Commercial Truck Insurance
Commercial truck insurance is a specific grouping of insurance auto policies developed to cover trucking needs. The trucking policies start with primary liability and build upon that foundation with various additional coverages. Primary liability truck insurance is often required as part of a trucking license — it protects people and property from damage caused by your truck.
Commercial Truck Insurance 101
If you are a driver and want to drive on your own authority, then you will need primary liability insurance. If you are an owner-operator of a trucking company, then you’ll expand your trucking insurance to include general liability, as well.
Need insurance to drive? Primary liability is your goal. Need to get your trucks on the road? You’ll need general liability.
A primary insurance policy will only cover the damage to another vehicle or to a person in the event of an accident. At the very least, the public is protected. General liability, however, offers additional protections in the case of a lawsuit or a libel/slander/false advertising claim against your business. Most insurance experts would encourage you to invest in a general liability commercial trucking plan. All trucks require at least $750,000 in insurance coverage. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) might require certain trucking operations (for example, those that haul cars) to show proof of adequate general liability coverage.
According to Trusted Choice (a group of independent insurance agents), the average cost of a commercial truck accident in the United States is $59,000 — and one in three small businesses will fold because of uninsured costs related to an accident or lawsuit. Covering yourself with the right insurance is a business-saving tactic.
Commercial Truck Insurance Vs. Commercial Auto Insurance
Trucking is different than driving around the city in a work van. Drivers often haul a large amount of merchandise or materials, across state lines, for long hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) — the governing body over trucking — requires certain insurance minimums needed by owners before their trucks can even hit the road. Drivers have to prove they have a minimum of primary truck insurance to be approved by the FMCSA. Leasing agreements for the trucks might also require proof of general liability truck insurance.
Why won’t a commercial auto policy cut it? Well, the trucking world ultimately has different day-to-day risks than cars/vans, and for-hire truckers need truck insurance, not commercial auto. Otherwise, truck drivers might find themselves vastly under-insured under a commercial auto plan (or unable to get behind the wheel at all).
What Commercial Truck Insurance Covers
With a general liability commercial truck policy, you’d be covered in the following situations:
Bodily Injury: If someone is hurt by your truck this pays for medical bills and the potential lawsuit costs that may arise. This also covers someone who might slip and fall on your property.
Damaged Property/Damaged Commodities: If your truck damages someone’s property, this will cover the cost to fix and replace the property. Also, general liability insurance will cover the cost and damages if you deliver commodities to the wrong address.
Driver Accidents At Delivery Locations: Many variables fit under this particular category, but if your driver causes any damage to property at another site, your general liability will cover the damage.
Libel, Slander, & False Advertising Claims: If you conduct any sort of advertising or represent your brand out on the road, general liability coverage also helps out in the event of a libel, slander, or false advertising lawsuit.
What Commercial Truck Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Commercial truck insurance policies don’t cover everything. Look for additional endorsements to cover these possible scenarios:
Specific Vehicles That Aren’t Trucks: It should go without needing a mention since truck is in the title, but this insurance is specific to certain types of trucks. The following vehicles are not covered under commercial truck insurance: cement trucks, limos, hearses, buses, passenger vans, or ice cream trucks.
Driver Injuries: The basic insurance policies are about protecting other people (paying for damage and medical bills and safeguarding you in a lawsuit). If you’d like to protect your worker’s injuries, those claims would be part of a worker’s compensation insurance plan.
Damage To Your Trucks: General liability covers the cost of damage to others, not yourself. If you want to insure your own trucks, you’ll need physical damage coverage. While it isn’t required by law to insure your own property, it’s smart.
Lost Product Due To Broken Refrigeration: If a refrigerated truck (reefer) breaks-down or the cooling component breaks down, you will need specific insurance to cover the replacement and the loss of cargo.
Loss Of Cargo: The federal government might require you to carry a minimum of $5,000 in cargo coverage but truck drivers are often carrying cargo worth far more than that, so you might want to invest in more coverage.
Loss Of Income After An Accident: If your truck is in an accident and it takes some time to get your businesses back up and running, your insurance won’t cover the loss of income. You’d want to specifically look into business income insurance or business interruption insurance to cover those gaps.
Additional Types Of Commercial Truck Insurance
As stated before, primary liability truck insurance and general liability truck insurance are the basic requirements needed to drive and follow the rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Let’s revisit those again and outline other possible truck insurance policies that are available through an Belus Insurance agent:
Our Commercial Auto Insurance Carriers
and many more...