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Primary Categories of Commercial Truck Insurance
Owner Operator Insurance
The Owner Operator Commercial Truck Insurance category actually has two subsections: 1) Owner operators under permanent lease to a motor carrier, and, 2) Owner operators working under their own authority. Independent drivers leased to a motor carrier must adhere to the trucking insurance coverage required in the motor carrier’s lease agreement. More often than not the motor carrier has Primary Liability insurance that covers truckers working on their behalf, and includes coverage for damage and injuries (personal and property) if you are at fault in an accident.
Even if the motor carrier covers you when you’re working for them, you’ll still want to consider carrying your own Non-trucking Liability Insurance (see below), Physical Damage Coverage, and Motor Truck Cargo insurance to protect you when you’re not on a job, your truck is damaged is stolen, or the load you’re hauling is damaged is lost.
Owner Operators working under their own authority need their own Liability (Bodily Injury and Property Damage), Physical Damage, Motor Truck Cargo, and Motor Truck General Liability insurance coverage.
Motor Carrier Insurance
There are both mandatory and optional Motor Carrier Truck Insurance policies for for-hire commercial truck owner-operators. Liability Insurance is mandatory, and is available for both Bodily Injury and Property Damage. These policies will pay damages caused to others by you.
Optional Motor Carrier Insurance includes Physical Damage coverage, Collision, Comprehensive, Fire and Theft, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist, and Motor Truck Cargo insurance.
Private Carrier Insurance
Private carriers haul goods in their own truck for an employer or contracting company. Work with licensed truck insurance agents to determine the coverage you need, but be sure to enquire about the following:
Liability insurance: Bodily Injury and Property Damage
Physical Damage insurance: Collision, Comprehensive, Fire and Theft
Medical payments insurance
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
The most valuable asset an independent owner-operator has is the truck itself, so protecting it is imperative. Non-trucking Liability coverage protects your rig – and your livelihood – when you’re not driving dispatch for a motor carrier.
Physical Damage coverage is usually the responsibility of the truck owner, even if the motor carrier provides Liability Insurance, and protects you in collisions and overturns, theft or natural disaster. Physical Damage policies will cover you both on and off dispatch.
Bobtail insurance is trucking accident coverage specific to a tractor being operated without a trailer, typically when off dispatch.
The size and diversity of the commercial trucking industry requires heavy regulations for safety of both drivers and the general public. Take the time to work with a trucking insurance provider who’s able to provide the best coverage, rates, and claims service you need.