Insurance for Truck Driving Schools
Truck driving schools offer highly specialized services, involving high-value assets, that expose their businesses to several potential areas of risk.
This makes truck driving school insurance for your business a high-priority item that you should settle before you start operating a Commercial Driving License (CDL) school.
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The main areas where you should concentrate are:
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- Professional Liability
- General Liability
- Commercial Property
- Workers Compensation
Naturally, every business is unique and different in its own ways.
Still, the following table summarizes a reasonable range of the expected levels of insurance cover you should be looking for, and the general cost profile that others operating in the same types of business are currently paying.
|Subject||Level of cover||Likely average cost per year|
|Commercial Vehicle Liability||Based on replacement value of the vehicle||$2200 – $3100 per training vehicle|
|Professional Liability||$50,000 full year, $25,000 single claim||$750 – $1100|
|General liability||$2 million per year, maximum $1 million single claim||$950 – $1400|
|Commercial Property||Per $500,000 value||$850 – $1400|
|Workers compensation||Rate is set in each state||Generally around $1 per $100 salary|
Commercial Vehicle Insurance
A business operating as a truck driver training school needs commercial vehicle insurance to protect the vehicles utilized in training.
Such cover is necessary in case of accidents, theft, malicious damage and a wide range of other possible losses.
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Any property damage resulting from an accident or injury to people who may have been involved can quickly become a substantial part of any claim against your business due to an accident.
In addition, in cases of a collision, the other parties’ vehicles can also become the basis of a claim.
Truck driver training schools must discuss their specific circumstances with their insurance company to ensure the policy covers many potential scenarios.
It’s important to recognize that the nature of any business running an accredited truck driving school exposes you to special levels of risk of accidents.
This is because your vehicles are being used by inexperienced trainee drivers learning highly specialized skills, such as fuel truck driving, fork truck driving and gas truck driving.
It would be best if you were looking to negotiate your insurance with an insurance company with experience in commercial driver’s license (CDL) driving school insurance.
The factors that will determine the level of cover your need, and the cost, will be:
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- The number of vehicles in your fleet
- The value of the fleet, based on the replacement cost of each vehicle
- Your own claims history
- The nature of the training – if you are working with highly specialized vehicles such as fuel trucks, gas transporters etc.
- If you are running an evening truck driving school offering training for night-time driving
- Whether your vehicles are appropriately equipped for training, with facilities like dual controls, dashboard cameras, and are appropriately marked as training vehicles
- The nature of the locations you are training the students to operate in – urban areas, mountains, mining sites and extreme weather areas all add to the possibility of accidents and companies offering insurance for driver training schools will probably load the premiums.
Professional Liability Insurance for Truck Driving Schools
The nature of a heavy truck driving school involves training people who will be going out and working in commercial operations that will depend on their level of skill and training obtained during your truck driving courses.
Suppose the drivers or their employers are subsequently sued because of some accident or incident.
In that case, they could claim that it was due to improper or inadequate instruction and training by your truck driving school.
This can quickly escalate into a court case where you are being blamed for this.
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The most crucial benefit of Professional Liability insurance for any accredited truck driving school is that the insurance company is obliged to conduct the defense of the claim, regardless of whether you were in fact responsible.
Defending such a case requires good legal representation, which doesn’t come cheap.
In some instances of claims defended by driver training school insurance carriers, the total legal bill amounted to more than the claimed amount.
Now imagine if you were in such a position without professional liability insurance.
Unless you are ready to fork out thousands of dollars upfront for the defense, you would have to pay whatever was being claimed!
To limit the possibility of any student or their employer trying to sue you for what they claim was inadequate or improper training, it is important that you keep good records of the training sessions provided to each student, and evidence of their attendance, history of performance assessments by the teachers.
It is also a good idea to demonstrate that you provided supplementary material that the student was expected to use, such as training videos, manuals about the specific vehicles they were learning on, etc.
General Liability Insurance for Truck Driving Schools
All businesses have a legal “duty of care” to protect people and property when they engage in their business activities.
This means that you are liable if anyone coming inside your business premises, property and a place where you are working suffers some injury or damage to their property that they claim was due to your negligence.
This liability relates to people not employed by your business, for example, your students, their family and friends who accompany them to the driver training courses.
It also applies to any casual visitor who may be on your premises.
The type of events that can result in a claim come from accidents or mistakes resulting in property damage, personal injury or advertising losses during your normal business operations.
It includes injuries in slips and falls and damage to clothing through spillage of toxic substances.
For example, suppose one of your tankers was improperly sealed and some oil has been left pooled across a walkway.
In that case, if a visitor slips on the oil patch and suffers some injury, or just ruins their clothing, you need general liability insurance to meet the resultant claim of negligence.
Because the claim can be for bodily injury, you could be faced with medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation, loss of income and many other potential expenses, along with legal costs.
Like any business operating out of its own premises, whether leased or owned by you, you need to insure the property with commercial property insurance against fire, weather damage, vandalism, and all the other risks that buildings and car parking spaces are subject to.
For a commercial driving school, there are greater levels of risk in the property because of higher levels of daily access by the students.
Insurance of the building and content will give you peace of mind that even in the most unlikely circumstances, the value of your assets will be protected.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If you are employing other people, even if it’s on a temporary, part-time or contract basis, you are probably required by law to carry workers compensation insurance.
Each state has its own regulations, and the costs and application of the laws are different in each one.
For a business involving road transport vehicles like a truck driving school or dump truck driver training school, there may be some extra necessary workers compensation requirements, for example if your operations take your lessons across state lines.
In this case, you may need to be insured separately under the regulations of each state.
What is the government office regulating Truck Driving Training
The Office for Office of Motor Carriers, US Department of Transportation & Federal Highway Administration, is the primary regulator for all matters concerning truck driving.
FMCSA’s Entry Level Driver Training regulations set the baseline for training requirements for entry-level drivers applicable to drivers looking to obtain their initial Class A or Class B commercial drivers’ license, or to upgrade their existing Class B commercial drivers’ license to a Class A commercial driver’s license, or register with an endorsement for school or passenger bus or hazardous materials.
Regardless of the licensing state, it establishes a uniform national standard to ensure that all new drivers have the same levels of safety skills, regardless of where or in which truck driving school they were trained.
What is the reason truck driving schools need vehicle insurance?
The reality is that when a driver is learning, they will be operating an unfamiliar vehicle, thereby creating a higher risk of a collision.
Even under the guidance of you or your teachers, an inexperienced driver could lose control of the vehicle and cause a collision with another vehicle, crash into a wall, or collide with a person in the worst imaginable scenario.
Because the student was driving one of your vehicles, and supposed to be under your supervision, it is to be expected that your business may be held responsible to some degree.
Even if you were found not to be responsible in the end, the whole process of defending against such a claim can require you to fork out large amounts of money for legal defense.
For this reason, having the insurance upfront takes a great deal of risk-off your shoulders for a relatively small cost.