What affects my tow truck insurance premium?

No two businesses are the same. This is especially true when it comes to tow trucks. Your business, whether it’s a tow-truck company or an auto shop, has its own fingerprint, and this fingerprint plays a large part in deciding what kind of insurance you need. And once you find the right coverage for you, there are lots of different factors that go into determining the cost of your insurance premium.

To take some of the mystery out of your insurance rates, here are some details about your business that will impact your premium:

What kind of business you are.

Coverage will vary based on what your business does. Some questions to think about are:

· Do you currently have a contract with a county, state, or insurance company?
· What kind of trucks do you use?
· Do you haul salvage materials?
· Do you haul new and used cars, or only disabled vehicles?
· Do you do repossessions?

The answers to these questions will help you and your agent establish just what kind of business you have and what kind of coverage is appropriate for you. It’s important that you and your agent both know exactly what you want your operation to achieve.

Where you’re based.

The location in which you work makes a difference. The size of the radius in which you operate could also play into your rates.

If your company does repossessions.

Finding insurance for tow trucks can be tricky. Lots of carriers have decided to back away from covering tow trucks due to the high risk associated with the industry. What can make finding coverage even harder is if your tow truck company does repossession work. Many insurance carriers view the risk that goes along with repo work to be too high.

What kind of trucks you have.

The type of trucks at your command is another thing that impacts your coverage. For example, insuring a wrecker is different than insuring a flatbed. The larger the truck, the larger the premium—the logic makes sense on this one. Aside from that, the age and model of your vehicles are also important to your insurance agent.

What you’re hauling.

Your insurance carrier will also look at what you’re hauling. Are you transporting new or used cars? Disabled cars? Salvage materials? Your carrier will most likely recommend on-hook coverage, which protects you if something were to happen to a client’s car while it’s being towed by your truck. The minimum required on-hook coverage is usually $50,000 – $100,000.

Your drivers.

Your insurance company is looking at potential risks. The longer your drivers have been doing what they do, the lower the risk. Your insurance carrier will also want to know about the safety records of your drivers. Are their Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) clean? Safety is a huge concern, and for good reason. Distracted driving, speeding, and unsafe driving habits are all major risks, so it’s important to make safety a priority by taking measures to implement good driving habits. Some things that companies can do to increase safety are to have monthly meetings, conduct weekly check-ins with drivers, and install GPS devices that detect speed in the trucks.

How long your business has been around.

This is along the same lines as evaluating your drivers. The longer your company has been in business, the more history is available for your insurance company to review. Many carriers are hesitant to write companies that have been around for less than two years. However, newer companies can benefit from having clean loss histories. We’ll talk more about loss histories in a bit.

If clients’ cars are kept on your premises.

Sometimes you might be required to keep a customer’s car at your shop. However, this creates an additional risk. To make sure that you’re covered if anything were to happen to your client’s car while it’s in your care, your carrier might recommend garagekeepers coverage. Garagekeepers coverage protects you if something were to happen to a client’s car while it’s on your property.

For example, it would cover you if someone were to break into your shop and damage or otherwise vandalize a client’s car. Since your customer most likely wouldn’t be very happy if a mischief-maker spray-painted their car while it’s in your shop, it’s best to be sure you’re protected.

Loss histories.

A loss-run history shows a list or record of all claims made on your commercial policy. Your loss history can affect your rates and the carriers willing to write insurance for your company.

Yes, there’s a lot that goes into making sure that your tow truck business has the right coverage. There are many factors that influence your rates. Our InsuranceHub agents are experienced when it comes to covering tow-trucks, and we respect the hard work it’s taken to get your business to where it is. Talk to one of our agents today to get a quote and to discuss your business—we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about your insurance.

*We would like to extend special thanks to Logan Hooks, Account Executive for Commercial Lines (and one of our agents on tow-truck insurance), for his contributions to this article.