Do you run a garbage truck or waste hauler business? Insurance will play a crucial role in protecting your business and its finances. It will also ensure that you can run your business legally.
But what type of insurance do you need and what are the requirements? Let’s take a closer look at garbage truck insurance options and why it’s important to have adequate coverage.
How Much Do Garbage Trucks Cost?
Purchasing a garbage truck is no small expense. But just how much can you expect to spend? The answer will largely depend on:
- Whether you’re buying new or used
- The type of garbage truck (rear load, front load or side load)
In general, a new garbage truck can cost anywhere from $200,000-$400,000+.
You may be able to find a preowned truck for around $100,000, but there’s always a risk with purchasing preowned vehicles.
Regardless of which option you choose, you’re making a big investment when buying a garbage truck. Insurance can help protect that investment so that even if an accident occurs, you can continue operations.
Garbage Truck Insurance Coverage
Insurance coverage requirements and limits can vary from state to state for garbage truck businesses. However, one thing is for sure, you will need to at least obtain commercial auto insurance with good liability coverage.
Commercial auto insurance will include:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Physical damage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
These are just the basic coverage options you should have for your garbage trucks. There are many types of insurance options to choose from
Types of Garbage Truck Insurance Options to Choose
There are many types of insurance options for garbage trucks.
Here are the most important options for insurance for junk removal business and garbage haulers.
A bodily insurance policy will cover the cost of injuries if your trucks are involved in an accident. For example, if your garbage truck sideswipes a vehicle and the driver’s ribs are broken as a result, bodily injury will cover the cost of their medical care.
Medical care can include hospital stays, doctor’s visits and rehabilitation. Bodily injury may also cover pain and suffering as well as lost wages.
Auto / Collision Damage Protection
A collision policy will protect against damage caused by rollovers and collisions. For example, if one of your drivers misjudges a turn and takes out a street sign with one of your garbage trucks, collision damage protection will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the sign.
Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection
A comprehensive policy will give you peace of mind because it offers protection against several different hazards, including:
- Fire or wind damage
- Accidents involving animals
- Acts of nature (e.g., a tree falls on your garbage truck)
If your truck is damaged or totaled by one of these hazards, comprehensive physical damage will cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
Liability insurance is an integral part of any garbage truck insurance policy because it offers coverage for:
- Damage to property
Liability is required by law, so this is one policy that is non-negotiable.
When shopping for a policy, ensure that the company offers an MCS-90 Endorsement, which will attach to your liability policy and prove that you have federally mandated coverage in place.
Owners who operate their own garbage trucks and are an integral part of the team should have their own medical payments insurance. The insurance will extend to all passengers or any driver who is injured in an accident.
Medical expenses will be paid regardless of who is found to be at-fault for the accident.
You may also need to have workers’ compensation, which will further extend benefits to workers injured in an accident.
Physical Damage Insurance
Accidents resulting in damage to your garbage truck can cause business to screech to a halt. Physical damage insurance will cover the cost of:
- Repairing your garbage truck
- Replacing your garbage truck
If your truck is under a lease or loan, physical damage insurance is often required.
Property damage insurance will help pay for the costs of:
- Repairing or replacing other vehicles damaged in the accident
- Replace or repair any other property damage as a result of your driver’s negligence
Obtaining property damage insurance will limit your liabilities as a business owner because property damage costs will be absorbed by the insurance.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
When another driver is at fault for an accident and they do not have adequate or any insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance can offer protection for bodily injury, property damage, collision deductible waivers and more.
Workers’ compensation is required in most states except Texas.
However, the requirements vary from state to state. If you have employees, workers’ comp will cover:
- Lost wages
- Medical benefits
Additionally, employers cannot be sued for tort of negligence if they have workers’ compensation.
Go Beyond Your Garbage Truck Business Insurance Needs
Garbage and waste haulers must obtain insurance that covers nearly all incidents, which can be complicated. There’s a lot to consider with your insurance, and you may want to consider the following insurance extras:
Garbage and waste trucks are often outfitted with specialized equipment. If you have any of the following mounted to or installed on your rig, you may want to consider accessory insurance:
- Specialized equipment
- Navigation systems
- Communication devices
You can also inquire with your insurer to learn if they cover these items in their overall coverage.
If your truck needs repairs, you still need to meet your customers needs. Rental insurance will cover these incidents, allowing you the option to rent a garbage truck so that you can still fulfill customer needs.
While not relevant to all garbage or junk trucks, if your truck does exchange trailers, you need to have trailer interchange insurance.
Towing a garbage truck is a major expense and one that you must plan for ahead of time. Towing insurance will cover the cost of towing your vehicle. In addition, when combined with rental coverage, your business will have insurance to cover all incidentals.
Garage truck insurance is complex and comprehensive. Umbrella coverage may be something to also consider because it will extend your coverage to handle incidents outside of your current limits. Your insurer will discuss your state’s requirements with you and work to underwrite a policy that offers you maximum protection from liability.