With more than 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, it is important to have the right insurance coverage. Commercial truck insurance is a necessity for owner-operators or if you are working under your authority. Insurance will help protect you, your business, and your truck. If you are filing for operating authority, you must have the specific trucking insurance requirements before the FMCSA will issue the authorities. Depending on the registration of a company, the types of filing will vary.
Trucking insurance requirements by FMCSA
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance is important and necessary coverage for truck drivers. Not only does it protect the driver, but it also protects the public when the truck driver is at fault. Public liability insurance covers both bodily injury and property damage. For bodily injury, public liability insurance will help cover expenses if someone gets injured. For property damage, public liability insurance will help cover damages to a third party’s property.
To receive the benefits of public liability insurance, the minimum requirement of the FMCSA must be met. Your minimum required limit depends on the freight you haul. According to the FMCSA, the truck driver will receive minimum benefits of up to $300,000 if the freight they are carrying is non-hazardous and under 10,001 pounds. If the driver is hauling non-hazardous freight over 10,001 pounds the minimum requirement goes up to $750,000. When hauling hazardous freight, you may be subject up to a minimum requirement of $5,000,000. Depending on how hazardous the freight is, the minimum requirement could be anywhere between $1,000,000 to $5,000,000.
Note: The above are just minimum requirements. Most shippers will require you to have a limit of at least $1,000,000 worth of coverage when hauling hazardous or non-hazardous materials.
More Insurance Options for Truck Drivers
While public liability insurance is required for truck drivers, it does not provide maximum protection. Take a look at other insurance options for truck drivers.
Cargo insurance protects you from financial loss and covers the goods hauled in your vehicle. The main benefit of having cargo insurance is to limit your financial loss if the freight in your truck gets damaged or lost. This specific type of insurance is not required. However, truck drivers need to have cargo insurance to avoid problems with shippers.
Physical damage is a general term for a group of insurance that protects your vehicle. This general term includes Collision insurance, Comprehensive insurance, and/or the more limited Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage (CAC) insurance. Accidents happen while on the road, that is why physical damage insurance is so important. Physical damage can also cover damages that happen to your scheduled vehicle off the road such as fire, theft, vandalism, and other disasters. However, the physical damage insurance will not cover damage that is done to cargo or personal items that are not permanently attached to your vehicle. Check with your agent to see if you can purchase endorsements for these types of risks.
Bobtail insurance covers your truck when operating without a trailer. For example, if you drop off a load and drive to your next destination to pick up a load, bobtail insurance will cover that portion of the trip.
Although non-trucking insurance is not federal or state required, your trucking company may require it. Non-trucking insurance will pay for property damage or bodily damage in the event of an accident that happens when the truck/driver is not under dispatch and on personal time. For example, if you take your truck to get food, grocery store, or any other personal errands.
Trinity Insurance is a trucking insurance specialist that can help you with your trucking insurance needs. We have the best prices for truck drivers. Give us a call at 888-391-0416 or fill out our online form for a free insurance quote.