By Mike Miller, product marketing director, Progressive

Your truck is the backbone that keeps your business up and running. But when it comes to insuring your truck, it can be difficult to distinguish insurance facts from myths. And buying insurance without knowing the facts might cost you big bucks in damages or downtime.

We’ve compiled a number of truck insurance myths and facts. Use them to make sure you have the right insurance coverages for your truck.

Myth: If you’re on a motor carrier policy, you’re covered.

Fact: Motor carrier policies often provide only liability coverage to owner-operator vehicles on lease, so you need to have your own physical damage coverage. Plus, the motor carrier policy only covers you when you’re driving for work or are under dispatch. So if you have a claim when you’re on a non-business or personal errand, it likely won’t be covered. A non-trucking liability and physical damage policy can protect you and your truck.

Myth: You should have a separate cargo insurance policy.

Fact: Consider adding your cargo insurance as an endorsement on your vehicle policy instead of carrying cargo coverage with a different carrier. If you’re in an accident that damages both your truck and cargo, you won’t need to waste time waiting dealing with two separate companies for your claims. Plus, a cargo endorsement can be less expensive than carrying a separate policy, and one policy means paying just one bill instead of two.

Myth: Downtime following a truck accident is annoying, but won’t significantly affect your bottom line.

Fact: If your truck is out of commission for 30 days, your business could only have a 50 percent chance of survival. Make sure that your insurance company will provide a rental vehicle or downtime payments to help you get back on the road quickly following a claim.

Myth: It’s cheaper to cancel your insurance for stored vehicles if you have a seasonal business.

Fact: Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. A Comprehensive-only policy provides coverage for businesses that don’t need liability coverage during certain months, but want basic protection against incidents like vandalism, fire, theft, falling tree branches, and hail. This is ideal for vehicles that sit for long periods during the off-season.

Plus, a Comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see proof of continuous coverage prior to offering their best rate.

Myth: All commercial insurance companies provide help with state and federal filings.

Fact: Some insurers won’t cover vehicles that require filings, while others simply don’t have the capability to help you get the filings your business needs. Progressive can leverage its truck insurance expertise to provide its customers with filings assistance.

Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.

Fact: Many insurance companies are only available during regular office hours, which can make filing a claim, adding a vehicle to your policy, obtaining a Certificate of Insurance, and paying bills inconvenient. Before you buy, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re available when you need them.

Wonder if one of your perceptions about truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to a local independent agent. He or she can answer those questions and help you determine which coverages are right for you.

Mike Miller is a product marketing director for Progressive. Progressive, in business since 1937, is a market leader in commercial auto insurance and the #1 truck insurer in the U.S. For more information on Progressive’s coverages or to find a local independent agent, go to http://www.progressivecommercial.com.

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