What is Non-Trucking Insurance? Understanding Its Importance

Strong Tie Insurance July 15, 2021 Our Blog

When looking for affordable commercial trucking insurance, it’s important to remember all the different situations that require coverage. It should cover all possible situations you may encounter. 

Standard truck insurance covers your vehicle while you are using it for work purposes, but what about the times when you have some free time and end up using your truck on your own time? 

What Is Truck Insurance?

Truck insurance is designed to protect you in the event of an incident involving your truck. There are several kinds of insurance available for different situations. State law determines the specific requirements for different vehicles and cargo types. 

Vehicles at higher risk will have to pay higher insurance premiums. That means that small trucks or trucks carrying less expensive cargo usually have lower premiums. In California, the minimum required coverage for trucks ranges from $300,000 to $5 million, depending on cargo and type of truck. 

Household goods trucks are generally required to have high insurance minimums. The insurance requirements are higher because these trucks often deliver to people’s homes, and thus have a higher potential for causing bodily harm. 

Trucks that carry hazardous material or petroleum have insurance minimums in the millions, to account for the possibility that their cargo will spill or cause more damage in the event of an accident. 

It’s important to note that general liability insurance has its limits. It doesn’t provide full coverage for trucks and doesn’t apply in unusual situations. That’s where stopgap policies like non-trucking insurance come in. 

What is Non-Trucking Insurance?

Non-trucking insurance is meant to cover your truck for the time you end up using your truck for any purpose other than business. 

It will pay for any damages to property and bodily injury caused by your truck. This policy type fills in an important gap left by general truck insurance, which doesn’t apply to incidents that happen during personal use.

Personal use describes any use of a truck when you aren’t in the process of delivering cargo. That means making visits to friends and family, going to restaurants, giving people rides, and more. 

General liability insurance normally covers the trip home, but there is some gray area depending on the circumstances. For example, insurance companies may decide whether or not an event is a personal use—depending on divergence from the usual route, stops made along the way, and extended visits to people. 

What’s the Difference Between Non-Trucking Insurance and Bobtail Insurance?

These two forms of insurance have a few similarities, and they’re often confused. Both of them are used to provide insurance coverage for your truck in a non-standard situation. Even though the two sound similar, non-trucking insurance is different from bobtail insurance. 

Bobtail trucking insurance is designed to provide coverage when you are driving a truck without a trailer attached. For most of your trip, you’re likely carrying goods in a trailer attached to your cab. 

The term “bobtailing” refers to the moments when you drive your truck without a trailer attached. Usually, bobtailing happens when you’re on the way to pick up another load. 

Cabs are designed to be driven with a heavy load attached, so this situation can be riskier than driving with a trailer.  Commercial trucking insurance doesn’t cover this situation, so you need a specific insurance type to be protected in these kinds of instances. 

Bobtail insurance keeps you covered in the moments after you’ve dropped off the cargo. However, before you have picked up another load, commercial trucking insurance doesn’t cover this point in time, which is why you need a specialized plan to stay insured even when you aren’t carrying goods.

Non-trucking liability (NTL) insurance policies cover your truck during any time it’s being used for non-business purposes. Bobtailing still counts as part of your work, so this insurance doesn’t cover that situation. 

NTL insurance policies cover any personal use of your truck, like giving a friend a ride or making a detour for non-work-related reasons. It applies both when the trailer is attached and when it isn’t. 

Who Needs Non-Trucking Insurance?

Anyone who drives a truck on a regular basis should consider non-trucking insurance. Despite your best intentions, sometimes situations crop up when you need to use your truck for non-business purposes. In those situations, it’s important to be covered. 

For those who are leasing their trucks from a motor carrier, this kind of policy is often required in the lease contract. 

Motor carriers typically take care of the general liability insurance for their fleets. Having individual truckers take on this kind of policy protects the main liability insurance and ensures that the trucks are protected in all circumstances.

Accidents involving trucks can result in huge settlements. Because trucks are so large, they can cause significant amounts of damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure you are insured for any situation that might come up while you are driving your truck. 

When Does Non-Trucking Insurance Come Into Play? 

Non-trucking insurance is protecting you and your vehicle whenever you use your truck for a non-business purpose. 

The most obvious situations for this are when you are off-duty and use your truck to visit family and friends, go to a restaurant, or do other activities completely unrelated to work. Some circumstances may be less clear-cut, though. 

When a trucker is headed home under dispatch, the general insurance policy will usually cover his or her truck. There are a few variables that might affect the coverage, though. 

If the trucker takes an unusual, out-of-the-way path home, that might be covered by non-trucking liability insurance instead of standard. Making stops unrelated to business or long personal visits might also fall into this category. 

What is the Cost Of Non-Trucking Insurance?

This kind of insurance works alongside general liability insurance and other policies. Since it covers a small window of time, this policy is usually relatively inexpensive. Truckers spend most of their time on dispatch and tend not to use large trucks to run errands or meet friends.

Companies will look at your driving history and the amount of time you spend making personal trips when determining the exact cost of your insurance policy. 

We provide cheap commercial insurance to truckers across the country. We have policies to cover any situation.

To learn more about what we offer and get a free quote, contact our team at Strong Tie Insurance today.