Five Types Of Commercial Truck Insurance You May Need To Consider
Owning a commercial truck, such as a semi-truck, is very different than owning a non-commercial vehicle. You have the responsibility of insuring your vehicle when you are loaded, as well as when you are unloaded. This means not only do you have to have insurance coverage for your truck, but you must also have it for your load. If you drive for a company, the company will probably carry all of the insurance you need, but if you are an independent trucker there are multiple types of commercial truck insurance you need to consider.
Commercial Liability Insurance
This type of insurance, which is also called primary liability insurance, is required if you are going to operate any type of commercial vehicle. If you are going to sign a lease and drive under a company, the company will usually carry your primary liability policy. If you choose to run independently and broker your loads, you will be responsible for this type of coverage.
Federal law mandates you have a minimum of $750,000 worth of coverage if you are carrying freight, although you can choose to carry higher amounts. It will not only provide coverage for any type of property damage, but it will provide coverage for any bodily injuries which are a result of an accident. Any damages above and beyond your policy limits would have to come out of your pocket.
As you probably already know, a bobtail truck is simply a truck without a trailer. Bobtail or deadhead insurance will cover your truck any time you are not pulling a trailer. This could mean when you are headed home or you are headed to pick up a load. It does not matter if you are dispatched or not. When you have adequate bobtail insurance in place, it will not make a difference.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
Although non-trucking liability insurance is often used interchangeably with bobtail insurance, they are not one in the same. Non-trucking liability, or contingent liability insurance, will cover the tractor when it is not being dispatched. This type of insurance will cover no matter if you are pulling a trailer or not. This most commonly covers any gaps you may have for non-business use of your truck. If you are going to run under a lease, most companies will require you to have this type of insurance.
Physical Damage Insurance
When you drive for a living, any type of physical damage has the potential to put you out of business. Physical damage does not just have to take place in an accident; your truck could be damaged by wind, hail, fire, or even by vandals. This type of coverage is easily customizable, and it will ensure you have coverage at all times.
Physical damage insurance includes:
- GAP Coverage
- Towing and Storage
- Various Deductible Options
Although you are not required to carry physical damage insurance, if your truck is financed, your lien holder may require it.
No one ever wants to lose a load they have been entrusted with, but unfortunately, it happens. Cargo insurance is designed to cover the type and value of the load you will be transporting. Your insurance broker will be able to customize a policy for you based on your needs. Failure to not carry enough cargo insurance could be catastrophic if anything were to ever happen to your load. While this insurance is not covered by law, many companies will require you to have it prior to entrusting you with their freight.
Commercial truck insurance can be very confusing. Purchase your insurance from a company that you trust and who knows and understands the trucking business.