What Are the Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements?

When was the last time you got an insurance quote for your trucking company? You need to make sure you are properly covered to protect yourself and your customers. Just primary liability coverage will not do the trick in this industry. Commercial truck insurance can be confusing and a lot of new owner-operators in the industry have questions about commercial truck insurance requirements. If you’re one of them, you came to the right place! Here we will be taking a deeper look at the world of trucking insurance. As a business owner, the insurance coverage you get for your trucking business is much different than your personal auto insurance.

Insurance is a truck driver’s best friend in a lot of ways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not let you operate without it. In fact, the FMCSA and Department of Transportation (DOT) require proof of liability insurance for your Operating Authority/MC Number application. Most shippers require proof of insurance before they will trust your company with their freight. As long as your insurance is in place, you have a working trucking company. Proof of coverage always needs to be handy for inspections or in the event of an accident.

Insurance is one of the most expensive purchases for a trucking company. The premiums require a large amount of upfront cash and the monthly payments can be in the thousands. But the incentive makes it worth the investment. An insurance company protects not only your business but your customers’ as well.

When a customer gives you freight to haul, they are trusting you with their business. Your customer needs that freight to reach its final destination in pristine condition because that freight represents their profits. Damaged freight could put your customer out of business. Having insurance shows your customers that you are able to protect their interests in case of an accident. It also protects you by covering a portion of the damages in the event of an accident.

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