UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Canal Insurance
Canal Insurance was founded in 1939 to meet the needs of the growing long-haul trucking industry. Originally owned by a bank to cover vehicles they had financed, the company was purchased by an insurance agent in 1939 and began independent operations selling to the public.
By 1960 the company had expanded to cover 42 states and had a highly successful operation. The company’s headquarters remain in Greenville, SC, although they have moved over the years to larger headquarters buildings.
Canal insures a variety of trucking operations, including fleets and single trucks. Policies are sold through agents across the country.
At the time of our visit to the Canal website, we found it to be functioning poorly, with incorrect links and some pages that did not load or took several attempts to load; this is a frustrating experience for a reviewer and even more so for a customer.
The Canal programs are broken up by fleet size, and they are entirely focused on commercial trucking operations.
Express is for fleets of 1-10 trucks, Mid-Fleet for those with 11-50 trucks, and Fleet for those with 51+ trucks.
Coverage includes general trucker’s liability, cargo/freight insurance, physical damage, and of course all of the standards of commercial auto. This includes liability for property damage and bodily injury.
Canal’s truck insurance program also provides comprehensive roadside assistance, with a mobile mechanic available, as well as towing, tire changing, and other services.
Fleets of 11+ can add enhanced cargo/freight coverage in addition to that which is included standard. The cargo coverage is comprehensive and can be customized as needed. The cargo/freight and physical damage coverages have a single deductible option as well.
In addition to the coverage side, Canal offers their Risk360 safety program that provides a variety of related services including fleet monitoring and safety education.
Online quoting is not offered from Canal, which is expected for this type of company. Commercial auto, and particularly this type of insurance coverage, is very specific in nature, which means it is much better off quoted with a representative or agent.
Quotes can be obtained by contacting a Canal agent; the website offers a search function for this purpose.
Canal’s website has an online form that can be filled out to report a loss. Claim documents can also be attached when submitting the form or can be sent in by other means such as fax or regular mail.
There is a toll-free 24/7 emergency claim line. The site recommends using this line immediately in the case of any hazardous spill, serious injury, death, or claim involving refrigerated cargo. It seems likely that it can be used for any claim, however, if the customer prefers to talk to someone.
Further details are not offered in terms of claims processing or services.
Ratings and Customer Reviews
Canal Insurance has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with a total of five complaints on file in the past three years. The lowered rating is explained as being due to failure to be transparent about ownership, location, or products/service offered. There is no further detail offered as an explanation of what the particular issue was with this company. The complaint volume is low.
The only customer reviews we could find were on Yelp, where there are four one-star reviews. These complaints focus on the failure to pay claims and unprofessional service.
We were unable to find much else in the way of information on Canal, which is fairly common for a commercial insurance company.
The Bottom Line
With some issues reported by the BBB and a website that simply wasn’t functioning right at the time of our visit we didn’t come away with a positive impression of Canal. Their complaint volume isn’t high, but the other issues do raise some concerns. Considering the importance of coverage for commercial trucking operations, customers may want to look elsewhere.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.