What Is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

What Is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

Mar 14, 2023 - Back to Blog

Truck owners and operators understand the importance of insurance to the continued growth of their businesses. Insurance protects you, the goods you transport and even your customers from financial losses caused by events involving property damage, personal liability, accidents, mechanical failures and the like.

However, what some operators and owners might not be aware of is that they are also in need of coverage even if their trucks are not on dispatch.

Insurance Needed By Truck Owners and Operators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck operators and owners to carry commercial auto liability insurance. The coverage amount ranges from $750,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the type of goods to be carried.

Depending on your business needs, you might also need to purchase additional coverage, such as:

  • Cargo insurance
  • Bobtail insurance
  • Physical damage insurance.

One type of insurance that is not a requirement of the FMCSA but still provides crucial coverage is non-trucking liability insurance.

What Is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

Consider a hypothetical situation: You have just dropped off a load and are heading home. On the way, you stop by a supermarket to buy groceries. Unfortunately, you get into an accident with another vehicle, which ends up causing injury to its passenger.

In this scenario, your commercial trucking coverage is unlikely to shield you from the financial repercussions of the accident. This is because your motor carrier's trucking liability policy only applies when you use your truck for business-related purposes.

Non-trucking liability insurance provides protection if an accident occurs while you're driving your truck for non-business purposes. It is a necessity for owners and operators who use their trucks for personal reasons, even if for only short periods.

What Is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance For?

Non-trucking liability insurance is sometimes mistakenly referred to as bobtail insurance. However, bobtail insurance only protects you and your truck whenever you drive without a trailer or cargo. On the other hand, non-trucking liability insurance is active whether or not you have a trailer hitched to your commercial vehicle as long as you're driving for non-business purposes.

The extent of coverage provided by a non-trucking liability policy varies across providers. Generally, however, it protects truck drivers and operators under permanent lease to motor carriers from the financial repercussions of accidents that occur while not under dispatch.

Some examples of costs you may be held liable for are:

Medical Care and Lost Income

If you are driving while off the clock and get into an accident resulting in another party's injury or death, you could be held liable for medical costs, lost wages and other expenses.

Third-Party Property Damage

Suppose you accidentally hit or damage another person's property while using your truck for non-business purposes. In that case, you will likely be held responsible for the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged property.

Legal Defense

If you are sued by the person who was injured or who had their property damaged due to the accident, you will need to pay the costs of hiring an attorney to defend you.

Non-trucking liability insurance can help you cover these costs and other relevant expenses associated with an accident that occurred while driving your truck for personal purposes.

Why You Need Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

As a truck owner and operator, it’s crucial to safeguard your business from the financial impact of accidents. Legal expenses and medical costs can pile up, and without coverage in place, you will need to pay them out of pocket.

Accidents that occur while you're not on dispatch are not covered by FMCSA-required commercial auto liability insurance. Non-trucking liability insurance helps fill in coverage gaps and ensure you and your business are protected while driving your rig, whether on or off the clock and regardless of whether you're carrying cargo.

Explore Your Coverage Options With Road Ready Insurance

Road Ready Insurance is a trusted provider of insurance solutions designed for the unique needs of truck owners and operators. Unlike general insurance agents, we understand the ins and outs of the commercial trucking industry and can provide you with the expert guidance you need.

Our insurance products deliver national and regional coverage, and we provide claims assistance as well as oversight whenever our clients need it. Get a free quote for non-trucking liability insurance today here at Road Ready Insurance.

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