Lyon Insurance is Your Dependable Source for Trucking Insurance
Commercial truck insurance is for trucking businesses (owner-operators and those who lease their trucks through a motor carrier), businesses that own trucks, and independent truck drivers. It helps protect you, your business, and your vehicles.
We are an independent insurance agency with broad-market solutions who can help you find the right commercial truck insurance policy. They can also help you search for a reliable business insurance policy for coverage against your most common liabilities.
What Is Commercial Truck Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is a specific set of insurance policies designed to cover trucking needs. The policies that you will need for your trucking business depends on the type of truck(s) you own and operate, the cargo carried, the risks incurred, and the experience of the drivers.
Trucking companies and drivers will need a package of policies and endorsements that include several types of coverage that address their specific trucking risks.
What Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cover?
The coverage provided by commercial truck insurance depends on your operation. Do you operate long-haul trucks, or do your trucks only transport goods locally? What kind of cargo do you haul? Are you an independent driver operating on your own authority, or are you an owner-operator of a trucking company?
The answers to these questions, and others, will determine the type of commercial trucking coverage that you need.
Below are some of the most common types of coverage that you can select. Keep in mind that primary liability truck insurance and general liability truck insurance are the basic requirements needed and rules to be followed set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to drive a truck. But the requirements depend on if you’re a driver or an owner-operator.
General Liability Truck Insurance
Owner-operators need truckers general liability insurance to cover damage done to someone on your property or to someone’s property while your truck is present. Truckers general liability policies typically cover:
- Bodily injury: This pays for medical bills and legal costs if one of your trucks injures someone. It also covers injuries that occur on your business premises.
- Property damage/damaged commodities: If your truck damages someone’s property, this will cover the cost to fix and replace the property. It also covers costs related to delivering goods to the wrong address.
- Driver accidents at delivery locations: This covers property damage caused by your driver at another site.
Slander, libel, and false advertising: This pays for damages and legal fees related to a slander, libel, or false advertising lawsuit.
Primary Liability Truck Insurance
Primary liability truck insurance is often required as part of a trucking license. It is a necessity for anyone who wants to drive a truck. It covers the damage you may do to others while operating your truck. If you are a driver and want to drive on your own authority, then you will need primary liability insurance.
Some other coverages that you will want to consider, depending on your operation, are as follows.
Physical damage coverage
Covers damage to your own truck or equipment due to an accident, theft, or a disaster.
Non-trucking liability coverage
Covers damages or injuries to others while the truck is not under dispatch from the company you are currently leased with.
Motor truck cargo coverage
Protects your cargo in a variety of situations. Some cargo policies only cover specified perils, while broad form policies will cover you under a wider range of scenarios, such as theft, water damage, refrigeration breakdown, accidents, weather disasters, and so on.
Trailer interchange coverage
Covers a non-owned trailer being used under a trailer interchange agreement.
Medical payments coverage
Covers medical bills if you or a passenger is injured while driving or riding in the truck.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Covers you if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Bobtail insurance coverage
Covers you if you’re in an accident with just your truck without a trailer attached (also known as “bobtailing”). This is coverage for when the truck is being driven but is not in use for a job.
What Does Commercial Truck Insurance Not Cover?
Like all other insurance policies, commercial truck liability policies don’t cover everything that might go wrong with your truck or your trucking operation. Some of the exclusions include:
- Cement trucks, limos, hearses, buses, passenger vans, or ice cream trucks
- Driver injuries
- Damage to your own trucks (can be covered with physical damage coverage)
- Lost product due to refrigeration breakdown (can be covered with reefer breakdown coverage)
- Loss of cargo (can be covered with cargo coverage)
- Loss of income due to an accident (can be covered with business income coverage or business interruption coverage)
What Is the Benefit of Having Commercial Truck Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance is neccessary because truck drivers and owner-operators have very specific risks. Truckers may haul highly valuable cargo in large quantities across the country, making them vulnerable to a wide range of losses.
And remember, the FMCSA requires certain insurance minimums to be purchased by owners. Drivers have to prove they have a minimum of primary truck insurance in order to be approved by the FMCSA. Leasing agreements between drivers and owner-operators might also require proof of general liability truck insurance.
Without commercial truck insurance, you’d likely find yourself underinsured for the types of risks that you face.
How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
Commercial truck insurance costs depend on a variety of factors including whether or not you’re an independent driver or an owner-operator. Other variables include:
- The cost of your truck
- The type of truck that you drive
- The type of cargo that you haul
- The driver’s age and experience
- How far you drive (local, regional, or long-haul)
- Your credit history
- Your state and coverage requirements
Every insurance company calculates its rates differently and places a different weight on each of these factors along with others. The types of coverage that you need and the deductibles that you choose also impact your commercial truck insurance premiums. Since each of these factors weigh differently, the cost of individual insurance packages will be different.
How an Agent Can Help You Purchase Commercial Truck Insurance
Your needs for commercial truck insurance will vary greatly depending on your operation. An independent driver will have vastly different insurance needs that an of owner-operator with an entire fleet.
Seeking the advice of a local independent insurance agent is the best way to get your questions answered and to find affordable commercial truck insurance.
Talk with an insurance agent to compare a selection of quotes that are customized for your unique coverage needs.