What Are the Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements?

When was the last time you obtained an insurance quote for your trucking company? Ensuring that your business is adequately covered is vital to safeguard both your interests and those of your valued customers. In the intricate world of commercial truck insurance, relying solely on primary liability coverage is not enough. Many new owner-operators in the trucking industry often grapple with questions regarding commercial truck insurance requirements. If you find yourself among them, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll delve deeper into the complex world of trucking insurance to provide clarity on what’s needed.

As a business owner in the trucking industry, it’s important to recognize that insurance coverage for your trucking business vastly differs from your personal auto insurance. Commercial truck insurance is your steadfast companion in more ways than one. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates the use of insurance, and it’s a necessity you cannot operate without. The FMCSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have strict requirements for proof of public liability insurance when submitting your Operating Authority/MC Number application.

Also, the majority of shippers insist on proof of insurance before entrusting your company with their precious type of freight. Essentially, your insurance coverage serves as the lifeblood of your trucking company, ensuring its functionality and credibility. Proof of insurance should always be at the ready for inspections or in case of an unfortunate accident.

Trucking insurance stands as one of the most significant expenses for a trucking company, underscoring its vital importance in the industry. Premiums require a large upfront investment, and monthly payments can soar into the thousands. However, the returns on this investment make it a worthwhile expenditure. An insurance company not only safeguards your business but also extends its protective embrace over your customers.

When a customer entrusts you with their freight, they place their faith in your ability to deliver it safely to its intended destination. This freight is more than cargo; it represents their profits, their livelihood. Any damage to this cargo can potentially jeopardize your customer’s business. By having insurance, you convey to your customers that you are well-prepared to safeguard their interests in the unfortunate event of an accident. It not only benefits your customers but also shields your own interests by providing coverage for a portion of the damages in the event of an accident.

In simple terms, commercial truck insurance is a crucial part of the trucking business. It ensures that trucking companies follow the rules set by FMCSA and DOT, builds trust with the companies that hire them, and protects the interests of both the trucking companies and their customers. Understanding the nuances of this insurance realm is important for trucking companies as they deal with the complexities of the industry’s insurance landscape.

Commercial Truck Insurance

There are many different coverage options within commercial truck insurance companies when it comes to insurance coverage. If you are hauling things like hazardous materials, the requirements can grow quickly. You want to make sure that you are working with a quality insurance provider that can properly advise you of your needs and help you find the right coverage. Some of the different coverage options out there may protect your truck but not the load that you are hauling. This could leave you in a bad spot if something goes wrong. As professional drivers, it’s wise to keep your driving records as clean as possible since that can be a huge factor in your ability to obtain coverage and the overall insurance costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the various types of trucking insurance policies that you may need depending on your situation:

Bobtail Insurance: This provides protection for a tractor when it is operated without a trailer, whether under dispatch or not. This can often be confused with Non-Trucking Liability Insurance, which covers your vehicle when you are using it for personal use.

Limited Depreciation Coverage: This policy will help to cover the gap between the fair market value that the insurance will likely pay out and what you owe on the vehicle, or the cost to replace the vehicle.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance: Coverage to assist with out of pocket expenses for repairs.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance: Covers non-hazardous freight or commodity and liability for cargo.

Motor Truck General Liability Insurance: This coverage protects motor carriers or for-hire truckers in claims for bodily injury, personal injury, property damage liability, advertising injury liability, medical payments, product & completed operations, and seven days or less coverage for damage to rented properties.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance: Provides coverage for the use of a truck for non-business purposes when using your truck on days off.

On-Hook Coverage: Provides coverage of vehicles that are not owned by your business during towing or hauling.

Optional Downtime Coverage: Takes effect when your commercial truck undergoes downtime.

Passenger Accident Insurance: Provides coverage for the driver if a truck accident occurs while an uninsured passenger is in the vehicle.

Physical Damage Coverage: Protects your commercial vehicle when physical damage occurs.

Trailer Interchange Agreement Insurance: Provides coverage for damage to non-owned trailers when they receive physical damage.

These needs and requirements can often change as you haul for different carriers that hold different expectations of coverage. Your insurance agent will be able to judge your needs and find you the best coverage options within that scope.

Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements

The requirements to obtain commercial truck insurance are not as daunting as you may think; however you want to make sure you can provide as much information as possible for your company’s situation so your agent can effectively find the best fitting policy for your needs. Here are some of the items you may need to get started:

Here is what you will need:

  • A CDL if you are hauling more than 26,000 pounds.
  • MC and DOT Authority
  • Provide the specifics for all vehicles you are wanting to add to the policy
    • Make
    • Model
    • Year
    • Vin Numbers

TAFS has strong partners that are experts in commercial trucking insurance. Give our friends at Thrive a call today to get your business protected! 913-747-4771