Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator Part 10: Insuring Your Livelihood

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TORONTO, Ont. — Truck insurance is mandatory but what about the trailer, cargo and perhaps as importantly, your health?

What are your insurance obligations and what extras are available to ensure you are able to succeed as an owner/operator? Ray Haight, CEO of ATBS Canada, discusses insurance in the conclusion of our 10-part series sponsored by Michelin, Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator.

Haight offers advice on shopping for a reasonable deductible and how to lower it to a manageable rate. Does one deductible cover the tractor, trailer and cargo or if an entire combination goes missing will you be forced to pay three deductibles?

How about the contents of your truck, including personal items such as a TV? Will they be covered under a home insurance policy?

“You’ve got to know about all those items,” Haight advises.

Just as importantly, Haight says owner/operators must ensure their health is protected in the event of an illness or injury. He discusses alternatives to WCB/WSIB, which protect an owner/operator both on and off the job.

“‘It’s never going to happen to me,’ just doesn’t cut it,” he says. “There’s obviously a lot of numbers that show people have accidents and they get hurt and it’s pretty sad to see that happen to somebody who’s trying to do the right thing and they’re taken out of the truck for a month or two or worse, that they lose everything they have.”

Haight also offers tips on preventing cargo theft, an epidemic that’s facing the industry.

“It really doesn’t matter what you have on the vehicle,” he points out. “I’ve seen 45,000 lbs of candy canes stolen. Frozen turkeys. Things you think have no value to anyone, but they’re stolen.”

Finally, Haight offers some closing thoughts on becoming a successful owner/operator.

“There is room for profitable, well-run, single-truck operations in the industry,” he says. “I think if you manage your money, your time and look after your equipment, you can make it in this industry. The vast majority of carriers out there started with one person and one truck. Those people stuck their necks out, saw an opportunity and went for it and now they are the backbone of this industry.”

Watch Part 10 here.

You can find the previous nine installments here.

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