Planning and preparing for unforeseeable circumstances is essential to ensuring peace of mind for yourself and your family. Given the nature of the trucking industry there can be an overwhelming amount of insurance options and products for a truck driver to consider. Every driver will need their own unique combination of coverages and limits, however, there are three main areas which always need to be considered and adequately protected:
1) Insure Yourself
As a truck driver, insuring yourself is essential to protecting your family and business. There are many options available for truckers to choose from including:
Accident and Injury Coverage
Even a minor accident or injury can keep a truck driver off the road for an extended period of time. Although many truck drivers are covered under Workers’ Compensation plans, it’s important to consider coverage to protect yourself and your family 24/7 for on and off the job injuries.
Travel Medical Emergency
If you operate outside of your home province it’s important to carry Travel Medical Emergency coverage to protect against potentially detrimental medical expenses. Even if you are working within Canada, many of your expenses would be covered if you had an accident out of your home province.
Health and Dental
Unexpected visits to the dentist or doctor can get expensive and having coverage in place to ease the financial stress can be very beneficial.
Life insurance is often critical to estate planning and long term financial health as it secures an income for your family in the event of your passing.
2) Insure Your Truck
Your truck is your most important business asset and is an integral part of your insurance plan. The types of coverages you require will vary based on the type of truck you drive and the goods you are hauling.
A Truck Insurance policy provides liability coverage and protects against physical damage to the your truck.
Cargo Insurance covers your liability for the load you are hauling while it’s in transit. This coverage protects against lost or damaged cargo due to causes such as fire or collision.
3) Insure Your Business
Truck drivers often think they are adequately protected once they purchase insurance for themselves and their truck, but ensuring your cash flow and business expenses are covered is equally important. With the high operating expenses Owner/Operators and trucking companies experience, much of the income from an accident and injury policy can go towards paying truck payments and general operating costs leaving very little for a family to survive on. It’s thus imperative truck drivers consider insurance options to protect their business such as:
Business Expense Coverage
In the event of an accidental injury a Business Expense Plan will reimburse an Owner/Operator for business operating costs such as truck payments, insurance premiums, fuel as well licences and permits which often total thousands of dollars.
Deducible Buy Down
Standard deductibles in the insurance industry range between five and twenty five thousand dollars. Paying such a high lump sum can greatly deplete a business’ savings and many Owner/Operators appreciate the peace of mind offered by Deductible Buy Down Insurance.
Anytime a truck is down and being repaired there is lost revenue which can greatly affect a business. Downtime Protection coverage pays a weekly income if your truck is in the shop and provides a lump sum payment should your truck be written off or stolen.
Sometimes combined with truck insurance, Commercial General Liability will cover you for risks associated with your business outside of operating your truck and is an important coverage to have in place.
Your insurance broker is a great resource to help you sort through your coverage options and what limits you should have. When purchasing any insurance it is important to work with a reputable broker which has experience working in the trucking industry. For over 25 years National Truck League has been providing industry leading coverage and peace of mind to Owner/Operators across Canada. We are always pleased to provide a needs analysis to our clients to help ensure they have adequate protection for themselves, their family and their business.