There are a lot of reasons why it’s hard for owner-operators to get the best deal possible on their truck insurance. Owner-operators are busy. For one thing, their work requires them to be on the road concentrating on the road ahead, and using two hands. They have loads to deliver—they don’t have loads of time to analyze and interpret various insurance rates on a regular basis to make sure they’re getting the best value for their needs. On top of that owner-operators are businesspeople, responsible for the maintenance and operation of large, expensive, and complicated machinery.
Adding to the difficulties inherent in driving a truck they also must deal with dispatchers at a carrier or freight brokers, and the shipper, and the consignee of the load. Owner-operators are responsible for driving the truck, maintaining the truck, fueling the truck, delivering the load safe and on time to the right place, cleaning the truck, paying the bills.
Add on top the fact that each carrier has their own set of rules, the learning curve of dealing with ELDs, Hours of Service, parking (wherever you can find it), fuel costs, and ever-increasing congestion on the roadways.
So, how excited would you be to also spend your unpaid work time researching expensive truck insurance?
Another disadvantage owner-operators face is that they don’t have added benefit of volume that carriers have. This makes it harder to negotiate for the best possible rates. So then how do owner-operators get the best deal possible for their semi truck insurance? It's pretty simple really.
Jason Coleman, SVP at Reliance Partners, says, “Work with the best. Only work with one or two quality insurance agents or producers. Prices are extremely high, and they are ultimately the same no matter how much the insured shops it. The prices are going to be the same and are not going to drop soon.”
Also, if you decide to get an agent, choose wisely. Let them know you appreciate the hard work they are putting in for you (and yes, it’s harder than it seems). You will get the best deal on semi-truck insurance when the best insurance agent is working as hard as they can for you. That happens when you show them the same respect and appreciation you expect when you are doing your job, and doing it right.
“Stability is also key,” says Coleman. “Do not share addresses, or equipment, or change drivers frequently. People that get the best rates do the most basic things extremely well and do not do anything that is out of the norm.”
He also says to make a plan. “Put your ideas on paper. Know what you want to do and know when you want it to happen. Also, implement a safety plan and driver manual quickly—even if you are the only driver.”
Finally, he advises, “Be Professional: You are your own boss. Be a boss others would want to be work for. Keep ahead of SMS and BASIC violations by being proactive and check your Dataq frequently. There is a lot of bad information out there—don’t let it land on you.”
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