Ensuring you have the right amount of and types of freight broker insurance is one of the most important — and complicated — aspects of the profession. In fact, it’s a federally mandated prerequisite.
Of course, you also don’t want to be stuck paying for needless or overpriced coverage. It’s a delicate balance that’s made easier if you have the right information. Here are three things to know about freight broker insurance:
Freight Broker Insurance of All Shapes and Sizes
Freight broker insurance is so complex partly because there are so many variations to choose from. Knowing the differences between the many types of insurance is one of the most important steps to making the right coverage decisions.
Types of freight broker insurance include:
Broker Bond — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires each freight broker to carry a surety bond in the amount of $75,000 — to be renewed once a year. The bond helps ensure shippers or motor carriers will be payed even if the broker is not able to fulfill its contracts.
Contingent Broker Auto Liability — Protection against third-party claims, such as when it is discovered that a trucker driver’s certificate of insurance was falsified.
Contingent Broker Cargo Liability — Pays claims that the carrier will not pay.
General Liability and Property Insurance — To address liabilities beyond issues involving cargo or driving.
Workers’ Compensation — Insurance for on-the-job accidents, including coverage in case one of the trucking companies you work with does not have workers’ compensation.
Different Applications Lead to Different Types of Coverage
Based on the type of broker authority application you submit to the FMCSA, the types of insurance you need will vary.
For instance, brokers who submit Form BMC-34 will need insurance protecting against both loss or damage to vehicles and to property. Those who utilize Form BMC-91 or MBC-91X should seek bodily injury and/or property damage insurance, as well as environmental restoration coverage.
Be Prepared to File Immediately
There are several steps in the process toward becoming a freight broker, so being prepared to move quickly is important — especially regarding the filing of insurance forms, which must be received by the FMCSA within 90 days of the agency publishing public notice of intention to register you.
“In addition to filing an application for operating authority, all applicants for motor carrier, forwarder, and broker authorities must have specific insurance and legal process agent documents on file before the FMCSA will issue the authorities,” according to the FMCSA.
There are many details involved in obtaining freight broker insurance and, ultimately, becoming a broker. Building as much knowledge as possible before starting the process is the best first step.
Extensive Insurance Support
Independent freight agents who work with Freight Tec receive $100,000 broker and military bonds, errors and omissions insurance, and contingent liability insurance — along with claims processing support. It’s one of the many perks that allow freight agents to spend less time worrying about administrative duties and more time finding and finalizing deals.
It’s exciting to see the many changes that innovation and technology are driving in the freight industry. What’s disappointing is that some other aspects of the industry have been slow to follow suit.
If you want more money, flexibility, back-office support and freedom to thrive, and are ambitious with a hard-working approach, becoming an independent freight agent could be the best move you ever make. Whether you’re a longtime veteran of the freight industry or a potential newcomer looking for fresh beginnings in a fast-paced field, here are several reasons you should become a part of the freight broker business with Freight Tec:
There’s no end-all, be-all answer to the question of how to get freight from shippers — especially considering the constantly changing technology and culture around us. To enjoy sustained success, freight agents must be familiar with sales techniques that have worked in the past and ready to integrate new tools at a moment’s notice.
Not every load can be that highly sought, top-paying “big fish.” Even so, it takes a fairly consistent stream of well-paying loads to build a career as a thriving freight agent. Too many inefficient loads will keep your business spinning in circles rather than moving forward.
It takes a well-thought plan to find loads that pay well. Here are several ideas for how to make it happen:
Freight agents don’t physically hand their customers a product, and in many cases they don’t even get the chance to meet them face to face, but that doesn’t make their customer service any less important. In the shipping industry, thoughtfully crafted customer service is often the difference between a loyal clientele and constant, frustrating turnover.
We believe in trying to find a different load for a Carrier, who wants to be home for the weekend to spend time with his family… Taking care of some of the extra headaches for a Shipping Manager so he can spend more time with his family… or making sure our Agents and Employees get the time they need to spend with their own families. We consider each of these part of the our Freight Tec Family as well.
The following are letters of appreciation from our Freight Tec Agents:
Thank you both so very much for the yummy Christmas treats, and the unexpected Christmas bonus. How very generous of you both!! It was a much-needed surprise.
I really appreciate what you both do to make this such an enjoyable place to work. I have never worked for a company where I look forward to coming to work every day.
Merry Christmas to you and your families!!
Thank you again,
Brent, I just wanted to reach out and thank you for your help and advice a few months back. I especially want to thank you for the referral to Freight-Tec. They have been absolutely amazing to work with! The transition has been seamless with the help of a great support staff in Freight-Tec. they were everything that I was looking for when I made the switch. This has been a blessing in every way for my family, especially financially. I will make 5X my previous salary as a Western U.S sales manager with another brokerage. I couldn’t be happier with your advice and I am so happy that I listened to you & followed your advice because I did have my mind made up at the time to try this a different way. There are a lot of bad brokerages out there and the good ones are not easy to find. Especially difficult to find a company that treats you the way Freight-Tec does. Thanks again!!!
Hope you are doing well
Believe me, all the gratitude is directed towards you and Carrie and your entire team that I have worked with. I am amazed how easy this process is and how wonderful the support has been from your office. This has been such an amazing transition and all the words can’t describe how easy and wonderful you and your office has been in helping me to be successful. I have never 1 time not received help immediately and far beyond my expectations every time I have reached out. Also, you guys have signed up some very large accounts in minutes. Compared to my last company that took days (literally). I love the positive vibe that I get from your office and it makes the world of difference.
Thank you for EVERYTHING!
I wanted to say thank you for the help and support in the past week and a half. I have been out with my eye surgery and I appreciate everyone helping from support, collections, carrier set up and everything else. I have been working mostly remote from my phone and laptop as I have to have limited exposure to light so it’s been difficult but your help has been very appreciated: It is great to be a part of such a dynamic organization and the little things you all help with go a very long way. A very special thanks to Barbara for dealing with my not so easy clients the past few weeks as well.
I look forward to continued growth with you guys. Please by all means let me know if there is anything you can critique me on so I can be sure to make your jobs easier. I hope you all have a blessed weekend with your families and enjoy the summer weather. I hope to eventually get out to the office to meet you all in person. I am extremely thankful and blessed for this opportunity. It was a very scary and tough decision to become an agent on my own but you have all made me feel like I am truly part of the Freight-Tec family and it has definitely made it so much easier.
This is a perfect example of Freight Tec’s values. If you wish to recieve this kind of support in your career, take a look at our Freight Agent Program.
Finding freight brokers is easy. But finding freight brokers you can trust? That’s a much more difficult task — although not impossible. Some freight brokers out there won’t utilize the unfair tactics that many of their competitors embrace.
If you’re a freight agent, it’s worth a little extra time in the selection process to make sure you find a broker who enables you to rest easy. Pinpointing the right broker is much easier if you enter your search with a good idea of what to look for, such as: