Tag Archives: freight insurance

Owner-Operator Insurance, Do You Have It?

You are now an official owner-operator, the freedom feels great, right? No longer are you stuck with destinations and loads that you can’t make decisions on while in a fleet that is not your own. It’s a big step into the new role, but the opportunities are endless. The time couldn’t have been better if you made the switch, rates are soaring high and capacity is at a shortage. With the shorter capacity, you can now be a little choosier about the loads you plan to take.

Well now that you’re excited to get on the open road, we must hit the brakes and make sure you’re ready with the most important step: insurance. Yep, you heard correct. Insurance is the most vital part of becoming an owner-operator. You need owner-operator insurance just like you have insurance for your car, your health, and your house.

iStock-856730558.jpgHere are the basics that you should know:

Liability Coverage: The ideal place to start when selecting insurance. Minimum levels are $750,000, but the suggested amount can be upwards of $5 million. It’s wise to have a substantial amount in the case of a major accident. The last thing you’d want is to have an accident where you damage someone’s property or harm a person during the course of your business. There have been instances such as this that have occurred in frequented places such as loading docks and truck stops, you never know when something could happen.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This can also can be referred to as “underinsured” motorist coverage. In the event of an accident with a motorist without coverage or with too little coverage, this can ensure you don’t pay for someone else’s oversight of their insurance (or lack of).

Physical Damage Coverage: Just like a car, trucks also depreciate in value. Physical damage insurance will cover the cost of that depreciation should the truck ever be totaled. It will also cover damages or theft on the truck, which takes care of repairs or replacement.

Cargo Coverage: This is a must-have. In the case of cargo being stolen, or your refrigeration fails, or items become loose and get damaged, your covered. Coverage minimum is around $5,000, but it will vary depending on the freight being hauled. Load specific coverage is also an option in a lot of cases, so don’t fret, you have options!

Non-owned Trailer Coverage: Sometimes you may not be hauling your own trailer, that’s where this comes in. This coverage protects you from potential damages that can occur to the trailer hooked up to your truck. It extends to any non-owned trailer that is attached to an insured power unit.

There are additional options that can be combined with your insurance policy that you should inquire with your chosen agency, but these are the most important to your new venture. Be sure to find out what deductibles are available that fit your price range and see what the limits are for your chosen options. Your insurance agent will be more than happy to assist you in creating the most suitable insurance option that fits your requirements, and maybe he/she can save you some money in the process (ask about discounts!).

But in the end, you have the right to choose the best owner-operator insurance to fit your needs and budget. It’s never too late to be safe than sorry. The last thing you need is to have the wrong coverage during an incident and you have to take a loss of your hard-earned money. Congratulations on becoming an owner-operator, we hope you stay safe out on the roads!

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The Importance of Freight Insurance

  • Have you ever received damaged freight? 
  • Has your cargo been lost or stolen?
  • Have you ever been denied on a claim settlement or paid significantly less than the value of your cargo?
  • Would you like to have your claims brought to resolution in a timelier manner?

All types of cargo are transported over-the-road. Shipping insurance provides protection against shipment damage or loss and a shippers’ exposure to financial loss.

In the United States, the most highly sought after freight are pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, apparel, and food. The work of cargo thieves has a rippling effect on the economy.

When freight arrives, the consignee should always inspect the load before the driver leaves. A regulated carrier operating in interstate commerce is liable for freight loss, delays and damage with exceptions made under the Carmack Amendment, 49 USC 14706. The Carmack Amendment was adopted in order to establish a uniform nationwide standard of accountability for freight loss and damage.

An Inbound Logistics article details a theft incident:

What was stolen? A truckload of Nintendo Wii gaming stations that were headed to a Best Buy DC right before Christmas.

How does it affect Best Buy? Best Buy wasn’t able to receive a replacement shipment from the vendor in time to meet its customer’s demands. Those customers went to a competitor to buy the Nintendo Wii, and Best Buy lost sales plus any additional items the consumer would have bought while visiting the store.

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What about the trucking company’s liability? The trucking company involved will most likely be held liable for the loss and have to pay Nintendo or Best Buy for the stolen product. Even if the trucking company has insurance, it might not cover the entire loss based on the policy deductible.

Does that affect shippers? Now, the trucking company might raise rates for future shipments of Nintendo Wii stations to cover its losses. The higher rates passed on to Best Buy, will then be passed on to customers.

Can shippers prevent cargo theft? To avoid theft and protect your cargo, shippers should utilize GPS shipment tracking technology, monitor carrier’s performance and requiring your workers and drivers hauling your freight to stay alert of suspicious activity.

What happens when you need to file a claim? When a claim is filed, an investigation begins following standard policies. For efficient claim handling, a shipper should have the BOL, a copy of the paid freight bill, a copy of the invoice, a copy of packaging slips and the standard claim form.

What are the benefits of shipper’s insurance?

  • Cover your shipment’s full monetary value
  • Reasonable, predictable rates
  • Expedited online claims solution
  • Inbound and outbound coverage
  • Higher level of customer service

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PLS partners with one of the largest global insurance providers with underwriting authority secured 100%. PLS’ shipping insurance insures the full value of your shipment at a very reasonable rate. We provide all risk coverage on domestic shipments. For more information, contact plsinsurance@plslogsitics.com.