Semi truck insurance premiums can be significant. Commercial truck insurance can cost between $800 and $2,000. If you're a long-haul truck driver, there's no way to eliminate your semi truck insurance premiums, but parking your truck in a garage that's in a safe zip code might help you reduce your insurance payments.
Insurers Consider Location when Calculating Rates
When underwriting semi truck insurance policies, insurance companies take into account where a truck is parked when it's not being driven. Trucks in less safe locations are usually assessed higher insurance rates than those in safer places, because the trucks in more dangerous locations are more likely to sustain damage. Two particular considerations that insurers take into account are whether the truck is in a garage, as Business.com notes, and the number of claims in the zip code that the truck's kept in, as Kiplinger details.
The difference in rates offered in different zip codes can be sizeable. Kiplinger's article mentioned one study that examined personal auto insurance rates in two adjacent zip codes. Some rates differed by hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, even though all factors other than the zip code were kept the same. Although this study only considered personal policies, the discrepancy would only be exaggerated with semi truck insurance policies, because they cost much more than personal auto insurance policies.
You Can Move Your Truck to Reduce Your Premiums
While location can work against you if you keep your semi truck in an unprotected lot that's located in an unsafe neighborhood, you can also use it to your advantage. Depending on where you're currently parking your semi truck, you may be able to reduce your insurance premiums by starting to park it in a garage in a safe zip code.
Parking your truck in a different zip code might make your commute longer, but the inconvenience will be minimal if you're a long-haul driver. If you were home every night, you'd have to drive the longer commute every day. Most long haul drivers are only occasionally home, though, so you won't have to frequently drive the additional distance.
For example, if you start parking your truck in a commercial garage that's 10 miles farther from your home than the lot you currently use is, you'd have to drive an additional 20 miles every time you went to and from your truck. If you were a local driver who came home every day, you'd add 100 miles onto your weekly commute. If you're only home once a week, though, you'd only add 20 miles onto your weekly commute -- which is reasonable if it saves you money on your semi truck insurance.
Additionally, parking your truck in a garage might increase your parking fees. You'll like make up any increased parking fees by saving on your semi truck insurance premiums, though.
Compare Semi Truck Insurance Rates with an Independent Agent
Before you sign an agreement with a commercial parking garage in another zip code to store your truck there, contact an independent insurance agent who is familiar with semi truck insurance. They'll be able to compare rates in the zip codes near you and tell you which places qualify for the lowest insurance rates. An independent agent also will be able to compare rates from all insurers in your area to find the company that will give you the greatest discount for moving your semi.
If you want to reduce your overhead, consider changing where you park your semi truck. It's a simple change that's only minorly inconvenient, and it could save you a lot. An independent agent can help you find the best location and insurer. Contact a company like Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants for more information.