1st Guard Insurance Review

1st Guard Insurance
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Financial Strength



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1st Guard Insurance was originally based in Detroit, where it was founded in 1937 as a general business insurer. Its focus shifted in the 1960s, eventually dropping its other commercial lines to focus purely on trucker insurance. The company was acquired by Biglari Holdings in 2014, making the shift to a publicly traded parent rather than a privately held smaller business. Interestingly, Biglari Holdings is not primarily an insurance company. The holding company’s other assets include restaurants like Steak’n’Shake and Western Sizzler.

Despite its changes in ownership, 1st Guard has remained true to its vision as a trucking insurer. The company is geared primarily toward owner-operators, or truckers who own their rigs rather than large company fleets. This gives 1st Guard a somewhat unique edge as it operates more as a consumer-minded insurer than a B2B company. Policies are brokered directly to individual truckers, with instant quotes available through the company’s website.

1st Guard is now headquartered out of Venice, Florida. Policies are available in most Eastern states and a handful of states west of the Mississippi, including Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Texas.

Insurance Products

Commercial Auto Insurance

Physical Damage Insurance

This is generally the same as collision and comprehensive coverage. It pays for damages to the tractor and trailer. It does not cover other trucking equipment, but additional coverage can be purchased for those items if necessary. You can modify a physical damage policy by adding supplemental coverages or endorsements:

  • Extended towing up to 2,000 miles to a repair shop if a vehicle is disabled due to a covered loss.
  • Loss of income from a disabled a vehicle.
  • Lease gap coverage for tractors and trailers that are not fully paid off.
  • Emergency expense reimbursement for costs like hotel stays and transportation after a loss.
  • Rental reimbursement for a temporary replacement truck while yours is being repaired.
  • Contents coverage to pay for your personal items kept in the truck, like laptops or tools. Note that this coverage does not extend to the load that you’re hauling.
  • Tarps, chains and binders coverage to reimburse the loss of these items when they are lost or stolen.

Aside from these physical damage coverages and options, 1st Guard also offers a few specialized liability coverages with truckers in mind:

  • Non-trucking liability: This is coverage that fills in the gaps with the trucking company’s commercial liability plan. Owner-operators may sometimes drive their trucks outside of business purposes, and any damages caused at those times would be the personal responsibility of the driver rather than the trucking company. This insurance coverage pays for those damages. Other types of liability are generally paid by the trucking company rather than the operator.
  • Occupational accident and worker’s compensation: These coverages complement each other. The latter is purchased by fleet owners while the former is purchased by drivers. Together, they provide compensation for injuries that occur while on the job. Occupational accident insurance is primarily needed by drivers who do not qualify for worker’s compensation.
  • Passenger accident insurance: Covers injuries sustained by a passenger, such as a friend or family member, who is injured in an accident involving the insured truck. Since many long-haul truckers bring their spouses or other family members on trips, this is a useful coverage to have.

1st Guard Insurance Rates

1st Guard markets to owner-operators rather than fleet owners. It’s also one of the few trucking insurance companies to offer instant free insurance quotes on its website. Click “Instant Quote” and choose your state to fill out the form, or call 866-FAST-234 for information.

The quote request form is simple and easy to use. It requires no personal information, just general info about your truck. I filled out the form as a driver with one truck and no accidents, moving violations or felonies, setting the vehicle as a 2014 Freightliner worth $100,000 (based on for-sale models currently being sold on CommercialTruckTrader.com).

Based on those values, I received a quote for a monthly insurance cost of $233. This is a base value for physical damage and non-trucking liability coverage. Additional optional coverages would change the price, as would any changes in the vehicle being insured and the driver’s history.

Claims

The claims page is accessible through the 1st Guard main page, under the tab of “Need Help?”

This page allows you to file a claim online by filling out a simple form. Note that this is not an official claim, but only a first notice of loss submitted to the company. An adjuster will call to follow up and proceed with the claims process within one day.

Consumer Research and Complaints

1st Guard is a very forward-facing company, with a strong web presence to attract its primary target audience of owner-operators. This has paid off, because the company is generally well-liked by truckers.

The company’s Facebook page has 812 “likes” and averages a 4.5-star rating, although there are few reviews to add up to it. Comments on trucking forums and other community sites are also generally positive, with most people appreciating the company’s responsiveness.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best N/A N/A
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

Most providers of trucking insurance either offer it as just one of many commercial auto products or target fleet owners specifically. 1st Guard makes a point of targeting owner-operators that have very specific needs, which might not be serviced well by other companies. This company has a very accessible site with an instant quote feature. It’s also generally well-liked by reviewers within its niche. If you’re an owner-operator of a commercial truck, this is definitely a company worth looking into.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
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1st Guard Insurance
Author Rating
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