When in the trucking business, your exposure to different types of liabilities is always high. If left exposed, huge losses may end up crippling your business due to lack of knowledge. It’s up to truck business owners and operators to evaluate their exposure to these risks and take the necessary coverage. In the trucking industry, several policies are usually needed to cover different types of liabilities. What trucking umbrella insurance covers are totally different from what physical damage insurance covers. Not to mention, bobtail insurance is different than non-trucking liability insurance.
If your truck is being driven without a trailer is commonly known as bobtail or deadheading, a policy is available for it. In other words, anytime a truck is without a trailer it is known as bob truck. Occasionally, you’ll find yourself or employees taking bobtail trips with or without dispatch. For example, if you are between loads, or as you are aware it makes no sense taking your truck to the garage towing a trailer. When taking deadhead trips you are legally required to have special coverage for your truck whether you are under a dispatch or not.
However, it is definitely a good thing to have just in case if your trucks drive on the roads bobtailing frequently. Non-trucking liability insurance is pretty simple, it is coverage for any time your truck is used for non-trucking purposes, however, they cover different things.
What Type of Policy Do I Really Need?
For trucking companies, both non-trucking liability insurance and bobtail coverage are very important policies to have. This because an accident can occur while using your truck as a cabin which is not insured. If something were to happen of any size, you will end up losing hundreds to millions of dollars in lawsuits. With bobtail insurance coverage, whether your truck was under dispatch or not, it covers all liabilities in case an accident occurs. A good example is if an accident happens when your driver is moving to and from a terminal, bobtail insurance covers the loss.
This is one of the best coverages in the trucking industry as it offers broader coverage compared to others policies. Due to this fact, you may find the coverage a bit more expensive than other trucking policies as it minimizes the carrier’s exposure. Most truck owners when signing the lease agreement with trucking companies insist on non-trucking liability insurance coverage. In other cases, they prefer both that and bobtail liability insurance as it gives them less exposure to risk.
Exactly What is Covered With Bobtail Insurance?
As a trucking business operator, it advisable you understand what this coverage entails to be sure of what type of liability policies you need to have for your truck. With most insurances rates going up, understanding your exposure and the right coverage for you is very important. With bobtail insurance, it works well when complemented by other primary liability coverages. Among them is a physical damage policy. When bobtail covers any liability that may arise from the accident when your truck is without cargo, a physical damage policy covers all damages that your truck may have an encounter.
In case of an accident, bobtail insurance doesn’t cover damages sustained by your truck as it covers liabilities only. This means, for your truck, you need to get another type of coverage. In this case, a comprehensive coverage or cargo insurance will do. These coverages are usually referred to as physical damage policy. In most cases, people confuse non-trucking liability insurance with bobtail insurance because of their similarities. Before you take any of them, it is advisable to ask your agent the best coverage for you.
The Difference Between Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability
So what is the difference between these two types of policies? The purpose of non-trucking liability insurance is to protect the owner or the operator from any liability when an accident happens anytime the vehicle is not used for business purposes. This can be when the truck was towing a trailer or not. On the other hand, bobtail insurance protects the owner against any liability when an accident happens without a trailer. Whether the truck was used for personal use or business, bobtail insurance should cover it regardless.
Sometimes, you might want to use your truck without a trailer to rush somewhere and come back. In this scenario, a temporary bobtail insurance policy will work in this situation. The temporary insurance means you are using your truck without cargo for a short time. This fills any gap that may be left by other major policies. In this case, the policy will cover anybody injury and property damage. In the USA, trucking insurance laws vary from one state to another. Make sure the bobtail insurance policy that you purchase complies with the insurance laws of your state.
As earlier stated, bobtail insurance doesn’t cover any damage to your truck but rather any liability that may arise from the accident. These liabilities are:
- Lawsuit costs if any ensues
- If there were any injuries to anyone, the insurance takes care of it
- Payment of all property damages that may have occurred during the accident
How to Determine if Bobtail Insurance or Non-Trucking Liability is Best For You
The most common reason for you to purchase bobtail insurance is when it’s required by your motor carrier before contract signing. However, any serious semi-trucker or company will tell you how important it is to have bobtail coverage and non-trucking liability insurance. As earlier indicated, once in a while, you will find yourself driving your truck as bob truck which requires additional coverage for liabilities to other parties.
For you to know which is the best coverage for your truck is, it’s always advisable to involve your insurance agent. Their advice comes in handy while making your decisions on the best insurance policies for your truck. Their advice will help you also in choosing the best insurance company for you.
Most states offer different types of bobtail insurance rates with most of them ranging from one thousand dollars to four thousand dollars annually. These quotes are based on several factors. Insurance companies also offer different rates as they try to compete with each other. Choose the best carrier company with a good reputation and low rates. Talk to multiple carriers that your agent recommends as this will always increase your chances of getting rates at pocket-friendly costs.
Whether you operate a leased truck or your own, filling all those gaps that might have been left by your primary covers is very important. This is because it assures you the protection of your property in case of the unforeseen. Nobody knows when an accident will strike, the best way to not expose your business is to get coverage that will protect your business and family in the long run. Non-trucking liability insurance does that as well, it is better to have more than less when it comes to insurance.
Some carrier companies are offering bobtail insurance and physical damage insurance as a package and at lower rates as they complement each other. Shopping for the best deals lets you save the most money. Your coverage is as good as the company providing the policies, choose the best and call us today.