Whether your business or commercial vehicle travels the roads of the Panhandle or the highways of Central Oklahoma, finding the right insurance coverage that meets your needs and budget can be time consuming. It doesn't have to be when you know exactly what you are looking for, however.
Before you search for commercial vehicle insurance quotes, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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Does Oklahoma Require Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
Whether you are a commercial driver or a business owner that employs CDL holders, you must be aware of the state and federal requirements that apply to truck drivers.
Federal CDL requirements apply to all commercial drivers regardless of location, and govern issues like minimum age limits, physical fitness, written and skills testing, driver licensing, traffic violations, and hazardous materials transportation. These regulations are commonly updated, so it is a good idea to stay current on those federal guidelines.
As for Oklahoma, the state requires all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance. According to the Oklahoma DMV, you must carry at the minimum insurance that covers:
- $25,000―Injury or death of one person
- $50,000―Injury or death of two or more persons
- $25,000―For property damage
Remember, these are minimum requirements. You are allowed, if your budget permits, to protect yourself and your business with additional types of coverage including towing and labor.
What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
Your commercial vehicle may not be anything like the commercial vehicles your business owner neighbor employs. If you have a fleet of delivery vans, your insurance will differ greatly from the small business owner who simply uses their commercial sedan to attend meetings across town in Oklahoma City.
In any case, commercial vehicle insurance protects you, as the business owner, from damage to your car or truck and from litigation resulting from an accident involving you or one of your drivers.
Do I Need Owner Operator Insurance?
If you are operating under your own authority in your Oklahoma business, you will need to carry your own commercial truck insurance coverages, which may include:
- Liability insurance: Pays for damages that you cause to other people and their property and includes Bodily Injury Liability insurance and Property Damage coverage.
- Physical Damage coverage: Pays for repairs to your vehicle if it's damaged in an accident, whether it's caused by a collision with another vehicle or a falling tree branch.
- Motor Truck Cargo insurance: Can pay for damages to the cargo that you’re hauling in case of fire, theft, or an accident.
What Is Private Carrier Insurance?
As a private carrier, you are responsible for hauling goods in your own truck for your company or employer. Whether you’re working in construction, excavation, manufacturing, or any other private carrier capacity in Oklahoma, insurance policies that meet your needs can be found.
There are many different types of private trucking insurance coverages, including:
Liability insurance: Oklahoma makes this type of insurance mandatory and coverage pays for damages that you cause to other people and their property. Liability insurance coverage includes Bodily Injury Liability insurance and Property Damage Liability coverage.
Physical Damage: Can pay for repairs to your truck if it's damaged in an accident, whether it's caused by a collision with another vehicle or a falling tree branch and can include Collision insurance, Comprehensive insurance, or Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverages.
I Own a Fleet of Vehicles for Trucking. What Do I Need?
Commercial auto insurance designed specifically for for-hire truckers is extremely important. Choosing the right coverage is the best way to protect your investment and your business.
Along with liability coverage, you may wish to include the following in your commercial auto insurance policy:
- Physical Damage coverage: Will pay for repairs to your truck if it's damaged in an accident, whether it's caused by a collision with another vehicle or a falling tree branch. It can also include Collision insurance, Comprehensive insurance, or Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverages.
- Uninsured Motorist insurance: Will pay for injuries and damages to you or your passengers and your vehicle, where available, caused by drivers who either don't have insurance or don't have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages.
- Motor Truck Cargo insurance: Will pay for damages to cargo you or your drivers are hauling.
How Much Is an Average Commercial Auto Insurance Quote?
Because there is such a wide variety of commercial vehicles used for business purposes, it would be virtually impossible to give you a quote estimate without knowing the details. If you drive a four-door sedan for work purposes, your quotes may be much lower than the cost for the business owner who employs a fleet of hybrids. Other factors that will affect your commercial vehicle insurance premium include:
- The type and value of the vehicle: The more bells and whistles you enjoy in your vehicle, the more it will cost to insure it. Cars are typically less expensive to insure than trucks.
- The driving records of all drivers: Drivers with several driving violations may cost your company much higher premiums, or may prevent you from getting the insurance you need. Hire qualified, skilled, claims-free drivers to both lower your rates and reduce your risks.
- The type of policy you choose: If you buy each of your commercial auto insurance policies separately, you will typically pay more than if you insure them together under one insurance company. You can typically reduce the cost of your premiums by bundling them together for a multi-policy discount. Most Oklahoma insurance companies also often provide bulk discounts depending on the size of your fleet. The detectible you choose will also affect your premium. Be sure to chose a detectible you can afford, however. Some opt for the higher detectible to save on premium costs, but find they cannot afford it should their vehicle be totaled in a crash.
- Driving location and distance: How far you and your employees drive impacts your commercial auto or commercial truck insurance costs. The more miles that your fleet logs, the higher your risk of being involved in an accident. If your fleet never leaves the borders of Oklahoma, you will pay a smaller premium than the trucker who travels out of state. Insurance companies take this into account when they calculate commercial insurance rates.
Start Saving on Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Your cars or trucks are washed, tuned up and waiting to hit the road to start making you money. You have invested a lot of time and finances into growing your Oklahoma business. Now, it's time to protect that effort. When you contact a knowledgeable Trusted Choice independent insurance agent, you are working smart while they work hard to find the most afforable yet comprehensive commercial auto insurance policy available in the state.