Like taxes, insurance can be confusing. Many carriers, especially smaller carriers without dedicated insurance experts on the payroll, are at the mercy of an insurance provider. They tell the provider what they are looking for, and the provider offers options. But if you don’t know what you need, you might end up without the coverage necessary.
Typically, any business would need liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and vehicle insurance. Trucking companies have specialty needs, such as minimum coverages, cargo insurance, physical damage coverage, non-trucking liability, non-owned trailer liability, trailer-interchange liability, terminal coverage and warehouse coverage. Some or all may apply to your operation.
But do you know what they all mean? For instance, if you have general liability insurance, why might you need physical damage coverage? General liability insurance will usually cover damage caused by your truck while physical damage coverage insures you for damages to your truck.
That is just one of the many questions that come up when you are negotiating for better insurance coverage. Beyond just the type of coverages available – and there are dozens of options depending on insurance provider – there are the choices you make that affect your rates. If you want lower rates, go for a higher deductible, but what happens if you need to file a claim?
Answering these questions is important to getting the best deal you can for your motor carrier which, in some cases, is not the lowest monthly premium.
The Truckload Carriers Association is trying to help carriers solve this problem by partnering with the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation (MCIEF) on a new educational program for those looking to purchase insurance coverage.
The Motor Carrier Insurance Risk Management Program (MCIRMP) is an eight-part online course that will help participants improve their insurance purchasing decisions. Candidates who successfully complete the program will receive the designation of Certified Motor Carrier Risk Specialist.
“By making the commitment to be more knowledgeable purchasers of insurance for their motor carriers, professionals are not only showing their dedication to their own career development, but to the success and profitability of their companies,” said Ron Goode, M. Ed., TCA’s director of education. “Truckload Academy is proud to be the source of such continuing education and professional certification for the trucking industry through the Motor Carrier Insurance Risk Management Program.
The course is divided into modules that cover a wide variety of topics designed to help carriers identify relevant insurance options for their operations. These modules include what types of coverage you need; strategies for obtaining a sound insurance program that provides value to your carriers; how to become better insured; how to prepare for critical situations where major financial loss is possible; and what to consider before purchasing insurance.
“How important is insurance to your trucking company?” asked M. Thomas Ruke, Jr., CIC, CPIA, CWIS, TRS, president of Insurance Business Consultants, Inc. and founder of MCIEF. “It becomes very important when you have to rely on the promise of protection in your insurance policies. Then the promise in the policy might be the most important promise made to your company.”
The program incorporates interactive modules, keywords and phrases, and quizzes. It is available at a discount to TCA members at the association’s Truckload Academy On-demand portal.
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