Coverage Basics

Owner operators have an entrepreneurial spirit that is unmatched in the trucking industry. But with the freedom of being your own boss comes the task of protecting your own business. Having a owner operator insurance plan is critical to your lasting success–for when the unexpected happens.

You face risks each day you put your truck in drive. Truckers are always on the move with large vehicles and heavy (and maybe dangerous) materials and inventory. Whether you haul dirt, trash, expensive medicine, or anything in between, you need the right coverage. There are a bunch of commercial policies you’ll want stay protected on the job .If you need of owner operator insurance, you’re in the right place.

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Owner Operator Truck Insurance

Truck insurance (a form of commercial auto insurance) is an obvious must have for owner operators. You can’t get the goods from point A to point B without a truck. Protecting your greatest asset, your truck, is necessary because you can’t do your job without it.

You need to have truck insurance. If you get into an accident, even while running a simple work errand, you’re responsible for the damages incurred from the accident if you don’t have the right insurance.

Owner Operator Insurance Requirements

If you work under your own authority as an owner/operator, you need to make sure you have full trucking insurance coverage. Owner operators are required to carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance by the government. However, you might need more protection depending on your risks and the type of trucking you do.

  • Motor Truck Liability: Also known as public liability or primary liability, it pays for damages that you cause to other people and their property while driving. It typically includes Property Damage coverages and Bodily Injury Liability.
  • Physical Damage: Pays for repairs to your truck if it gets damaged in an accident, whether it’s caused by an accident with another car, or something such as a storm.
  • Non-Trucking Liability: Coverage for when you’re driving for non-business reasons. It covers owner operators who use their vehicle for personal reasons.
  • Motor Truck Cargo: Covers the load you’re hauling for damages and losses. The government requires that some companies get at least $5,000 per vehicle and $10,000 per occurrence.
  • Occupational Accident Insurance: If you lease onto a Motor Carrier, you may have to get one of these. But some will provide it for you. It covers drivers and their families by supplementing workers’ comp benefits. It also pays for medical expenses for accident-related injuries, disability, and for accidental death and dismemberment. Good policy to have as a truck driver.

Also consider that some contracts may ask you to obtain additional insurance. Check the FMCSA for specific insurance rules you need to follow: FMCSA Government Insurance Requirements

Around 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the United States. About 5,000 of those are deadly. Great reason to have the right insurance.

Owner Operator Workers’ Comp

Do owner operators need workers’ comp? If you have no employees, own and operate your own truck, and work under your own authority you probably aren’t required to have it. But that will mainly depend on your state rules. However, it’s a good thing to have either way.

Trucker workers’ compensation protects owner-operators and their employees in the event of a work related injury. It pays for medical expenses and other costs related to getting hurt or sick on the job. Also, it will help cover lost wages if the person needs time off to recover.

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 injured on the job is very real. And you don’t want to get caught without workers’ comp if something goes wrong. Not having the right coverage could easily put someone out of business.

Claims examples:

  • Auto accidents
  • Lacerations
  • Back strains from lifting heavy goods
  • Injuries from tripping or falling

You also need to be ready to face a potential lawsuit if one of your employees happens to get hurt on the job. You can be held liable for someone who works for you–even if it’s not your fault. But no need to worry, your workers’ comp policy will pay for things like court costs, defense lawyers, and legal fees.

Minimum Premium Workers’ Comp

Owners with no employees can apply for a minimum premium workers’ comp policy, also known as a ghost policy. How does it work? It’s simple. The cost of workers’ comp is mainly based on payroll. So if you have no employees, it’ll cost less. And if you exclude yourself from coverage, it’ll cost even less. Hence the term “minimum premium”.

We offer a minimum premium product called Solo X that was made for owners with no employees. It excludes the owner from workers’ comp, but still gives you a Certificate of Insurance. It also comes with a bonus Occupational Accident Policy, which gives 24-hour coverage on or off the job. It’s definitely worth looking into if you’re interested in workers’ comp.

Owner Operator General Liability

The best word to describe this coverage is, well, general. GL is a basic policy for the many things that could go wrong when you run a business. General liability insurance protects against third-party bodily injury and property damage.

Its main purpose is to cover businesses that interact with the public. Because whenever you interact with the public, things can go wrong. So if you put your car in drive each day rather than just sitting in your parking spot, you should consider it.

Claims examples:
  • Someone comes to your business premises for a meeting and trips and breaks their ankle. It would cover the related medical costs.
  • You’re out delivering packages in a hurry. You toss a box against a storm door, and it ends up shattering all over the floor. GL will cover the replacement and repair costs.
  • A forklift driver in your warehouse loses control and drops a big pallet of expensive computers to the ground. Now you have to answer to one of your biggest clients. But don’t worry–it’s covered with the right GL policy.

Owner Operator Insurance Cost

Trucking insurance for an owner operator operating under their own authority can start anywhere from $700 to $1200/month, depending on the unique situation. Although that sounds like a lot of money, it’s much less than you could end up paying if you got caught in an accident without the right coverage.

The price varies a lot based on your exact situation. Just a few factors include:

  • The value of your truck
  • The types of cargo you carry
  • The routes you drive
  • The insurance company you pick

It’s always a good idea to look at a couple of insurance quotes when looking for a policy. If you fill out a simple form on our website, we’ll help you find the best quote. And we’ll do it for free.

See a better breakdown of trucking insurance costs.

Save money.

You can typically find similar insurance plans from different companies, just with different rates. That’s why getting quotes from more than one insurance company can help save you money. Our trucking insurance experts work hard to find the right insurance at the best price by comparing rates from multiple A rated carriers.