No truck driver wants to consider the possibility of their rig bursting into flames. But, unfortunately, it happens. Fire can be very destructive, and it can gobble up a truck with no problem. The thought of your loyal truck on fire is a scary one. But that’s exactly what happened to four truck drivers last week at an Indiana truck stop.
A fire broke out at a truck stop in Lake Station, Indiana early in the morning. Firefighters were called to the scene, and they found four semi-trucks on fire. It took about 35 minutes for them to contain the blaze. Fortunately, no one was in the trucks at the time of the fire, and no one was injured. The four big rigs, however, were not as fortunate. They were destroyed by the fire.
What questions do we have from an insurance perspective?
Being part of the insurance world, we can’t help but take an insurance perspective when we read news coverage of the incident. We don’t know everything about what happened, the details about the trucks or the drivers, and so on. That’s why we have a few questions about what happened that could make a difference as far as what coverages would come into play.
- Were any of the trucks hauling a load at the time?
The first question that came up for us when considering this incident was whether any of those trucks were hauling a load at the time of the fire. Were any of the trailers filled with cargo? And if they were, whose load were they transporting?
- Who owns the trailers?
The next question is who owns the trailers that the truck drivers were pulling. Did the truck drivers own their own trailers? Were they all operating under their own authority? Does a third party own the trailers? This can play a part in what happens with the insurance claim.
- Was there any environmental damage?
We’re also curious as to whether the fire caused any environmental damage.
- Are the drivers covered by workers’ comp or occupation accident insurance?
Thankfully no one was hurt in this fire and none of the drivers were injured. But we’re still wondering if they’re covered under any sort of worker’s comp insurance or occupational accident insurance.
What coverages would be needed?
In this sort of situation, what coverages would be helpful for these truck drivers? How can these truck drivers recover from the truck stop fire that destroyed their tractor-trailers?
In this sort of situation where fire destroys a truck, these coverages could help cover the costs of the incident:
- Physical damage insurance.
Physical damage insurance is the coverage that can help get a truck back on the road ASAP if it’s damaged. There are two parts to it: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage can help repair or replace a truck if it’s damaged in an accident or by another sort of collision. Comprehensive insurance helps cover a truck if it’s damaged by vandalism, theft, animal strike, falling objects (i.e. trees), or fire. (So, in this situation, comprehensive would be a likely candidate to help out.)
So, in this sort of situation in which a fire destroys a truck, physical damage insurance can help save the day.
- Cargo insurance.
One of our major questions was whether any of these trucks was carrying a load at the time that the fire broke out. Cargo insurance can help cover a load that has been damaged by fire, theft, or collision. The loads that truckers haul can be very expensive, and it could be a big financial loss if something happened (for example, a fire breaking out at a truck stop.) It can also assist with the costs of cleaning up the roadway of debris and of protecting the cargo from further damage after something happened.
- Workers’ compensation insurance.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in this incident and none of the drivers were around (or in) their trucks when the fire started. But what if a driver had been hurt on the job? That’s where workers’ comp insurance can come into play. Workers’ comp helps cover an employee’s medical bills and a portion of their lost wages when they’re injured on the job. That way the employee can get the medical care they need to recover and they don’t have to worry about where the money for the bills will come from. Workers’ comp takes care of them.
We’re of course very glad that no one was hurt in the fire at the truck stop, and we hope that nothing like this ever befalls your trucking business. But the possibility of a fire, accident, theft, and so on is why it’s so important to have the right truck insurance to protect your business.
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