“That’s basically insurance coverage for trucking companies that haul all types of goods for their clients,” says Rajvir Baryah, an insurance agent with AMC Insurance. “It protects their drivers against damage to the items they are hauling.”
Since the trucking industry is involved with such a wide array of products - from dry goods to perishable ones - the extent and type of insurance, as well as the rates, can vary.
“To determine their insurance cost, the trucking companies have to list what they are hauling,” Kaur Baryah says. “And if they are carrying, say, electronics, or target commodities, like tobacco and alcohol, the insurance rate is going to be higher than a policy covering most other goods.”
The size of a trailer generally doesn’t affect the rate. But the type does.
“If it’s a reefer (refrigerated truck or trailer) that carries perishable goods, then the insurance cost will be higher,” Kaur Baryah says. “There’s more risk involved with the possible spoilage of goods if the wrong temperature is set, or it breaks down.”
The distance a cargo trailer travels is another variable in determining rates.
“If they are hauling just in Canada it is generally less expensive than if the truck crosses the border to the U.S.,” Kaur Baryah says. “In that case, the company needs to determine what percentage of their cargo will be sent out of the country.”
The experience of the driver also affects the coverage.
“These days, insurance companies are very strict,” Kaur Baryah says. “They want drivers to have a minimum of three years of experience as a Class 1 Licensed operator.
“That’s because many claims in the industry are made on accidents with drivers having limited experience in commercial truck driving.”
To help meet that criteria, many trucking companies set an age limit for their drivers, usually a minimum of 23 or 25 years-old with a Class 1 License.
Unlike private passenger vehicle insurance coverage in B.C. that offers drivers the option of seeking optional coverage with companies other than ICBC, commercial operators must have their entire insurance policy handled by ICBC.
For coverage of cargo, AMC deals with a number of insurance companies, which is yet another reason why commercial trucking companies need to rely on an experienced insurance agent to help them determine what types of coverage they require, because the wrong decision could spell significant financial liabilities if they are hauling high-value goods.
To discuss what coverage is right for your trucking business, come into one of the AMC Insurance offices across Metro Vancouver, or check out their website at amcinsurance.ca.