Whether you're switching from company driver to owner-operator (OO) for the first time, or you've been an OO for years and your current rig just isn't up to par, you may be facing the purchase of a new-to-you semi. While replacing an old rig with a newer one can bring a number of benefits, upgrading or updating your semi truck could cause your insurance costs to rise. What can you do to manage these costs when selecting your next truck? Read on to learn more about the features and factors you'll want to consider when determining how a used semi truck will affect the cost of your trucking insurance.
What factors go into the calculation of your insurance premium?
Just as with auto insurance, there are a number of factors that are weighed and included in your trucking insurance rate. These include qualities or behaviors over which you have control (like your driving record and number of accidents), as well as those that are immutable (like your age or gender).
Due to the high potential for highway accidents, long hours spent on the road, and the potential cost of lost cargo, the calculations implemented for semi truck insurance costs are even more complex than those used for auto drivers. Your insurance costs may increase if the trucking company with which you're affiliated has just recently entered the business, or if you're traveling through an urban area or hauling particularly heavy (or valuable) loads. On the other end of the spectrum, you can lower your costs if you show your insurance company that you regularly pass random drug tests, get enough sleep, or take part in other health or safety pursuits.
What should you know if you'd like to keep your insurance costs down?
In many situations, your insurance costs can be impacted by your truck itself. Older trucks with high miles are more prone to mechanical breakdown than newer trucks, and may be more expensive to insure against cargo loss or damage. Brand-new trucks are unlikely to require mechanical repairs for a while, and many have safety features that should better protect both you and your cargo, but these trucks are also much pricier to repair if an accident does happen. By purchasing a pre-owned semi with fairly low miles, you may be able to find a happy medium between performance and expense. Below are other ways to further reduce your costs.
Choose a truck that's similar to your current one
Not only does your total amount of truck-driving experience factor into your insurance costs, so does the amount of experience you have with the particular rig you're driving. Upgrading from one model to a substantially different type of truck may cause your insurance costs to skyrocket as you essentially become an "inexperienced" driver once again. By selecting a make and model similar to the truck you already drive, you'll be able to demonstrate your familiarity with its systems and operation and avoid a resulting increase in your premium.
Taking the cost of upgrades into account
The more high-tech and expensive components your truck has, the costlier it can be to insure against repair or replacement of these parts. You'll want to keep this in mind when looking at trucks, and avoid paying extra for any features you're unlikely to use and that will only drive up your insurance costs. On the other hand, seeking out safety upgrades that reduce your risk of accident can lower your costs, often enough to quickly pay for the cost of these features.
Learn more about your options by contacting companies like Arrow Truck Sales.