Car carrier and car hauling is big business. There’s always a need to move vehicles across the state or country without putting undue wear and tear on the vehicle. That’s where commercial truck car carrier services come into play. Millions of cars are sold and shipped every year, all adding up to an industry that is worth nearly $5 billion. But that big business can come with high costs. Car carriers and their commercial trucks are exposed to unique costs that can quickly add up to devastate a local company.
Forerunner Insurance Group recognizes the unique challenges you as a car carrier owner and operator face. The importance of having proper insurance for your car carrier commercial truck or vehicle fleet cannot be understated. As Florida’s Top Rated Local® commercial insurance provider, we’re here to help tailor an insurance policy that covers you in the event that your business experiences the common and uncommon hazards of car carrier service.
Commercial trucking is a difficult business and takes hard work and commitment on the part of the business owner and their employees to be successful. But as a car carrier trucking service, you’re facing challenges and risks unique to your industry. Not only are you operating your own commercial truck, you’re also hauling another valuable vehicle. Without the right insurance policy, any of these risks can take a toll on the finances of your business.
Damaged loads are perhaps the most common risk associated with car carrier services. Any time a vehicle is being moved, there is a high possibility that they can be damaged in some way. Chips, dents, or scratches on the vehicles you’re hauling are all realities faced by car carriers. Damage like this often happens to the hauled vehicle’s roof, around the bumpers, and the windows. These blemishes can be caused by road debris, items on the carrier truck, or even natural causes like hail. This collection of minor cosmetic damages can result in a major payout to your customers to repair them—anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
More serious damage can occur to the hauled vehicle. Striking an overpass, or other low clearance objects can ruin not only your commercial truck but also the vehicle load it’s hauling. These costs quickly exceed thousands of dollars in repair costs.
These damages only serve to decrease the value of the vehicle that you’re hauling. While you might repair the damaged vehicle, its overall value decreases, and the price at which it can be sold has to be lowered to reflect those damages and repairs. The insurance for the hauled vehicle may cover a portion of the repair costs, but you might be left with the remaining costs associated with repairs.
Theft And Vandalism
The risk of theft is increased with car carriers and their hauled vehicles. Car carriers often haul new cars, luxury vehicles, or classic cars. These cars are tempting targets for unscrupulous thieves. The resale value of these cars can fetch a thief a hefty sum in return for their criminal acts. Car carriers that are traveling far distances over the course of several days are exposed to heightened chances for theft. The hauling vehicle cannot always be attended to, giving thieves ample opportunities to steal a hauled vehicle. Car carriers might be held responsible for the costs associated with recovering or replacing the stolen vehicle.
Vandalism is another cause for concern amongst car carrier companies. Anytime you’re hauling vehicles, they are at risk of being vandalized. This can include slashed tires, broken wind, being spray painted, or other malicious acts. The victims of the vandalism may hold the car carrier accountable for the damages.
Unloading and Loading
Unloading and loading the vehicles to be hauled comes with its own perils. The two vehicles might not be aligned, causing a minor collision during loading. The car carrier might fail to secure the hauled vehicle, allowing the vehicle to move freely during the unloading process. Hydraulic systems on the car carrier might fail, and cause damage to the hauled vehicle.
If your car carrier turns over, or if your hauling load is forced from the carrier, you are responsible for the costs of clearing the debris from the roadway. Truck turnover is common in hazardous weather conditions, like high winds and rain and hail. These conditions decrease a driver’s reaction time, and make it harder for a driver to maintain control of the commercial vehicle.
Constructive Total Loss
Constructive total loss is when the costs of repairing a damaged vehicle exceed the total value of the vehicle itself. If your car carrier is involved in an accident that leads to the vehicles you’re hauling being damaged or totaled, the hauled vehicles could be listed as a constructive total loss. The carrier might be held responsible for these damages and may have to pay for a new vehicle replacement.
The car carrier industry is a lucrative one. The average cost of shipping a four-door sedan can cost customers between $600-$1000. It’s easy to see numbers like those and think of how much of that you and your employees could take home. But the reality is that the car hauling business is an investment. The typical cost of a tow truck can range from $58,000 for a standard class 4 tow truck to nearly $850,000 for a class 8 tractor-trailer rig.
Car carriers that haul lots of cars at once have to consider the maintenance of their large trucks. For many, the cost of owning and operating a tractor-trailer is seen in gas costs, as the average tractor-trailer uses nearly 21,000 gallons of diesel a year. The maintenance of the vehicles has been calculated as costing approximately 17 percent of an owners operating budget, nearly $30,000 a year. On top of this, business owners want to provide their drivers fair wages for their work, and that quickly adds up to about 26 percent of an owners operating budget. All of these costs factor in the total cost of operating a tractor-trailer. Studies have shown that the average annual cost of operating a tractor-trailer car carrier is about $1.38 per mile for a total of roughly $180,000 a year.
These prices alone are enough to make some business owners pause. But the cost of insurance needs to be considered as well. Tow trucking and car carrier insurance costs have been steadily rising over the last few years. But despite this, comprehensive insurance can help to minimize some of the costs associated with owning and operating a car carrier service.
Florida has many car transporter companies within the state. Car carrier trucks are used by transport companies, car dealerships, and repossession companies among others. It is vital for these businesses to insure their fleet. Many of these carriers falsely believe that they only need commercial trucking insurance to be covered, but the reality is that car carrying requires specialized insurance that meets the needs and challenges of the industry.
Even if you only have one tow truck, or can haul eight cars at a time, you’ll need an inclusive and comprehensive insurance package to make sure that your business is protected.
Every car carrier truck will need liability insurance. Without this basic level of insurance, the state will not issue your vehicle permits or licenses. Liability insurance is meant to pay for injuries and damages that others experience when involved in an accident that your car carrier is responsible for. Liability insurance helps to offset the related expenses, meaning your business isn’t forced to pay for all of the costs. Liability insurance is comprised of bodily injury and property damage coverage.
Your car carrier trucks are a major investment. Physical damage insurance protects your commercial truck. This coverage is especially helpful if you are still in the process of paying off your car carrier. Physical damage insurance includes comprehensive physical damage protection, which covers almost any hazard you and your truck might experience except for collision and roll over. This covers things like theft or weather damage.
Of course, your most valuable business asset is your employees. If your car carrier is involved in an accident, you also have to worry about the health of the driver, and other occupants of the truck. Medical payments insurance protects your employees from the expensive costs of medical treatment. This insurance does not depend on who is at fault for the accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist covers your assets when another driver is at fault for an accident. If the other driver fails to have auto insurance, this policy pays for repairs your truck might need and can help ease the financial strain of medical care for your injured drivers. As part of this coverage, you might be offered a collision deductible waiver, which keeps you from paying your insurance deductible when your truck and driver are not at fault for an accident.
But your car carrier or commercial truck fleet isn’t always in danger of being damaged or totaled. Great insurance goes beyond just the financial aspects of covering your car hauling truck. Insurance can help cover other important aspects like truck rental. If one of your trucks is out for repairs, you might need an additional truck to meet your work demand. If one of your fleet vehicles experiences mechanical issues at a car pick up or on the side of the road, you’ll want your insurance to help you cover the cost of towing your car hauling truck to a repair shop.
Earned Freight Coverage provides insurance on the freight or car you’re hauling. This protects you from paying for costs associated with a damaged, destroyed, or vandalized hauled vehicle.
When you’re hauling someone else’s car, you’ve got enough stressors on your mind. The right insurance can bring you the peace of mind you need when you’re providing car carrier services to the people of Florida.
Car hauling trucks are an investment. Even used tow trucks can cost $30,000, with newer model multi-car haulers costing in the $100,000 range, or even as much as $800,000 for a tractor-trailer rig. These prices reflect the various sizes and capabilities of each particular car hauling truck model. With this in mind, commercial truck insurance costs vary as well. The cost of insurance for your car hauling truck is dependant on factors like:
- Number of cars being hauled
- Distances cars are hauled
- Area your trucks typically operate
- Number of car carriers in your fleet
- What kind of cars you haul
Forerunner Insurance Group also takes into accounts the car carrier truck itself when creating commercial truck insurance quotes. This includes aspects like:
- Value of the car hauling truck itself
- Type of car carrier
- Age and condition of the vehicle
- Driving record and experience of the operator
- How long you’ve been in business
Forerunner Insurance Group
If you own a car carrier business or an independent auto transport service or are thinking of starting one of your own, it’s important to keep insurance in mind. When you’re looking for car carrier insurance for your commercial trucks, keep the price of your policy in mind, and also the provider. At Forerunner Insurance Group, our team is made up of driven and able insurance specialists, who can help to draft a policy that best meets the needs of you and your business.
We specialize in long haul and local trucking insurance. Forerunner Insurance Group is committed to providing you with the best insurance coverage and carriers in the state. Let us take the stress out of filing for commercial trucking insurance, and help you write the properly structured policy to keep you and your trucks on the road.
Don’t wait to reach out to us for a free quote, and get the answers to the questions you have about commercial truck insurance in Florida. Forerunner Insurance Group is Florida’s Top Rated Local® commercial insurance provider for a reason.