Truck Insurance Explained

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There are 450,000 heavy trucks traveling across the 810,000 km of road systems in Australia, delivering and transporting goods. In the event of an accident, it's important to make sure your heavy truck is properly insured to protect you and your business against liability and loss.

Who is a potential candidate ?

Whether you are an owner driver or your business operates a fleet of heavy trucks, you'll need to carry insurance for the vehicle. Truck cover can protect against loss of your heavy truck and pay for damage to the load it is carrying as well as people, vehicles and property injured in the event of an accident.

What typically does it cover?

Heavy truck insurance is available as comprehensive or liability. Comprehensive covers replacement of a new truck within the first two years. It also includes signwriting, artwork and other accessories like gates and chains on the truck, and up to a limit of $10,000 to clean up a load after an accident. Trailers that are not owned may be covered by a comprehensive policy, typically up to $50,000.

Liability, whether packaged with comprehensive or purchased on its own, typically covers personal injury and damage, including load damage, up to $25-30 million.

What typically does it not cover?

The standard comprehensive policy does not typically provide good cover for dangerous or hazardous goods, offering a very small $250,000-$1 million. Also, some insurance companies only cover non-owned trailers for liability, not comprehensive. This can leave you responsible to pay for the loss out of your own pocket if the trailer is stolen, damaged or lost.

Additional coverage that policy holders might take out in this area

There are many additional products you will want to ask about, depending on what you haul. For example, if you offer earthmoving services, you'll want to obtain special coverage for that activity. You may also want to look into down-time insurance, to help cover income loss during times of slow business. If you have a fleet, additional insurance is available to cover other vehicles and heavy equipment necessary to keep your fleet and the goods you carry moving, such as forklifts and cranes.
If you're carrying hazardous goods or materials, make sure you have extra coverage beyond the small dollar amounts on your comprehensive policy. Some insurers offer options such as cover for legal costs related to an accident, employer indemnity, extra liability coverage for leased property, cover for non-standard accessories, and payment of your truck finance bill in the event of an accident that results in total loss of your vehicle.

What will it typically cost?  

The cost for truck insurance depends on several factors: the size, weight and age of the truck, the typical distance the truck is traveling, and what it is typically carrying. Insurance policies differ in price from company to company, so taking the time to research what's offered will help save you money while getting the best coverage possible.

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