If it wasn’t for semi-trucks, the modern economy would grind to a halt. These impressive (and expensive) vehicles haul the nation’s cargo from ports and depots to retailers, manufacturing facilities and end-consumers.
However, semi-trucks and cargo present their owners with substantial risks. Damage to either could potentially run into thousands (or millions) of dollars, representing a significant loss.
Fortunately, semi-truck and cargo insurance is available. This special product specifically covers the losses that truck operators are likely to encounter. It provides money in the event that trucks, or the goods they transport, are damaged while in transit.
Some operators avoid semi-truck and cargo insurance because they believe that their regular insurance will cover it. However, this is often false. Vehicle insurance won’t usually cover cargo unless there is a specific clause in the policy saying that it does.
So, should you insure your semi-truck cargo?
Yes, Because You Sometimes Live in the Semi-Truck
Insurers tend to be quite fussy regarding the conditions under which they will insure cargo. They may cover it under a conventional policy while the vehicle is in motion. However, they may not when it is at rest (for instance, when you are sleeping in it).
If that’s the case, then your regular insurance may not be sufficient to protect against losses in all situations. Thieves, for instance, could break into the semi-truck while you are resting and you might not be allowed to claim it back.
Yes, Because You can Easily Damage Cargo
As any seasoned truck operator will tell you, cargo damage is a real risk. During transit, goods can knock against each other, despite your best efforts to protect them. Thus, a single journey can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
This is particularly true when you want to transport valuable equipment and components. Transporting these goods represents a serious risk. Could you afford to replace them if you damaged them during transit?
Check if it’s Insured by Your Employer
If you have a formal employer, check with them first to see whether they cover the cargo. If they don’t, then you could be personally liable for any lost goods during transit.
If you work with multiple clients, having your own insurance is vital. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are having to turn down work, just because some of your haulage customers don’t have the proper insurance.
Employees of well-established trucking companies still need to double check corporate insurance policies. Check that you’re not personally financially responsible for the integrity of the cargo and make sure that your personal liability is as low as it can possibly be.
Also, find out the limit of the insurance policy. Mostly, these will be high enough to avoid any personal liability. However, sometimes policy owners can set them too low for the kind of risks they face. Double check with your employer the total liability (usually in the millions of dollars). Check that any likely losses will remain under this threshold.