost, the best thing to do is to get truck insurance quotes. We can help you get multiple quotes so you know you’re getting the coverage you need to protect yourself from risk. You can get started with quotes by filling out our online quote form or giving us a call today – our team of transportation insurance experts would be happy to help you get the truck insurance you need.
Considerations about cargo insurance when you’re working with clients.
Like we mentioned above, for-hire truckers don’t own the cargo they’re hauling – the client does. That’s why some clients might require you to have cargo insurance as part of your contract.
When you’re working with clients, it’s really important for you to agree on a mutual value of the cargo so you know how much insurance you need to cover your risk. If the goods are damaged while you’re transporting them and your policy doesn’t provide enough coverage, you could be responsible for the remaining costs. And those costs could become very high when you consider the value of the goods you’re hauling.
It’s also essential that you ensure that the client’s declarations are accurate – errors could lead to a claim being denied.
Are there any exclusions in cargo insurance policies?
When it comes to cargo insurance, it’s always important to read the policy carefully. (Business insurance, commercial auto insurance, physical damage insurance – this applies to any insurance, really.) That way you’ll know exactly what’s covered and what’s not covered – and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. You need to know what losses are excluded under your cargo insurance policy…preferably before you face a loss that you assume will be covered only to find out that it isn’t.
The following are typically excluded from cargo insurance policies:
- Goods that have been stored in the transporter’s warehouse for over 72 hours
- Shipping containers
- Garbage trucks
- Passenger vehicles (ex. Buses and limos)
- Cargo such as art, jewelry, money, paper, animals, contraband, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, explosives, radioactive materials
So, that’s the deal with cargo insurance. It can help protect you from liability if the cargo you’re hauling is damaged by losses such as fire or collisions, and it can also protect you if the cargo is stolen. It’s important to make sure that you have the cargo insurance you need so you can hit the road with peace of mind.
If you need truck insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you find the policy that’s right for you. Just give us a call or fill out our online quote form and we’ll be happy to help you get insurance – and we’ll make the insurance process easy.