Whether you run a towing company that employes a whole fleet of tow trucks, are an independent tow truck contractor, or own a garage service that includes towing vehicles, tow truck insurance is a must.
The hazards of the towing industry can vary from inclement weather, as severe conditions can often be a reason for someone needing a tow; to injury from broken glass or jagged edges when attempting to tow a wrecked car; to being at risk of getting hit by passing cars while assisting stranded motorists. Because of these and a number of other general and unique risks, you simply cannot own or operate a tow truck without tow truck insurance.
|Types of Tow Truck Insurance|
|Liability||Covers any damage or injury that you or any of your drivers cause in your truck; usually includes bodily injury coverage and property damage|
|Physical damage||Covers any damage done to your tow truck; usually includes both collision coverage for damage from accidents and comprehensive coverage for damage from other causes like theft or natural disasters|
|Medical payments||Covers medical expenses for any injuries sustained by you, your employees, or your passengers in an incident involving your truck; especially helpful as stranded motorists are often given rides by tow trucks|
|Underinsured motorist||Provides extra coverage in the event of an incident that involves an underinsured or uninsured driver whose own coverage is insufficient to cover any damage or injury he or she may have caused|
|On-hook towing||Covers any damage a car may sustain while you’re trying to tow it|
|Cargo||Covers any damage or theft of any property stored inside towed vehicles|
|Garage keepers liability||Covers liability risks for any cars parked in your garage, shop, premises, etc.|
|Umbrella liability||Covers extreme losses, kicking in when an incident causes damage costs beyond your policy limits; if the liability limits available to you don’t seem like enough to cover you against potentially devastating accident expenses, an umbrella policy might be worth looking into|
There are several types of coverage that are applicable to tow trucks. Some of these, such as liability, physical damage, and medical payments, are often included in other commercial truck insurance policies as well. Some, however, are unique to tow trucks, such as on-hook towing and garage keepers liability. It is imperative to be familiar with the different types of coverage so that you can select the exact coverage for your particular business needs.
But even if you know all of the ins and outs of tow truck insurance coverage, obtaining a good deal can still be challenging. Due to the unique risks associated with operating a tow truck, this type of insurance tends to cost more than that of other similarly-sized commercial trucks. Follow the steps described here, and you’ll be able to take advantage of every opportunity to make this necessary business expense much more manageable.
Getting the best rate for your tow truck insurance
Once you have reviewed the different types of tow truck coverage available to you, you can decide what types you need and want and then move on to choosing the least expensive policy!
Step 1: Look for reviews online. One way to find a reputable insurer whose customer service will save you time and money in the long run is to look for reviews written by previous customers. If the company is receiving a lot of good hype and you’ve read about multiple positive experiences from fellow tow truck owners or operators, that company is probably a good bet.
Step 2: Consult with a lawyer or financial expert. Even after you have familiarized yourself with a variety of tow truck insurance coverages, someone with legal or insurance experience—preferably someone who is also knowledgeable about the needs of your business—is in a good position to give you further advice on what coverage is essential for your specific circumstances. If your business has a lawyer or financial adviser on hand, this would be the perfect person to contact.
Step 3: Compare quotes from several different companies. Because prices can vary by company and by specific tow truck insurance needs, it is in your best interest to comparison shop and get quotes from at least three different commercial insurance companies. This will help ensure that you do not overpay for your tow truck insurance.
Also, make sure that each company you contact will in fact insure you and your particular business. For example, not every insurance company that insures tow trucks insures tow trucks that do repossession work.
Step 4: Ask about eligible discounts. Certain factors, such as holding a commercial driver’s license or bundling your insurance policies with one company, can earn you a discount. Take advantage of these wherever they apply.
Step 5: Select a high deductible. Choosing as high a deductible as you can will help you get the lowest possible rate. Be aware, though, that if an incident does occur, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket to cover that high deductible, so be sure that you don’t pick a deductible that you cannot afford.
Step 6: Maintain a clean driving record. Whether your tow truck will be driven by you or by an employee, the driver’s record should be as clean as possible to get the best price on insurance. What’s more, consistently practicing safe and responsible driving will help prevent future accidents in which you are at fault.
At the end of the day, it is far better to be covered for any eventualities than not, and having adequate tow truck insurance will save you a lot of money and hassle when things go awry. But why not also try to get the best possible deal on your insurance rate?