Are you shopping for commercial tow truck insurance quotes, or affordable insurance in California, regardless if you live in Anaheim CA, or Santa Ana CA? Have you already experienced the difficulty in finding an insurance provider who specializes in towing insurance?
Well, you are not alone, since many tow truck drivers or trucking businesses in California face this daunting task of contacting only a handful of commercial auto insurance specialists.
Only to learn that a long wait will occur until their submission is reviewed and approved by underwriting, which can take in some cases, up to a 1-2 weeks, just to receive a towing insurance quote.
Towing Insurance Programs
This alone can become frustrating, since not only is your classification in the industry labeled as a hard to place risk or high risk insurance but, so are the insurance companies who offer these products.
Many commercial auto insurance companies choose to not cover these risks due to the nature of the business, which only creates the shopping experience to find and compare cheap tow truck insurance even harder.
The Business of Towing
A tow truck business is any business that earns income by towing or providing roadside repair to disabled vehicles, operating a repair facility or performing some repossession work.
If there’s a tow truck in your garage, you just may have a tow truck business. To protect your business investment, you will need a low cost coverage if you fall into one of the following categories:
Types of Coverage
- Roadside service providers
- Auto club contractors
- Rotational towing
- Armored recovery vehicle
- Emergency road service
- Impounded vehicle auction
- Motor carrier
- Tow hitch
- Vehicle recovery
Minimum Liability Coverage
The lowest amount of liability coverage on your commercial auto policy that you must maintain is, $750,000 BI/PD.
However, depending on what tow contracts you have you may be required by your contracts to maintain the higher limit of $1,000,000 BI/PD.
Make sure to refer to state requirements for your specific industry and your contractual agreement to ensure you are carrying the correct limits.
Additionally, there are coverage options that are only available to the towing insurance industry. These include but are not limited to:
- On-hook (covers vehicles that are being towed)
- Garage keepers (covers vehicles while in the care and custody of an owner)
- Tow Truck Insurance Physical Damage Section
Physical Damage Coverage
Under the physical damage section, the tow truck insurance coverage form agrees to pay for loss to a covered auto or its equipment under any of the three separate insuring agreements.
These are labeled as comprehensive coverage, specified causes of loss, and collision coverage. Each insurance coverage applies only if one or more coverage symbols and premium are shown in the declarations.
This is why it is paramount to review your towing insurance policy carefully.
When comprehensive coverage applies, it will pay for loss from any cause, including theft except collision with another object or overturn of the vehicle, which is the definition of collision coverage.
Remember, comprehensive coverage is written with a deductible, but the deductible will not apply to loss caused by fire or lightning, since this provision is stated in your declarations.
The physical damage deductible provision, and does not appear here in the coverage agreements.
When specified causes of loss coverage which applies to your policy, will only pay for loss caused by any of the perils specified in the agreement.
A $25 deductible applies only to loss by vandalism or mischief, which this provision is stated in the declarations and does not appear in your coverage form.
When collision coverage applies, it will pay for loss caused by collision with another object or the overturn of the auto.
Not that “collision” does not necessarily mean collision with another vehicle, it can include collision with a tree or a bridge. This coverage is written with a deductible.
Towing and Labor Costs
The physical damage section on your tow truck insurance includes an agreement for towing and labor costs which are incurred when a covered auto is disabled.
This coverage is optional and the amount of coverage for each disablement of an auto will be the limit shown in the declarations.
Special provisions do apply to glass breakage, hitting a bird or animal, and damage caused by falling objects or missiles.
If an auto is insured for comprehensive coverage, the towing insurance company will pay under the “comprehensive coverage” for glass breakage and loss by hitting a bird or animal, or loss caused by falling objects or missiles.
This usually works to the insured’s advantage, because comprehensive is usually written with a lower deductible than collision coverage.
However, the insured is given the option of having glass breakage paid as a collision loss, which this removes a possible double deductible if glass breakage and other damage result from a collision.
Common Policy Provisions
Let’s look at some common policy provisions you may find on a commercial truck policy. These provisions are defined as additions to the policy or endorsements.
The first endorsement is broad named insured. It is not uncommon for an organization to find itself participating in a venture that is not foreseen when occurrence is arranged.
Under most policies, such unnamed entities must be reported to the carrier for coverage to apply.
ISO General Liability
For example, the ISO general liability form only provides coverage for newly acquired entities in which insured has a majority interest.
The extension is limited to 90 days and does to cover joint ventures and partnerships. The endorsement is referred to here as a manuscript endorsement that is used to extend a policy to provide automatic coverage.
A common policy provision that specifies the minimum percentage of insurable value that must be carried on a covered property item.
If the amount of coverage carried is less than what is required by this clause, any claim payment may be reduced by the same percentage as the deficiency.
The policy provision that specifies the amount that will be deducted from any loss to covered property before payment will be made to insure is a deductible.
Although the method of applying the deductible can vary, normally it will fall under one of the following categories most commonly under the first.
- straight occurrence deductible – this is applied on a per occurrence of loss basis
- annual or per disaster aggregate deductible – is applied up to a stated amount for all claims for one or more specified lines of business. Once that limit has been reach, no deductible would apply for any other claim for either the policy year or a particular disaster, depending on the type of aggregate form.
- disappearing deductible – the amount of the deductible decreases as the loss increases decreases until the application of the deductible disappears.
- franchise deductible – when a loss reaches a stipulated amount the deductible ceases to apply.
Examination of records
An ISO common policy condition that gives a carrier the right to examine and audit a company’s policy up to the time period specified in the provision. The current ISO common policy conditions form allows for three years.
Occasionally, this is reduced to 1 year to eliminate what is perceived as excessive examination rights by some.
Loss Adjustment Expenses
A term that refers to cost associated with a property loss that may not be fully covered in many property and inland marine forms.
The contracts stipulate that the insured must prove any loss and its amount, but are mostly silent on whether costs involved will be treated as of the loss.
Some insurers may be willing to offer a manuscript endorsement to covers such expenses.
These expenses can include costs for attorney or accountant fees, engineering services, fess for independent appraisers and hard costs associated with preparation, copying and mailing of proof of loss requirements.
Contact Target Up Insurance at 800-962-0085! We have over 30 years experience in the towing insurance industry and commercial auto insurance industry in California!
If you need help shopping and comparing tow truck insurance programs or cheap auto insurance Santa Ana regardless if you live in Ontario CA or Orange County California.
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