Step 6) Be Selective - Agent & Its Company
Choose The Best Agent For Your Trucking Fleet Insurance
"If you don't know your jewels, know your jeweler"
So how can you be sure you've chosen the right agents to compete on your fleet insurance program? First off, ask around. You probably have respected competitors who will give you their honest assessment of vendors– Including insurance agent. It is usually prudent to ask the most successful individuals you know for their advice. After all there are good reasons for success in the trucking business, and one of those reasons just might be they are doing a good job in the insurance buying process. We say this because insurance is clearly one of the largest cost factors in operating any motor carrier.
In addition to referrals from other motor carriers, your own due diligence and gut instincts will usually serve you well. There really are not that many truly expert practitioners in this specialized field. So having done some research on your own and asked around for advice you should have a short list of potential agents. Now it's time for you to put them to the test. Create a short list of questions – just three to five is all should take. Ask each agent the same exact questions to get a fair comparison. Question them closely on their experience in the industry; how many trucking clients they have how many trucking insurance companies they represent and it's always fair to ask them for the names of satisfied customers that you can contact. Be sure to inquire about their service infrastructure. Ask them about their agency CSRs and their claims / safety resources.
As for the insurance companies, there is always some fluctuation in the industry. There are mainstay insurance carriers that have been serving the trucking industry for many years. For the most part, this old guard can serve you well. But not every underwriter will quote every trucker. Underwriting appetites vary from one company to the next. And they change over time. Some companies like to write truckers that are short haul; others prefer the true long-haul exposures. Some insurance companies have underwriting parameters that prohibit certain motor carriers by their class of business. i.e. No tankers or flat-beds. Some like to quote companies that have had some accidents recently thinking these truckers have ‘gotten religion’ because of unfortunate claims experience and thus are likely to be working harder on making their company safer. Some underwriters only want to quote on trucking risks that are ‘squeaky clean.’ It can be pretty tough for people outside the industry to have a good feel for the appetites of the various trucking insurance companies. This is one of the reasons why you need a good ‘jeweler’. Because submitting the wrong risk to the wrong company is a waste of everyone’s time.
New entrants into the trucking insurance industry are not infrequent. We don’t have to tell you that truckers pay high insurance premiums. These large premiums are oftentimes attractive to insurance carriers who are looking to grow their premium volume. But some of these newer players may not have the underwriting, safety and claims adjusting expertise you need to get your best value. It’s also not uncommon for established trucking programs to exit the trucking niche when they find consistent underwriting profits elusive. It is a tough fact of life: truckers (and their insurance companies) are often compelled to pay terrifically high payouts for bad accidents. So the trucking insurance business is not for hobbyists. It’s obvious but it really can’t be overstated, you need a solid company and an expert agent to get your best deal.