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How to Choose the Right Hazmat Truck Insurance Company

How to Choose the Right Hazmat Truck Insurance Company


What Hazmat Insurance To Have?

As a trucker transporting hazardous materials, having the right commercial insurance is essential. This protects you, your vehicle, and the public from the unique risks associated with this line of work. Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced hauler searching for a more affordable insurance provider, this guide will help you understand hazmat insurance and how to find the right coverage for your trucking operation.


Hazmat Trucking Insurance Costs

The cost of hazmat truck insurance typically ranges from $12,200 to $28,000 per year, with an average policy costing around $19,189. This estimate assumes a full coverage package and not just a mono-line policy. The exact price depends on various factors, including the insurance company you choose.


Due to the higher contamination risks involved in hauling hazardous materials, insurance rates are generally higher than for non-hazardous loads. However, the increased risk also means you can charge more per mile.


The market for hazmat trucking insurance is highly inefficient, with premiums varying significantly between companies. Therefore, it's crucial to compare multiple quotes to find the best coverage at the most affordable price.


Insurance Requirements for Hauling Hazmat

While most truckers need a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage, hazmat haulers often require limits of $2,000,000 or $5,000,000, depending on the materials transported. Some hazardous commodities may only need $1,000,000 in coverage.


Haulers must also comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other regulatory requirements, which include:

- Maintaining proper placards

- Keeping up-to-date Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) endorsements

- Following all applicable regulations


Typical Hazmat Insurance Coverages

To protect your operations and ensure public safety, your hazmat insurance policy should include the following coverages:

- Liability Insurance**: Covers damages to other people or property caused by your truck.

- Excess Liability**: Provides additional protection against large claims that exceed your liability limits.

- Physical Damage**: Covers your tractor and trailer against collision damage, paying for repairs or replacement.

- Truck Cargo**: Matches your cargo coverage to the types of hazardous materials you are hauling.

- Pollution Liability (CA9948)**: Essential for covering site cleanup costs of pollutants discharged during transport or loading/unloading.

- General Liability**: Tailored to cover incidents specific to hazardous materials transport and non-trucking related claims.

- Workers Comp**: Covers injuries sustained by your workers on the job. Finding workers compensation for hazardous transport operations can be challenging, but assistance is available.


Additional Hazmat coverages to consider include:

-Loan or Lease Gap Insurance**: Covers the depreciation gap between your truck’s value and loan amount.

-Truck Rental Reimbursement**: Helps you stay profitable by covering rental costs while your truck is under repair.


What Cargo is Classified as Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials, regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), are classified into several classes:

- Class 1: Explosives

- Class 2: Gases

- Class 3: Flammable Liquids

- Class 4: Flammable Solids

- Class 5: Oxidizing Substances; Organic Peroxides

- Class 6: Poisonous (Toxic) and Infectious Substances

- Class 7: Radioactive Materials

- Class 8: Corrosives

- Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods


If you transport any of these materials, you need specialized coverage. Examples include:

- Adhesives

- Fuels (e.g., Natural Gas, Gasoline, Diesel)

- Fracking Chemicals

- Cleaning Compounds

- Contaminated Soils

- Fertilizers

- Waste Solvents

- Batteries

- Pesticides

- Fireworks

- Biohazards

- Anhydrous Ammonia


Fuel Hauler Insurance

Fuel hauling is a significant segment within hazmat trucking, with specialized insurance programs available for:

- Petroleum Haulers

- Bulk Oil Haulers

- Liquid Natural Gas Haulers (LNG)

- Liquid Nitrogen Haulers

- LPG Haulers

- Salt Water Haulers

- Gas Haulers

- Diesel Haulers

- Propane Gas Haulers

- Home Heating Oil Haulers

- Chemical Haulers


Comparing your insurance options can result in substantial savings, especially for fleets.


Hazmat Violations and Their Impact on Insurance Rates


Compliance with Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations is crucial. Violations can significantly increase your premiums and risk public safety. The most common violation, "Package not secure in vehicle" (Violation 177.834A), often results in "Out of Service" citations.


Getting Insurance Quotes


To maximize your earnings and ensure safety, it’s vital to shop around and find the best hazmat truck insurance provider. Our team at LFS can help you connect with different agents to secure competitive quotes and appropriate coverages tailored to your needs.


By thoroughly understanding your insurance requirements and options, you can make informed decisions that protect your business and ensure its long-term success.

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