Trucker insurance policies are a highly specialized type of commercial insurance designed to protect truck drivers. As such, these policies include a number of protections that aren’t found in most auto insurance policies. Here’s a look at some of the more specialized coverage items trucker policies may offer and how these options may benefit you if you’re a truck driver.
Non-Owned Trailer Coverage
Many commercial truckers regularly transport trailers that aren’t owned by the trucker or their employer. Instead, the trailers are owned by customers or, sometimes, other trucking companies.
In insurance language, these trailers are “non-owned trailers.” Non-owned trailer coverage is usually needed to insure the trucker and their employer against any damage that occurs while the trailer is in your possession, as most policies that protect your truck usually aren’t extended to trailers you or your employer don’t own.
Bobtail Liability Coverage
The liability options included in trucker insurance policies are sometimes more narrowly defined than those included in typical auto insurance policies. In trucker policies, it’s common to have liability coverage that provides protection in different situations. One of these coverage options a policy might offer is bobtail liability coverage.
Bobtail liability coverage usually provides coverage for accidents when the following criteria are met:
- The truck driver is responsible for the accident.
- The accident causes damage to another party’s property or injuries to another person.
- The accident occurs when no trailer is attached to the truck.
- The accident occurs while the truck is being used for work-related purposes.
Even though you might rarely drive without a trailer, this is an important coverage to have. You never know when you’ll need to drive your truck into a shop for repairs or have to go pick up a stranded trailer. You’d likely be driving at least a few miles without a trailer in each scenario. Should anything happen during these times when you do not have a trailer, the consequences could be devastating.
Non-Trucking Liability Coverage
Non-trucking liability coverage is another liability protection that trucker policies frequently provide. This coverage extends protections to times when a truck isn’t being used for work, which other insurance policies often don’t include protection for.
You might need this coverage if you ever drive your truck to a restaurant for lunch or home at the end of the day. In these situations, the miles may be considered non-work driving and fall under non-trucking liability coverage.
In trucker insurance policies, equipment coverage typically extends protections to items that can be taken off of the truck. These items may include:
- Chains and tarps that are used to secure loads.
- Cones and flares that are used in emergencies.
- Personal equipment that truckers have on their trucks.
While exact protections depend on a policy’s terms and conditions, equipment coverage normally protects these and similar items from perils such as theft, fire and vandalism.
Freight coverage provides protections similar to those afforded by equipment coverage, except the protections are extended to freight rather than equipment and personal belongings. Should freight be stolen or damaged while en route to its destination, you may be held responsible. This is the coverage that might help you compensate the company that owned the freight.
Truckers who transport household goods across state lines are required by federal law to carry at least $5,000 worth of freight coverage. Even if you don’t cross state lines or transport household items, you may want this coverage in case something happens to the goods you’re hauling. You also may want more than $5,000 of coverage as freight can be expensive.
For help finding a trucker insurance policy that’ll meet your needs, contact us at Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants.