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Hazardous Materials and Commercial Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Dec 11, 2021

Hazardous Material Truck Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster and throughout Pennsylvania

Operating large trucks imposes many risks – accidents, theft, fire, and more - but Commercial Truck Insurance is designed to help protect you, your business, as well as other drivers. For example, Commercial Automobile Insurance provides protection if a third party is injured in an accident. General Liability coverage provides protection if a third party's property is damaged. Cargo Insurance provides protection if your cargo is lost or damaged.

However, if your truck is carrying hazardous materials, you're looking at a whole new level of risk, and additional insurance may be required to protect you from those risks.

Hazardous Materials

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines hazardous materials as "those materials designated by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation as posing an unreasonable threat to the public and the environment."

That can include hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature material, and more. Examples of hazardous materials include some battery-powered equipment, corrosives, dry ice, flammable solids, toxic substances, patient specimens, flammable solids, explosives, gases, etc.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, from 2016 to 2020, there were a total of 84,854 highway hazardous materials incidents, 34 highway hazardous materials fatalities, 623 highway hazardous materials injuries, and $286,837 in highway hazardous materials property damage.

Insurance Options

In addition to standard trucking insurance policies, truckers have additional options to protect them - some are required by law.

        • Transportation Pollution Liability – Sometimes called Environmental Insurance, Transportation Pollution Liability Insurance provides protection for materials being transported, shipped, or delivered. For example, if a cement truck rolls over and its contents end up polluting a stream.

        • Trucking Umbrella or Excess Liability — With limits up to $50,000,000, Trucking Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance provides additional liability coverage beyond your primary liability limits on policies, such as General Liability or Commercial Auto Liability Policies.

        • Hazmat Hauler's Liability — Often required by a contract, Hazmat Hauler's Liability Insurance provides liability coverage for incidents not related to an automobile accident, such as delivering the wrong materials or products.

        • Single Deductible Endorsement — A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket when you make an insurance claim. Typically, if an accident causes damage to your tractor, trailer, and cargo, you could be looking at three different deductibles. A Single Deductible Endorsement allows you to have one deductible; thereby, saving out-of-pocket expenses.

        • Loading & Unloading — Hazardous materials create risks even when they aren't being transported. Loading & Unloading coverage helps protect cargo when it is being loaded and unloaded from your truck.

        • Medical Payments— Offering an added level of protection for medical bills in the event of an accident, Medical Payments Coverage pays medical and other expenses for drivers and passengers, regardless of fault.

        • Truckers Downtime Insurance – Like Business Interruption Coverage, Truckers Downtime Insurance (typically added to your physical damage policy) helps cover lost income if you cannot use your truck due to a covered loss.

        • Loan or Lease Gap Coverage – If your truck or trailer depreciates faster than what you financed it for, Loan or Lease Gap Coverage pays the difference between the actual cash value and the unpaid balance on your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled.

        • Truck Rental Reimbursement — Just because your vehicle is damaged in an accident doesn't mean you have to stop working. Truck Rental Reimbursement coverage (typically added to physical damage policy) covers a large part of the cost to rent a replacement vehicle.

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

Not all insurance needs are alike, and not every trucker or fleet owner needs the same coverage. American Insuring Group specializes in Truck Insurance and can ensure that you have the insurance that fits your needs. Plus, as independent agents, we compare coverage and pricing from multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premiums for quality coverage.

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, commercial vehicles