Trucking insurance is essential coverage for small businesses or owner-operators that offer commercial trucking services. Whether a company owns just one truck or a fleet of vehicles, trucking insurance helps mitigate the many risks that come with owning and operating a truck for work purposes. While each trucking insurance policy is unique, most include several basic types of coverage.
Learn more about what commercial trucking insurance covers and why truck owners should speak with an insurance agent to build a tailored, comprehensive policy.
What Commercial Trucking Insurance Covers
Insurance is one of the most important expenses that a trucking company will incur to remain protected from common risks. Commercial trucking insurance offers a wide range of coverages, including the following:
Trucking companies should acquire physical damage coverage for damage to their trucks and trailers. The premium for this type of insurance is typically based on the value of the equipment. While coverage is not required by law, most lienholders will require it if vehicles are financed. If the vehicle should suffer a loss due to physical damage, the insurance company will pay out the market value.
Commercial auto insurance is enforced by federal regulations in the U.S. for businesses that use vehicles for work. All carriers must carry liability insurance on all rigs, even leased vehicles. Auto insurance protects against third-party injuries if a person should become injured in a collision or other vehicle-related accident.
Some types of trucking insurance may include general liability coverage. This type of insurance protects businesses against bodily injury or property damage that may occur while operating a business, such as a slip and fall accident or an advertising-related exposure.
With cargo insurance, businesses are protected against damage or loss to freight while in transit. Cargo insurance may have various exclusions, such as maximum theft limitations, unattended vehicles or target commodities like liquids, garments, electronics, or other items.
This type of coverage pays for accidents that occur when the truck and/or driver is not in transit. It is also commonly known as “bobtail liability” or “deadhead coverage.”
Non-Owned Trailer Physical Damage
If a trucking company uses trailers to pull items or equipment, then non-owned trailer physical damage coverage is essential. This type of coverage protects the trailer being pulled for a third party in the event of a loss.
Non-Owned Trailer Liability
This type of coverage protects a trailer that a business pulls for a third party in the event of damage or loss to the trailer.
This coverage is used to protect goods that are stored at specific locations in the event of damage or loss due to covered perils like fire, theft, or sprinkler damage. How much coverage a business needs depends on the total amount of goods stored at the location at any given time.
With terminal coverage, businesses can protect their freight at certain terminals in the event of damage or loss. There are often time limitations related to this type of insurance. For example, coverage may only be available for 72 hours maximum for each specified load. If goods are expected to be stored longer than this, warehouse legal coverage can provide extended coverage.
What Commercial Trucking Insurance Does Not Cover
Trucking insurance offers comprehensive coverage, but does have its limitations. Most standard commercial trucking insurance policies do not cover the following scenarios:
Basic trucking insurance policies may not protect against costs related to worker injuries, but instead are designed to cover third-party damages and medical bills. Trucking businesses must obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy to protect their workforce from driving-related accidents.
Specific Vehicles That Are Not Trucks
Trucking insurance does not cover vehicles that are not considered trucks, as well as certain types of trucks. For example, many basic commercial trucking policies do not extend to cement trucks and ice cream trucks. Vehicles like passenger vans, limos, and hearses may also not be covered.
Damage To Trucks
General liability coverage typically only covers damages to third-party vehicles. Ensure that the policy includes physical damage coverage to protect business fleets from possible damage.
Loss Of Cargo
Some businesses are required to carry a minimum amount of cargo coverage enforced by the federal government. However, truck drivers often carry cargo with a value that far exceeds this minimum. Consider investing in additional coverage to protect valuable cargo.
Loss Of Income
If the truck is involved in an accident, it may take time to make the necessary repairs or replace the truck. In the meantime, the business may be losing money. Trucking insurance may not cover this loss of income. Instead, trucking companies should look into business interruption insurance or business income insurance.
Request A Customized Insurance Quote
Interested in acquiring a trucking insurance policy? Understanding which policies you need is critical when shopping for insurance — our team will ensure your trucking company only gets the coverage it needs. Contact Burton & Company today for a free, customized insurance quote.