Coverage Basics

Trucking Insurance Coverages

Trucking insurance consists of a series of insurance policies used by trucking businesses, owner operators, companies that use trucks, and independent truck drivers. It gives financial and legal protection from property damage and bodily injury. It also covers cargo and trucking equipment. Trucking insurance covers you while transporting products, materials, animals, or customers. The type of insurance you need will depend on the type of truck your drivers use, the experience they have, and the types of goods you carry. And it’s very important for any trucking business to have.

Trucking insurance covers truck drivers and businesses that use trucks. It typically includes commercial truck insurance along with a bunch of other tailored coverages that protect the business and its drivers.

A good trucking insurance program protects independent truckers and trucking businesses against the many things that can go wrong on the job. And there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.

Who needs trucking insurance?

Both trucking businesses and independent truckers who work for themselves need to stay protected.

Note: We offer all insurance coverages for truckers. However, for OTR / long haulers, we currently only offer workers’ comp.

Requirements
If you travel between states, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires each driver to have a certain amount of insurance. The insurance requirements increase the more dangerous the cargo and the more the truck weighs.

$11.84 Billion
According to trucking.org, trucks moved a total of 11.84 billion tons of freight in 2019. That’s a lot of liability.

Commercial Truck Insurance

Truck insurance is a type of commercial auto insurance. A commercial truck is a heavy piece of equipment that needs a good insurance plan. Mishaps in a large truck can cause massive damage to everything around it. The amount of insurance you need depends on the type of truck and what cargo you’re transporting.

It is typically paid for by the owner of the vehicle. Coverage can be for one truck or an entire fleet of trucks. Almost any type of truck can be covered with truck insurance. But you would probably need to shop around because sometimes different companies insure different types of trucks. (That’s where we can help.) We have access to insurance companies that specialize in light trucking insurance, for example. Insurance companies will cover the following type of trucks:

  • Dually pickups
  • Box trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Front loaders
  • Tank trucks
  • Tractors
  • Dump trucks
  • Auto hauler trailers
  • Garbage trucks
  • Pickup trucks
  • Flatbed trailers
  • Cement mixers
  • Tow trucks
  • Pickups
  • Tractors
  • Hotshot pickups
  • And more

Different types of trucks need different types of coverage. That’s because they’re used for different uses and have different risks.

It’s great to work with an agency (like us) that has access to a lot of insurance companies. We can shop quotes for you so you don’t have to.

Trucking Insurance Coverages

  • Motor Truck Liability: Covers injuries and damages to other people or property in the event of an accident. The driver and truck who caused the accident are not covered, which is why you may also need medical payments, workers’ comp, and physical damage.
  • Physical Damage: Coverage for your truck and trailer in the event of a collision, along with something called “comprehensive coverage” (theft, fire, vandalism, flood or other perils).
  • Medical Payments: Covers medical bills for the driver and passengers who have been injured in an accident.
  • Motor Truck Cargo: Covers the contents of for-hire trucks if the cargo somehow gets damaged or ruined. Truckers are legally responsible for cargo while it’s in transit, until it’s signed for at its destination. Some types of cargo need separate coverage (things like art, animals, explosives, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine). And some trucks may not be eligible. For example: Ice cream trucks, passenger trucks or garbage trucks.
  • Non-Trucking Liability: You need this if you also use your truck while off the clock – -it’ll cover you when you’re driving for personal reasons. Keep in mind, some thing aren’t always considered “business use”– like filling the gas tank or washing the truck.

Trucking General Liability

General liability insurance covers bodily injury or property damage. You need it when operating on others’ premises, such as loading docks or truck stops. It’s a broad (and important) coverage to protect you from unexpected things that can happen.

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage: A customer gets injured (as a result of your operations) at the truck depot. For example, they slip and fall over the goods you just unloaded.
  • Personal / Advertising Injury: Covers things such as libel, slander, copyright infringement, and false advertising.
  • Medical Payments: Payments for medical costs associated with physical injuries or death
  • Products / Completed Operations: Bodily injury or property damage coverage resulting from damages from another person’s goods.

Trucker Workers’ Comp

While your routes may be varied each day, one thing is for sure: There’s always room for error when you’re a trucker by trade. The risk of getting hurt on the job is very real — and you don’t want to get caught without trucker workers’ comp if something goes wrong.

Workers’ comp covers business owners and their employees in the event of a work injury. Without it, you could end up paying all the costs yourself if something happens.

Claims:

  • Back strains from lifting heavy goods
  • Lacerations
  • Slip, trip, and falls
  • Car accidents

Workers’ comp will pay for injuries big or small that happen on the job. That includes something as quick as a doctor’s visit to a very long hospital stay. But medical expenses aren’t the only thing covered–lost wages and employee lawsuits are another benefit. Read more about trucker workers’ comp.

Property & Inland Marine Insurance

Many truckers consider the front of their cab to be their office. But if you have “another” office space, or a home office, you may want to consider business property insurance. This form of coverage protects your computers, furniture, and other business things within the business premises.

Items covered:

  • Office space
  • Tools
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Supplies
  • Furniture
  • The business premises itself

If you carry tools and business equipment with you on the road, won’t work after you are 500 feet from your physical work location. In order to cover your goods in transit, you will need inland marine insurance. This is a good way to protect your work gear on the road and while at other locations.

Trucker Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance, also referred to as excess liability insurance, adds extra coverage to the policies you already have. Each policy will pay up to a certain amount for a loss–that’s the limit. You will need to pay the remaining balance once that threshold has been met. Umbrella insurance simply beefs up your limits.

Let’s use commercial auto as an example since you’re always on the road. Let’s say your policy covers up to $500,000 in damages. You get into a terrible accident, totaling $750,000. Your policy will pay the $500,000 — but you will have to pay the remaining $250,000 if you don’t have an umbrella policy. Now that’s something to think about!

Cost Basics

Trucking insurance costs depend on many factors, such as:

  • The materials you haul
  • How far you haul them
  • The cleanliness of your driving record
  • How big your truck is
  • How much insurance you need

Larger trucks can cause more damage — which is more risk — and makes them more expensive to insure. Other things that will impact your rates are things like deductibles (the amount you need to pay before the insurance kicks in) and policy limits (the max amount an insurer will pay for the claims filed).

Trucking insurance for an independent trucker can range anywhere from $800 to a few thousand per month just for liability and physical damage. A lot of times a motor carrier will cover the primary insurance for those with a lease, which can save truckers some money. However, all independent truckers operating without a motor carrier lease are responsible for insurance on their trucks and drivers.

Take a deeper look at the cost of trucking insurance.

Compare quotes to save money.

Cheap trucking insurance is hard to find. The best way to save money is to keep a clean driving record and pick a vehicle in a lower insurance group.

It’s best to shop the market to make sure you’re getting the best deal (we can help with that). Pogo has access with over 30 trucking insurance companies. We’ll compare quotes to find you the most affordable trucking insurance. And fast!