Montana Truck Rental Insurance Policy Information
Montana Truck Rental Insurance. Big-rigs, pick-ups, 4x4s; there are so many different types of trucks, and these vehicles are needed for so many different reasons. From homeowners and business owners moving their locations, to farmers or construction workers needing an extra vehicle for an unexpectedly large load, there will always be a need for commercial truck rental.
Truck rental operations may offer both short- and long-term rental and leasing of larger trucks, recreational vehicles, semi-tractor, semi-trailer, or other types and sizes of trailers. Some offer vehicles or trailers, packing materials, dollies and other lifting devices for customers to transport their own personal property.
Many rental companies have vehicle refueling and repair on premises, while others will contract these functions to others. Services that may be offered include delivery of the rented vehicle to a customer or the pickup and transport of the customer to the rental facility.
Some commercial truck rental agencies sell the vehicles that have reached a set mileage or usage to the general public while others sell to used truck dealers or auctions.
If you're thinking about starting up a rental truck business, there's no doubt that you're going to want to set yourself up for success. Of all the different factors that are involved with establishing your business and getting it off of the ground, making sure that you have the right type of Montana truck rental insurance coverage in place is one of the most important things that you can do for your business.
Why is insurance so important for truck rental business owners? What type of coverage will you need to carry? How much will insurance cost you? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
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Why Do Commercial Truck Rental Operations Need Insurance?
As the owner and operator of a truck rental business, you are faced with numerous risks. Your office could be damaged by a flood or a fire, your fleet of vehicles could be vandalized or stolen, a vehicle you rent out may be involved in such a severe accident that it has to be totaled and replaced, one of your staff members could suffer a work-related injury.
These are just a few of the different types of situations that could arise, and as the proprietor of your MT commercial vehicle rental business, you are liable for any related costs.
As you can imagine, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged or lost vehicles, medical bills, and legal expenses can all be quite exorbitant.
If you had to shell out the money for these types of incidents out of your own pocket, you could be looking at major financial losses; in fact, the losses could be so severe that you may have to end up shutting down your operation. That's why Montana truck rental insurance is so important.
As long as you are properly insured, if an issues arises, instead of having to pay for the related costs yourself, your insurance carrier would cover them for you. To summarize: by investing in the right type of insurance, you can protect yourself from serious financial hardship.
What Type Of Insurance Do Commercial Truck Rental Businesses Need?
The insurance needs of MT truck rental business owners vary and depend on the specific nature of your operation; where it is located, the size of the business, how many people you employee, and the specific type of services you offer, for example.
That being said, there are certain kinds of Montana truck rental insurance coverage that all commercial truck rental companies will likely need. Examples of these coverages include:
- Commercial General Liability: This coverage protects you from third-party liability claims. If a client or a vendor claimed you damaged their property or they suffered an injury on the premises of your business and said you were negligible and filed a lawsuit against you, commercial general liability insurance would help to cover your legal expenses, as well as any settlements you may need to pay out.
- Commercial Property: To protect your commercial property, you'll need commercial property insurance. It protects the physical structure of any buildings that are used for your business, as well as the contents within them, from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism.
- Commercial Fleet: To protect your fleet of rental trucks, you'll also need commercial fleet insurance. This policy provides liability coverage and will help to pay for any lawsuits, medical care, and physical damages that may occur if one of the vehicles in your fleet is involved in an accident. For example, if you rented a truck to an uninsured or underinsured motorist, this policy would help to pay cover the gap in insurance, as well as pay for any damages.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of Montana truck rental insurance coverage you should consider for your commercial truck rental operation.
MT Commercial Truck Rental' Risks & Exposures
Commercial auto exposure is high due to the ongoing use of vehicles by renters whose driving habits are unknown to the operation and who may not be familiar with driving conditions in the area where the vehicle is rented.
The rental company should keep a copy of the renters' driver's license and proof of insurance. The rental contract should identify all drivers and state that unlisted, unlicensed, or minor drivers are not permitted to operate the vehicle. It should also include a hold-harmless agreement in which renters agree to assume responsibility for the operation of the vehicle to limit the business's exposure to vicarious liability only.
If a collision damage waiver is offered, the customer's signature is needed to document whether this was purchased or declined. The customer should also be required to sign a vehicle pre-inspection form to minimize disputes when the vehicle is returned with damages. All employee drivers should have valid licenses and their MVRs regularly checked. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records retained.
If vehicles are furnished to employees, there should be written procedures for personal and permissive use.
Vehicles stored in open lots are particularly susceptible to damage by hail, wind, flood, vandalism, and theft. Lots should be well lighted with chains, fences or gates to prevent access and transport. An alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department should be used. Security guards may be appropriate in some areas.
Garagekeepers exposure is from damage that can occur to customers' vehicles left with the rental company while renting other vehicles. Keys to customers' vehicles should be kept in a locked box to prevent unauthorized use. Proper identification should be required to prevent handing a customer's car to the wrong owner.
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors. Customer waiting areas should be provided and customers must not be permitted in the garage area. Floor coverings should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring.
Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
Employees who transport customers must be screened and trained to interact appropriately. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls.
If the premises are open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. Vehicles in open lots can pose an attractive nuisance. Chains and fences should be in place to prevent entrance after hours.
Personal injury exposures include allegations of discrimination, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.
Product liability exposures are high if used vehicles are sold directly to the general public. Check-off procedures should be in place.
Environmental impairment exposures can be significant due to the storage of fuel in underground fuel tanks and the disposal of used oils, solvents and other hazardous wastes from service and repair operations. All tanks and pipes, underground or above, must meet state or federal regulation and be routinely tested for leakage.
Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines. Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of sludge from water reclamation systems used in washing vehicles.
Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. If there are underground storage tanks, a UST policy will be needed.
Workers compensation exposure in the office is minimal. Employees performing maintenance or repair work should be properly trained. Employees working in the garage can incur injuries from slips, falls, back sprains, strains and hernias, hearing impairment from noise, and foreign objects in the eye.
Eye and ear protection should be provided. Welders may suffer burns. Repair areas should be properly ventilated. Hoists need to be regularly inspected to prevent vehicles from falling off. The proper use of lifting techniques and of dollies should be encouraged. Hoists need to be regularly inspected to prevent vehicles from falling off.
Refueling should be done only in well-ventilated areas to minimize inhaling of fumes. Information regarding chemicals should be available to employees along with early warning signs of problems. Pickup and delivery of customers or vehicles can result in injury due to vehicular accidents.
Property exposure comes from office and garage operations. Electrical equipment and wiring should meet current codes and be well maintained. Flammables such as fuels, paints, lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents used in the refueling and repair operations must be properly labeled, separated, and stored away from combustibles.
Spray painting should be done in spray booths with good ventilation, UL-approved wiring and fixtures, and adequate controls. Any welding needs to be evaluated for proper handling of the tanks and gases. It should be done away from the other operations with either a separate room or flash/welding curtains.
Smoking should be prohibited. Poor housekeeping is a serious fire hazard. Unless stored and disposed of properly, oily rags can spontaneously combust and cause a fire. Vehicles are target items for thieves.
Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers such as chains, fences, or gates, lighting to deter access to the premises after hours, and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high as replacement facilities may not be readily available.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivables if the operation offers credit, computers to monitor rentals and vehicles, signs, and valuable papers and records for customers' information, vehicle titles, and maintenance records. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Truck rental operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated.
There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits, billing, ordering, disbursements, and reconciling bank statements. Physical audits should be conducted at least annually. Theft of money and securities prevention requires controls of monies kept in the cash drawers and regular bank drops.
Montana Truck Rental Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the Montana truck rental insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage your operation - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks of commercial truck rental.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Montana also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Auto Service & Repair Insurance
Read useful small business auto service and repair insurance policy information. In an aotu related business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your garage, employees, and customers vehices & other property is protected.
- Auto Dealers
- Auto Detailing & Mobile Car Wash
- Auto Dismantlers
- Auto Service Repair
- Auto Supply Parts Store
- Car Rental
- Car Wash
- Gas Station
- Motorcycle Dealers
- Parking Lot
- RV Dealers
- Snowmobile Dealers
- Truck Rental
- Used Car Dealer
There is a Auto Service Risks Program is an enhancement of the Commercial Package Policy that is available to certain Auto Service Operations.
Automobile repair shops and garages offer a wide variety of mechanical services, from engine repair to tune-ups. The operation may be stand-alone or be part of another business such as an automobile dealership or filling station.
Gasoline stations are normally limited to the dispensing of gasoline, kerosene, diesel or fuel oil with incidental sales of auto accessories and pre-packaged snack food items. Larger gasoline stations may offer other services, such as auto repair, retail sales of food or auto parts, snack bar or restaurant, propane tank exchange, towing, or baths and overnight lodging facilities for truckers.
Car washes provide facilities for cleaning automobiles and other motor vehicles. Some are drive-through with either partially or fully automated conveyance of the vehicle throughout the operation. Hand washing, waxing, or interior cleaning of the vehicle may be offered, with customers sent to a waiting area. Damage to the customers' vehicles is the primary exposure as machinery and washes can break antennas, pull off stripping, crack glass and damage tires.
The three basic types of risks that are contemplated by the Auto Service Risks Program include:
- Repair Shops - operations primarily engaged in auto repair. This includes shops that do body, fender, radiator, ignition service and paint work.
- Service Stations- operations primarily engaged in servicing autos. The sale and installation of auto accessories are a part of this category as long as major engine or bodywork is not performed. Car wash facilities are eligible.
- Storage garages and other parking places.
The following classifications are specifically listed as eligible: Automobile:
- Quick Lubrication Services
- Repair or Service Shops
- Repair Shops–Self Service
- Car Washes–self-service and full-service
- Convenience Food/Gasoline Stores–self-service, full-service and combined
- Gasoline Stations–self-service, full-service and combined
- Parking–public-open air and not open air
Automobile, motor home, mobile home, trailer, and motorcycle dealers are NOT eligible for this program.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Signs, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Environmental Impairment, Underground Storage Tank Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Goods in Transit, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.
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