Fuel dealers sell and deliver fuel, such as automotive gasoline, fuel oil, propane and kerosene, to commercial establishments and homes. They are responsible for ensuring a safe and timely delivery to their customers. A disaster within this business setting can result in extremely expensive damage, so it is imperative that you protect your businesses with a suitable fuel dealers insurance portfolio. When building this coverage package, there are many exposures you need to keep in mind.
2014 Fuel Dealer Industry Facts from IBISWorld
- There are approximately 7,880 fuel dealer businesses operating in the United States.
- These stores employ more than 74,000 people.
- The fuel dealer industry is responsible for about $38 billion in revenue each year.
You Need Sufficient Property Damage Coverage
Your business will need to cover a lot of property including the building in which you house your business, your business property, any vehicles you use commercially and the fuel itself while it is in your care, custody or control.
- Building coverage: This is necessary only if you own the building in which your business is housed or the garage in which you keep your commercial vehicles. It provides compensation for structural damage caused by covered events.
- Contents coverage: This insurance covers the property you keep inside your business establishment. This can include telephony, computers, office furniture, décor and other items owned by your business. This coverage does not include motorized vehicles.
- Auto insurance: By including comprehensive and collision insurance as part of your commercial auto policy, you can obtain coverage for damage to your fuel trucks and other business-owned vehicles.
- Inland marine insurance: This insurance provides coverage for the fuel from the time you pick it up at the distribution center until you have successfully delivered it to your customers.
Liability Insurance Is Crucial in the Fuel Dealer Industry
Any disaster that involves fuel has the potential to be extremely expensive. As a fuel dealer, you face a number of potential liability lawsuits that could bankrupt your business if you do not have the right liability coverage.
General liability insurance is included as part of most commercial insurance policies. It provides your business with compensation for legal defense fees, court costs and financial damages for many, but not all, potential liability lawsuits. Some liability exposures, however, must be covered by specific insurance coverage as listed below.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: Your company cars and trucks must be covered by a commercial auto insurance policy. Because your fuel trucks are carrying hazardous materials, their coverage will be far more expensive than with other types of commercial auto. Bear in mind that your insurance company can refuse coverage if your drivers are not specifically licensed to haul flammable materials.
- Pollution liability insurance: If an accident occurs while hauling materials, a fuel leak can pollute groundwater or an explosion can result in polluted air, land or groundwater. Pollution liability insurance covers cleanup costs, damages and legal fees related to pollutants.
- Umbrella insurance: Any time you deal with flammable materials, you run the risk of an explosion, particularly while hauling these materials. Your commercial auto and pollution liability insurance coverage limits may be too low for some catastrophic accidents. Umbrella insurance picks up where your other liability coverage leaves off. It provides your business with millions of dollars in additional liability coverage at a reasonable rate.
Your business is also responsible for covering medical treatment for injuries your employees may suffer while on the job. Workers' compensation insurance provides coverage for this care. It is required in most states.
What Other Fuel Dealers Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
Commercial insurance policy portfolios provide a wide range of coverage. In addition to the property and liability insurance mentioned above, there are other coverage types that may be beneficial to your company. Some of these include the following:
Be sure to speak with your independent insurance agent about how your business operates so that together you can identify and cover your various exposures.
Get Help Building a Strong Fuel Dealers Insurance Portfolio
As a fuel dealer, building the right commercial insurance coverage portfolio can be a complex endeavor, particularly if you are going about it on your own. Independent agents in the Trusted Choice® network can simplify this process. Your agent can help you determine your many exposures and can help to identify gaps that may exist in your coverage so that they can be remedied. These agents can work with a variety of insurance companies to build you an appropriate coverage portfolio at a competitive rate. Speak with a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more about your fuel dealers insurance coverage options.