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About 1st Guard
1st Guard was originally founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1937, and initially offered general commercial insurance policies. During the 1960s the company began a shift towards trucking insurance that eventually led to a sole focus on that particular area of commercial insurance.
In 2014 1st Guard was acquired by diverse holding company Biglari Holdings, which owns a variety of companies across multiple industries. This shifted the company to operations under a large, publicly traded parent company, but did not affect 1st Guard’s approach to insurance.
1st Guard differs from most trucking insurance companies in that its main focus is owner-operators – drivers that own their own truck and contract to carry for companies with that truck – rather than fleet owners, and this is specific to owner-operators under a lease agreement, not those under their own authority. They do have a fleet program listed on their website, although the insurance products they sell are aimed at owner-operators directly.
Policies are sold via independent agents, but 1st Guard does offer quoting on their website without the need to contact an agent.
1st Guard Products
The company website lists three products for owner-operators. The products are those needed by truckers that are leased under a trucking company. There is no coverage offered for those that drive under their own authority.
Physical Damage Insurance
This product is what is known as collision coverage on most vehicle insurance policies, and it covers damage to the vehicle itself in the event of an accident. 1st Guard’s policy comes with a number of options that can be added on:
- Extended towing coverage of up to 2,000 miles
- Roadside assistance
- Downtime coverage to pay for lost income during repairs on a covered loss
- Loan gap coverage
- Emergency expense reimbursement
- Truck rental reimbursement to pay for a rental truck to be used during repairs
- Contents coverage
- Zero deductible glass repair
- Tarp, chains, and binders coverage
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
This coverage is designed to provide liability coverage when the truck is being used for personal or other non-economic purposes. The coverage is for permanently leased owner-operators that have trucking liability coverage already in place but require coverage for use outside the bounds of that lease agreement.
Occupational Accident Insurance
Acting as a replacement for worker’s compensation insurance for owner-operators that do not qualify for that type of coverage, Occupational Accident Insurance helps pay for medical costs and lost wages as the result of an accident.
Passenger injury coverage is also available as an option.
The 1st Guard site describes a fleet program that includes analytics and easy changes to drivers and vehicles, but it does not provide any specifics of the coverage under the program. Since all of the products listed are aimed at owner-operators, we were unable to get an idea of what coverage is offered under this program.
There is a contact button available to reach a fleet sales manager for more information.
The last time we reviewed 1st Guard, we were able to obtain a quote online without entering any personal information, but that has changed.
After the first few steps of the quoting process, we were redirected to a contact form that requested personal contact information and stated that we would be redirected to the home page after entering that contact information.
As a result of this change to the online quoting system, we were not able to get a rate quote from this company. This is quite common for commercial insurance companies in general.
Claims information is not offered on the 1st Guard website. There is an area where existing clients can log into a customer area, and it is likely that claims information is offered beyond that portal.
There are several ways to contact 1st Guard listed on the website, including a toll-free number, email address, and mailing address.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
1st Guard has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are no complaints on file in the past three years.
There are a total of 61 Google reviews for this company, with an overall 4.7-star rating. That is overwhelmingly positive, and the comments by customers cite reasonable rates and excellent customer service.
The company’s Facebook page has a 3.7-star rating based on 20 reviews. There are several complaints from customers stating they had their policies cancelled after a single claim was filed. There are also several positive reviews.
Overall, 1st Guard appears to enjoy a very positive reputation.
The Bottom Line
If you fit into the specific niche of the trucking industry for which 1st Guard writes coverage, they are well worth getting a quote, even though the online option no longer exists. They have a lot of experience in the industry and have plenty highly positive reviews from their customers, something that is rare for an insurance company.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.