Tips for Commercial Trucking Liability Insurance for New Drivers

Orange traffic cones

If you are an owner-operator or small carrier, insuring and qualifying new drivers on your trucking liability insurance policy is many times an inhibitor to growth.

The bottom line is that insurance for new drivers is both hard to find and expensive:

  • Hard to find because most policies start with a 2-year experience requirement — and many small carriers struggle to hire replacement and growth drivers with the needed experience.
  • Expensive because those who will write a policy consider new drivers to be a bigger risk. In fact, a policy for new drivers may cost 2-3 times what you’d pay for experienced drivers.

The population of qualified drivers with 2 or more years of experience is overplowed ground — the good ones have found a home while the bad ones bounce from carrier to carrier leaving a wake of cost and frustration.

So how can you tap into the new driver market while maintaining proper commercial truck liability insurance at an affordable rate?

Look for other risk-reducing factors

The insurer who is willing to write a policy for your new drivers will pay close attention to other factors that could raise or lower the risk of a claim.

  • Good driving record. One study found that hiring drivers with 4 or fewer traffic violations resulted in 28% lower crash rates.
  • Stable work history and little or no criminal history. Background checks can pay off in the form of greater insurability and lower rates.
  • Good credit score. A correlation exists between a driver’s credit score and the likelihood of future claims; drivers with a good score may qualify for better rates.
  • Shop and re-shop the policy. Once a new driver is insured, revisit the policy at least once a year — you may be able to lower your premiums as the driver amasses claims-free experience.
  • Limit geographic scope at first. Some insurers will only write a policy if the new driver has a limited geographic radius of operation. The longer the driver can go without an accident, the more his or her insurable territory will expand. This is another reason to re-shop new driver insurance policies on a regular basis.

Invest in safety training for new drivers

Putting safety first not only makes the road safer for everyone, it protects your drivers and can reduce a number of costs for trucking companies. For example, the National Safety Council offers defensive driving courses for commercial drivers that can offer a number of benefits.

  • Control liability costs associated with work-related vehicle crashes
  • Reduce insurance premiums and fleet repair bills
  • Decrease workers’ compensation claims
  • Improve productivity by keeping employees safe
  • Protect brand, public perception of driving practices

The NSC offers classroom-based and online courses for fleets of drivers and small groups, along with refresher courses that help drivers update and maintain their safety habits as they gain experience.

Are you looking for the right trucking liability insurance policy for your new drivers?

Contact Advanced Fleet. We understand the challenges you face as a small fleet owner and have the resources to help you succeed.