Bucket trucks and other commercial vehicles present unique risks and should be insured on a commercial auto policy. Regardless of what type of use you may have planned for the truck, a commercial auto policy will afford the most appropriate level of coverage for this type of vehicle. There are many coverage options, but you will want to be sure to look into a general liability policy to cover operation of the bucket, or boom, independent of the vehicle.
Write down the vehicle information that you find on the title or registration. You will need the VIN; the year, make and model of the truck; and the gross vehicle weight. You will also need to be able to tell your agent what the vehicle will be used for.
Determine the appropriate level of coverage for you or your business. Bear in mind that the additional cost to increase liability insurance limits can be relatively affordable. For instance, a $500,000 liability policy may only cost 3 to 5% more than a policy with a $300,000 liability limit. You will also want to consider whether you want comprehensive and collision coverage to protect your truck.
Decide what drivers will be named on your policy. Some companies will adjust the rate based upon the driving history of each named driver, and some will not. Any driver you list needs to meet minimum eligibility requirements for the policy.
Obtain multiple rate quotes. A good independent agent will be able to provide quotes from several competing carriers. Ask whether the policy will provide coverage for other vehicles you may rent or borrow or whether it will only cover vehicles you schedule.
Ask for a quote for a general liability policy that will cover you or your business for liability arising from the use of the boom or bucket while the vehicle is parked. A general liability policy will provide broad protection for your business operations and will cover many types of exposures that are not covered by an auto policy.
Ask your agent to compare the cost of insurance with and without comprehensive and collision insurance.
Ask your agent whether the policy will cover additional items added to the truck, other than factory-installed equipment.
Take note that in most states, liability for damage you may cause with the boom of the truck while it is stationary is NOT covered by the auto policy. Any liability other than that arising out of the normal operation of the truck as a road vehicle must be picked up by a general liability policy or other form of business insurance. This includes hitting something with the bucket; striking power lines; or damaging a surface from the placement of leveling or support bars attached to the truck.
- Utility Lineman image by Jeffrey Zalesny from Fotolia.com