The government requires commercial auto liability insurance from all truckers. However, the insurance is just the bare minimum to protect your business. Below are other forms of coverage to consider.
Motor Truck Cargo
Motor truck cargo insurance protects you from cargo damage claims your clients might make if something happens to them under your care. This coverage is critical for those hauling expensive cargo, which many tricking companies do. After all, a lot can go wrong with cargo during transportation. For example:
- Someone might steal the cargo
- Your trucks might catch fire and burn some of the cargo
- A negligent driver might misplace some cargo
- A truck might overturn and damage some cargo
The insurance typically applies to goods under transit or in warehouses. Your insurance policy will specify the terms and limitations.
Standard truck liability coverage only applies when your truck is under dispatch—when you are hauling commercial cargo. The coverage won’t help if you are involved in an accident when driving the truck for personal reasons. You need non-trucking liability insurance for accidents during personal errands.
Non-trucking liability insurance is especially useful to owner-operators since they might take their trucks for personal trips. If you are leasing your truck, the leasing company may also require non-trucking liability insurance as an additional protection for their truck.
Some people confuse bobtail insurance with non-trucking liability insurance, but the two differ. Bobtail insurance applies when operating the truck without its trailer. For example, the insurance may help if you are involved in an accident while driving home after unhooking the trailer. However, the coverage won’t protect you while driving the truck for personal reasons.
Your commercial truck insurance might not cover the equipment you do not own. Yet, many truckers use equipment they do not own all the time. Consider trailer interchange insurance for such equipment.
For example, some manufacturers have trailers but lack trucks. Such a company may give you a trailer to transport to its warehouse. Unfortunately, your truck insurance might not pay for the trailer since you do not own it. In such cases, the trailer interchange insurance may compensate for the damage. In fact, many companies won’t give you their trailers without insurance.
Reefer Breakdown Coverage
Consider reefer breakdown coverage if you have refrigerated trucks and transport cargo that can spoil if unrefrigerated. Many things can cause refrigeration breakdowns. Examples include accidents, mechanical breakdowns, and weather issues. The insurance policy specifies the terms under which the coverage applies.
For example, some trucking companies use refrigerated trucks to supply seafood to different areas. For such cases, a refrigeration breakdown can lead to costly losses, which the client can charge you for. Reefer breakdown coverage protects you from such claims.
Rental Reimbursement With Downtime
Lastly, consider rental reimbursement with downtime in cases where your truck gets in an accident and cannot operate for some time. The insurance will compensate you for the downtime losses. Depending on your policy, the coverage may also pay for a rental truck so you can continue with your trucking business.
The downtime insurance is critical for those who rely on their regular trucking income to manage their financial obligations. Say you financed the truck purchase and need the income to service the loan. You can easily default on the loan if your truck suffers damage and cannot operate for some time. However, the downtime coverage can help you service the payments.
Your insurance needs may differ based on your trucks, cargo, and financial health. Contact Fleet Line Insurance to evaluate your insurance needs and help you purchase adequate coverage. We understand commercial truck insurance, having operated in the industry for over 15 years.