What Is Dump Truck Insurance?
Dump truck coverage falls under the general category of commercial vehicle insurance. Like any commercial vehicle, owners of dump trucks are required to have liability insurance coverage before these trucks can be legally driven or used for jobs.
This coverage is particularly necessary as accidents in these heavy-duty vehicles can lead to extensive damages. Because dump trucks are intended mainly for off-road use, their design is often such that a collision with a car can have deadly results. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports an average of one dump-truck related fatality every week in the United States.
What Does Dump Truck Insurance Cover?
A basic commercial dump truck insurance policy will provide the mandatory coverage required to operate these commercial vehicles. This includes the minimum bodily injury and property damage liability coverage amounts required by state law.
To ensure that your finances are secure and that your business is properly covered, you may want to consider building a basic commercial vehicle policy. Most commercial truck insurance companies provide the following additional coverage options that you can include in your dump truck policy:
Motor truck general liability insurance
This coverage will protect you from liability for damage you cause to your customer’s property while operating your vehicle on their grounds.
Physical damage insurance
This additional coverage provides compensation for any damage to your dump truck, and is usually required by dealerships if you are leasing your vehicle.
Motor truck cargo insurance
If the cargo you will be hauling on your truck is valuable, you may be required to carry motor truck cargo insurance.
This will cover the repair of damage to your dump truck if you collide with another vehicle or object.
Fire and theft insurance
This comprehensive insurance will provide compensation for damages to your vehicle from fire or theft.
Safety Tips for Dump Truck Owners and Operators
The three main hazards faced by dump-truck operators are collisions on the roadways, tipping when unloading, and accidents while backing up. The following safety precautions can help to avoid many of these common mishaps:
- Always perform a basic inspection of the vehicle before operating it. This is called a pre-trip inspection. This inspection should include checks on the tires and lug nuts, vehicle lights, mechanical functions such as the lifting mechanism and windshield wipers, brakes, tailgate, and restraint chains. This same inspection should be done after the unit returns to the yard. This is called a post-trip inspection. This inspection confirms that the unit was left in good working condition for the next work day.
- If available, always use a tarp to cover the dump bed. This will ensure that any material stays inside the bed and does not fly out and cause a road hazard or accident for other drivers.
- When driving the truck to and from the job site, exercise extreme caution, taking special care to check blind spots.
- Make sure that all employees at the job site are wearing protective gear such as hard hats, heavy-duty boots and reflective vests.
- When loading your vehicle, begin by loading in the center of the box and keep the load as evenly distributed as possible.
- Do not overload the dump-bed or exceed the vehicle’s maximum payload.
- When unloading your vehicle, do so on level ground whenever possible. If level ground is not an option, create a barrier that can adequately support the rear unloading point or edge.
- Do not activate the dumping mechanism of the truck if there are people or vehicles nearby.
- Make sure your truck is properly equipped with mirrors, lighting and back-up alarms.
- Dump truck drivers have several blind-spots. When backing up, a spotter should work with the driver to prevent accidents and injuries.
Purchase the Right Dump Truck Insurance Policy
Rates for dump truck insurance policies can vary significantly depending on your specific coverage needs and the insurance company you choose. At Horizon Insurance Services, you can be assured that you are purchasing an ideal policy at a competitive rate because we review quotes from a minimum of three commercial truck insurance providers.