Truck Liability Insurance: A Truck Insurance Coverage Primer

By Patrick Winchester

Commercial truck insurance comes in a variety of different forms. This is due to the fact that the commercial truck industry is highly diversified.

Some motor carriers and independent haulers carry a variety of goods while others carry only specific cargo. Some carry no goods at all and work solely as commercial service vehicles, as is the case with many construction trucks. Sometimes the ‘goods’ carried are another automobile, as is the case with tow trucks or car carriers.

This high degree of specialization in the truck industry has forced the commercial truck insurance industry to become equally encompassing. Many different coverage options are now available to cover the many facets of the industry. The type of insurance coverage needed will depend on factors such as state and local regulations, the nature of the cargo and commercial truck, and the individual needs of the motor carrier or independent driver in terms of coverage amount.

Primary Truck Liability Insurance

First and foremost, all truck drivers must be covered by a primary liability policy.

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This covers the cost of damages and bodily injury sustained to others in an accident a truck driver may be involved in. This is the most basic type of commercial truck insurance and is required by law for all commercial truck drivers to have.

Additional Truck Insurance Coverage

Primary liability coverage does not, however, cover damage to your personal property. Independent haulers need to be aware of this as their trucks will be at risk when on the road and their contracted employers may not cover the cost of repairs. A separate physical damage policy can be purchased to cover such costs.

Oftentimes, physical damage clauses will be presented in the form of comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is typically more expensive than simple truck insurance required by law in order to operate your vehicle, but the tradeoff is that your own assets are protected, regardless of fault, and comprehensive coverage makes provisions against disaster, fire or theft in addition to the physical damage insurance clauses.

Bobtail Insurance

Back to independent truckers, Bobtail insurance is also an important type of coverage for independents. It serves as a substitute for primary liability coverage when independents are not actively dispatched (and therefore not covered by an employer’s liability policy).

Cargo Insurance

Another type of coverage includes cargo insurance. Cargo insurance may need to be purchased in addition to liability insurance to protect against liability for damage to cargo you do not own. It may also be required by federal or local law if you haul dangerous materials. Typically, in the case of independent owner/operators, cargo insurance isn’t necessary since it is highly likely that the motor carrier, trucking company or fleet you are serving will carry this type of coverage for either their specific job or blanket coverage for their company.

Trailer insurance is a separate commodity as well along the same lines. In most cases, this will be provided by an actual motor carrier or fleet if provided at all. In the case that an independent trucker owns and uses their own trailer for hauls, trailer insurance can be extremely beneficial to protect against damages that may occur while the trailer is either on the job, or parked and not in use.

About the Author: Patrick Winchester is a writer with truck insurance know-how. Visit this original blog post at: royaltytruckinsurance.com/blog/2011/07/truck-liability-insurance-a-truck-insurance-coverage-primer/ or check out some more truck insurance resources at royaltytruckinsurance.com/articles.html

Source: isnare.com

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