Avoid Common Pitfalls with Your DOT Number

With trucking insurance, your DOT Number can make or break you. Several factors influence your insurance rates, but your DOT score plays a significant role. Issues in SAFER listings and out-of-service (OOS) orders can cause trouble for trucking businesses.

Here are a few considerations so that you can ensure that your DOT Number isn’t working against you.

Considerations about your DOT Number.

1. Prioritize Safety to Avoid Out-of-Service Orders

Out-of-service orders can significantly impact your insurance rates. These orders typically stem from safety or compliance issues. As a trucking business manager, it’s essential to stay informed about the condition and compliance status of your fleet. Your drivers need to prioritize safety, as a strong safety record indicates a lower risk of claims to insurance carriers, potentially lowering your rates.

Excessive OOS orders can make it challenging to secure trucking insurance. Many carriers may deny coverage if your business has numerous OOS orders, limiting your options. Even if you find coverage, it will likely be very expensive, potentially threatening the sustainability of your business.

2. Ensure Accurate FMCSA Listings

It is also very important to make sure that all of your listings with the FMCSA (for example, in SAFER) are accurate. An especially important piece of information to verify is what commodities you have checked off in SAFER for what you haul or transport. There are a few reasons why this is so crucial.

First, you will likely need to have your listings all set up properly to get approved quotes from insurance carriers. That’s a big reason to make sure all of your information is accurate in SAFER. It helps as you’re going through the process of getting truck insurance quotes.

Another reason it’s important to be careful with your SAFER information is that having your list of commodities right can help you get the right coverage. Having the correct coverage is key. A claim could be denied if something happens while you’re hauling something the insurance company didn’t know you would be hauling. (For example, if you’ve checked off that you’ll be hauling dry goods and then a car falls off the back of your truck.)

The point is that it’s really important to have the right coverage to protect your business. (To give an example, if you’re hauling refrigerated goods, it’s essential that you have reefer breakdown coverage for that.) You can haul cars or refrigerated goods, but you need to have the proper coverage to do that so that your business is protected. Though insurance might feel invisible, it’s doing its job in protecting you every time you hit the road.

3. Stay Updated on Regulations

It’s also really important that you keep up-to-date on FMCSA regulations. Knowing the current regulations that you have to follow can help you avoid things like OOS orders and other violations. Compliance is key to maintaining a clean DOT Number and keeping your vehicles on the road.

4. Monitor Your Online Presence

Your online presence, including your business website and social media, should accurately represent your operations. Insurance underwriters may cross-check this information against your SAFER listings. Inconsistencies could raise red flags, potentially impacting your insurance rates.

5. Severity Weighting and Checking DOT Status

Another aspect to consider, severity weighting is what impacts your DOT score based on the severity of violations you receive. Regularly check DOT status to stay informed about your current standing and address any issues promptly.

By focusing on these areas, you can ensure your DOT Number supports your business rather than hinders it.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a clean DOT record can positively influence your trucking insurance rates. Focus on safety to avoid OOS orders and ensure all your FMCSA listings are accurate. Keep your business information consistent across all platforms to present a clear and accurate representation. Your insurance is there to protect you, but it needs to match your actual operations to be effective.




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