Navigating the realm of licensing and insurance within the trucking business can be complex. The good news is that it does not need to be if you partner with a reputable insurer that can keep you up to date with compliance issues and provide robust coverage for your needs. Here are the basics to get you started on trucking insurance for trucking through Virginia.
Proof of Insurance
Every type of trucker besides brokers must have proof of insurance in order to keep their certificate or permit. This proof must be filed with the DMV’s Motor Carrier Services. If it is not up to date or if it has not been filed at all, your permit or certificate may be taken away. It is important for you to have such a safety measure in place in case something happens to you or your cargo.
The type and cost of the insurance you will need depends on what kind of transportation you do. However, almost all types of truckers are required to insure against bodily injury and property damage.
Surety Bond or Letter of Credit
A few trucking types also require a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit. This is also filed with the DMV’s Motor Carrier Services. This bond or letter protects the public from things that may go wrong as you do your job. Losses or damages that result from your services are covered by this. The cost of the bond or letter, as well as how long it lasts, varies based on the types of services you offer.
Insurance is extremely important for a trucker to have, and if your insurance expires or is canceled, a process will begin that requires you to update your insurance or lose your license. First, you are given an order of suspension. If you do not obey it, you will receive an order of revocation.
Second, if you continue to be non-compliant, at that point, you must apply for a new license and make sure every necessary qualification is current. This is not an easy process and demands both time and money, so it is important that you keep your insurance valid; a reputable insurer can assist you with this.
Bulk Property Carrier
If you are a bulk property carrier, you transport only things that are in bulk—such as loose material that is usually scooped, like sand and gravel. Your license allows you to transport only these things, and only in Virginia.
You are required to have $750,000 in coverage for bodily injury and property damage. As for licenses, both your license plate and vehicle registration should be listed as “for hire.” This means that you are being paid by someone else to transport their goods.
If you are a property carrier, you transport materials that belong to someone. Again, you are only authorized to transport those things, and only in Virginia. Household goods are included in this list—i.e., property that comes to or from a dwelling, such as if you are helping someone move—but you are not allowed to drive that property further than 30 miles.
If something goes wrong while you are transporting property and someone files a claim, note the date you receive it; notify the person in writing within 30 days that you have received it. Then, in the next 120 days, either pay the claim, give a written notification that you are declining it, or make a compromise.
For insurance, you are required to have $750,000 in coverage for bodily injury and property damage, as well as a $50,000 policy that covers cargo. Your license plate and vehicle registration should also be listed as “for hire.”
Household Goods Carrier
If you are a household goods carrier, you transport only household goods. Household goods are items that go in a home. Transportation of household goods includes moving things from house to house and also moving items from a factory or store to a house. Again, you may only transport these items in Virginia. If you are transporting them for more than 30 miles, you must notify the DMV and charge different, predetermined rates.
For insurance, you are required to have $750,000 in coverage for bodily injury and property damage and $50,000 in cargo coverage. You must also have a $50,000 surety bond or letter of credit. This should be on file with the DMV’s Motor Carrier Services, and it lasts for five years, starting from the date you received your certificate. Your vehicle must be registered as “for hire.”
Trust the Experts to Help You Insure Your Business
These rules are just the beginning of all of the proper filings and coverages that you may need to consider. The experts at Burton & Company can help you determine the perfect blend of insurance for your trucking needs so that you can stay protected without unnecessary expenses. Reach out to schedule an appointment to get started.