Definite Guide to Different Types of Semi Truck Insurance

Strong Tie Insurance December 24, 2019 Insurance Locations

When you’re an owner-operator, it’s crucial to get the right insurance for your business. There are different types of commercial trucking insurance available out there, and you’ll need to choose the kind that is appropriate for the kind of trucking outfit you run. We’ve put together this definitive guide to the different types of semi-truck insurance. 

Types of Semi Truck Insurance

There are various types of semi-truck insurance that may be required by law. Others may be insurance that is specifically tailored for your business. It’s important to view all of your options so that you can protect your company’s assets.

General Liability

General liability insurance is sometimes called public liability insurance in the industry. It covers third-party physical injuries and property damage that result from regular business activities, not those from truck driving. General liability, for example, will cover medical or legal bills if a customer hurts themself slipping on something in your warehouse or office.

Owner-operators are typically required to have public liability insurance by law. And even if you aren’t, it’s a good idea for any business because it will cover you against the most basic business risks.

Drivers under a lease, however, typically do not need general liability insurance since most are covered by the motor carrier’s policy.

Read More: What Kind of Insurance Coverage Do Trucking Companies Need?

 

Trucking Liability 

Trucking liability insurance is also known as primary liability insurance. It pays for injuries and property damage that you cause to others when operating the truck. Truckers who haul non-hazardous items are usually required by federal law to carry a minimum of $750,000 of truck liability insurance. They will also have to carry the minimum amount as required by their individual state laws.

Trucking liability policies will require every truck to be listed on the policy. If a truck is not listed, insurance companies may not pay claims. 

Non-Trucking Liability

Non-trucking liability insurance will cover damages and injuries to third parties that happen when you’re behind the wheel of the truck for non-business related activities. For example, if you happen to cause an accident while you’re running personal errands, non-trucking liability will pay for the other person’s medical bills and repairs to their vehicle.

Non-trucking liability is typically for drivers who are under lease with a motor carrier. Although they may be covered by their motor carrier’s general liability insurance, that insurance only covers business activities like hauling cargo. Drivers will need non-trucking liability to cover all non-business driving. 

Bobtail Insurance

Many people haven’t heard of this type of insurance. Bobtail insurance is a type of liability insurance that covers you and your truck when you’re driving for the business, but not hauling a load.

This is essentially coverage for when you’re traveling between different jobs. The policy will pay your legal bills if someone happens to sue for an accident. Motor carriers may require leased drivers to carry this insurance.

It’s important not to confuse bobtail insurance with non-trucking liability coverage. While both cover the gray areas in between, bobtail insurance covers business-related driving, not personal driving.

Physical Damage 

Physical damage insurance covers damages and repairs to the truck caused by accidents, natural disasters, theft, and vandalism. It’s not required by law, but it is recommended for all drivers with their own trucks. Most lenders, however, will require this insurance for financing the truck.

There are two parts to this type of insurance: 

  1. Collision coverage pays for damage to your rig when there is an accident.
  2. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by factors not related to accidents, like theft and fire.

Read More: Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Insurance

Owner-operators should have physical damage insurance to protect the significant investment of their trucks. This even includes drivers under a lease. Most motor carriers’ liability insurance will extend to its drivers, but it won’t cover physical damages to the driver’s truck. 

Motor Truck Cargo 

Motor truck cargo insurance will cover the cargo your truck carries. For example, this insurance will pay out when items are lost or damaged. The coverage itself is not a legal requirement, but it’s good for owner-operators to carry it in order to protect their business. Delivery mistakes and accidents do happen, and it’s important to make sure you’re covered. 

Workers’ Compensation 

Workers’ compensation insurance is state-mandated. It pays employees’ medical costs and lost wages in the case that there are work-related injuries. Only motor carriers and owner-operators with employees will have to get this insurance, but some states may require coverage for businesses in high-risk industries.

Depending on the state law, injuries covered by workers’ compensation will typically include:

  • Injuries after a truck accident
  • Stress injuries from loading cargo
  • Work-related illnesses from chemical exposure

Additional Types of Semi Truck Insurance

While above we discussed the most common types of truck insurance, there are more that you may need to consider:

  1. Hazmat truck insurance 
  2. Livestock cargo insurance
  3. Trucking umbrella insurance

The policies you need will depend on your business itself. Owner-operators will need to look into all of these semi-truck insurance policies. Truck drivers under a lease will need to examine their contracts to determine which coverage they need.

The best thing you can do for yourself to determine which type of insurance you need is to work with an insurance company that has experience in the trucking industry. Call us today!

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