Running a business that requires commercial vehicles such as trucks and lorries comes with many responsibilities. One of them is truck insurance or commercial vehicle insurance. While you take utmost care to deliver goods in a satisfactory condition, things can happen in a blink of an eye when the vehicle is on the road.
Insurance companies have commercial vehicle insurance policies covering trucks and other commercial vehicles. They customize these policies to provide cover against any damage or losses caused due to accidents, fire, natural or human-made calamities, terrorist activities, or other kinds of malicious activities.
Excerpt: Motor insurance accounted for 36.6% of non-life insurance premiums earned.
In this article, we will take you through the details of truck insurance and how you can claim insurance for lost or damaged goods.
What is commercial vehicle insurance?
Commercial vehicle insurance provides insurance cover against any damage to your commercial vehicles while executing your business operations.
Truck insurance is customized commercial vehicle insurance for trucks involved in commercial activities, such as transportation of goods, pick-up & drop services, automotive hauling, etc.
Why should you buy it?
It is advisable to buy commercial vehicle insurance for the following reasons:
- To provide financial cover to your company’s assets since the operating vehicles are a part of the business. Hence, it will protect your business from unexpected losses during unforeseen conditions.
- To avoid any downtime due to financial losses involving your truck. Having insurance cover can help you focus on business growth and maintain a profit margin.
- To comply with the law that mandates a ‘Liability Only’ policy that protects third parties against any damage or losses due to your truck. However, we recommend you opt for a package covering your vehicle and the driver.
Things to keep in mind before purchasing a truck insurance policy
After understanding the why, we will focus on the critical aspects to keep in mind while purchasing a truck insurance policy. Under this, we will take you through three parts of commercial vehicle insurance:
What does commercial vehicle insurance or truck insurance include?
Various options are available at your disposal when it comes to truck insurance. However, purchasing a plan customized as per your requirements would make it more viable. But before you do, you must take a look at this list that tells you everything truck insurance usually covers:
Any kinds of loss/damages to goods carried by the insured vehicle, which is a result of:
- Natural Disasters such as floods or earthquakes.
- Losses due to human actions such as igniting the goods, robberies, etc.
- Any form of malicious or terrorist activities
- Other causes of accidents
Moreover, insurance companies may also provide:
- Coverage during mishaps when your insured vehicle is responsible for damaging a third-party vehicle resulting in losses, and someone suffers from significant injuries or loss of life.
- Coverage if the driver or vehicle’s owner loses their life or gets permanently disabled. They are entitled to compensation from the insurance company.
In addition, some companies may send towing vans for vehicles after the accident.
All of the above pointers are covered under commercial vehicle insurance or truck insurance cover provided by various insurance companies.
What is not covered under truck insurance?
It is also important to understand what truck insurance does not cover. Note that every company has its exclusive list; this is a general overview of those points.
- The truck insurance policy may not cover any out-of-contract claims.
- It would not cover the vehicle condition arising due to its poor maintenance.
- It would also not cover any kind of mechanical or electrical breakdown.
- If you claim your policy, it may not cover any deductibles already mentioned in it.
- It would not address claims for damage/losses incurred outside the geographically covered area.
- It would not address claims coming through on the back of radiation due to Gamma rays or X-rays or any such nuclear accidents.
- The policy does not include any claim ensuing loss/damage of goods.
- Last but not least, the driver’s clause, which mandates that only the insured driver should be driving the vehicle. In case any other person operates the truck/lorry/auto, the insurance company may not cover any claim.
Comparison of commercial vehicle insurance and calculation of premium
Every insurance provider will have varying premiums based on the insurance cover amount, add-on covers, and the company’s brand value. Hence, it is wise to compare insurance policies before purchasing one.
Some key components that you can focus on are claim status and network garage.
The following points should encourage you to purchase truck insurance:
- Vehicle’s insured declared value
- Its type and model
- Vehicle’s age
- Place of registration
- Fuel type
- Vehicle’s driving and claim history
- Coverage preferences
The list mentioned above would also help you in calculating the insurance premium. Thus, giving you a better idea of going for your preferred truck insurance policy.
Info: For Goods Carrying Vehicles, the average Own Damage (OD) premium is Rs. 5,904.
How to file a claim for truck insurance carrying goods?
Now we will cover the action part, i.e., what steps you need to take in case of an unforeseen situation and claim truck insurance correctly.
After your commercial vehicle or truck meets with an accident, you must do the following:
Inform the police
Please do not waste any time contacting the police and registering an FIR. It is mandatory to have a Police FIR to initiate the claim process for commercial vehicle insurance. After that, the police will inspect everything related to the incident and assess the damage to the vehicle. Hence, the quicker you do it, the better it will be to get things started in the correct order.
Record the incident if possible
Video recording or clicking live pictures of any accidental injuries or damage to the truck can speed up the verification process. If possible, note the details of the other vehicle, name, and contact number of everyone involved.
Inform the insurance provider
After informing the police, you need to notify the truck insurance provider for a quick settlement. Call their toll-free number to file a claim. These days you get online vehicle insurance in a few easy steps. Therefore, you can also visit your insurance provider’s website and file a claim online. The customer support team will contact you to take you through the claim filing process.
They may ask the following:
- The policy number, so you must keep your policy documents with you
- The vehicle’s and driver’s condition to send a towing vehicle or an ambulance
While filing a claim, you need to:
- Fill the claim form
- Attach the copy of the driver’s driving permit
- Attach the RC
Note: You can visit garages under the insurance provider’s authorization to file a cashless claim. Do not worry; the insurance company will still process the claim even if you are not fully aware of the cashless claim filing procedure.
Every company has its guidelines for filing claims. Below is a list of documents you need to keep with you:
For Accident Damages:
- Duly filled claim form
- Tax receipt for verification
- Registration book’s duplicate copy
- Insurance Policy’s proof
- Driver’s permit copy
- FIR Copy
- Payment receipts
- Repair bills
- Any additional documents as per the requirements
For theft cases:
- Tax payment receipt
- Policy document and number
- Registration book with acknowledgment of theft by RTO
- Previous insurance details
- Any additional documents required by the insurer
You must produce these documents under your truck insurance to claim a lost or damaged goods vehicle.
As a commercial vehicle owner, you must not forget to renew your insurance plan. Some companies have a No Claim Bonus policy at renewals if you have not filed a claim under the policy.
You can easily renew your policy online with a few steps.
Here’s your small check-list for insurance renewal:
- Check claim bonus amount
- Renewal insured declared value
- Other prerequisites as listed on the truck insurance provider’s site
Purchasing a truck insurance policy ensures your vehicle and the goods it is carrying have a protective cover. If you are involved in a mishap, you can settle claims hassle-free. The only critical factor is to be responsible and proceed calmly. Follow the steps carefully to file a claim for your damages/losses without any problem.
Since insurance companies provide cashless claims these days, it is essential to be in the know and file it in case of mishaps.
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