'Why won't an insurance company give me a quote?'

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Each insurance company has what you might call an appetite. If we do not fit into an insurance company’s appetite, they won’t provide us insurance. For example, Progressive is not able to provide insurance to any trucking company that hauls loads requiring placards. Other insurance companies are not able to provide insurance if the insured haul cars. Still others cannot provide insurance if the insured hauls local loads only, and yet others can't provide insurance if the insured is running over-the-road.

Sometime causing frustration for new trucking businesses, furthermore, many insurance companies are not able to provide insurance until the insured has been in business for a minimum number or years. That minimum can range from 1 to 3 years or more.

As an independent owner-operator, I have had policies with three different insurance companies. Each of them did exactly what I needed when I needed it. Each of them, when I had each policy, provided me the lowest premium available to me at that time.

As an insurance agent, I have access to 10-plus insurance companies. Each of those companies has its own unique appetite and unique premium structure. To make it even more complicated, each company’s appetite and premium structure are both constantly changing.

The very best way to know if you are receiving the lowest possible premium is to ask your insurance agent for the quoted premium of all the insurance companies from which they received a quote for you. Then request a list of all the insurance companies they submitted your application to.

Then, if you do not see a particular company on either list, there’s no harm done in seeking out a quote from that company through another insurance agent.

Additionally, there are plenty other ways to reduce your premium detailed in my Confronting a Cost Crisis article earlier this year. I would recommend reading that story as well, and taking advantage of any of those premium-reducing options that may be available to you.

[Related: Confronting a cost crisis: 'What do I do now to stay in business?'

Need help with your own insurance? Call the author of this brief, W. Joel Baker -- if you have questions about insurance you'd like to see addressed by Baker here in Overdrive, drop a comment under this story or get in touch with him directly via his websites. 

Find more information about bedrock business practice, including insurance issues, among a myriad other topics, in the Overdrive/ATBS-coproduced "Partners in Business" manual for new and established owner-operators, a comprehensive guide to running a small trucking business. Click here to download the updated 2022 edition of the Partners in Business manual free of charge.