What are you paying for when you buy insurance for your semi-truck? Here is what your friends at Elite International Insurance Services want you to know about the kinds of coverage you need for your semi and how the cost of coverage is computed.
Semi-Truck Insurance Always Includes General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance covers you in case of claims arising from damages when your driver is at fault. It also covers the cost of defending your company in court if you are sued. Every state requires every common carrier to have up-to-date general liability coverage, and most states will require your operators to show proof of coverage when asked.
General liability insurance compensates other parties in the event of a loss. It is not intended to make you whole after an accident. For that, you will need collision insurance to pay for repairs or replacement if your semi is wrecked, comprehensive insurance for damage off the road and theft, and trailer insurance. You need to insure more than the cab!
Trucking Liability Insurance
Semi-trucks can do serious damage to stationary property. There have been incidents in which truck drivers have been at fault when their semi hit a sign, an overpass, or a parked car. A truck careening off an icy roadway can demolish small structures alongside the road. Damages can take the form of time lost from work, late deliveries, damage to another party’s cargo, bodily injury, and death.
The federal government requires every operator who drives on federal highways or crosses state lines to carry $750,000 in trucking liability insurance. This type of commercial trucking insurance doesn’t protect you. It protects other drivers and people off the road involved in a crash.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
It is important to understand that semi-truck insurance generally covers your trucks only when they are being used in the course of a business. Your policy will not cover personal use of the truck (for instance, a side trip to run an errand or hauling a non-business load) unless your policy has an endorsement for non-trucking liability.
If you lease your truck, you need to carry non-trucking liability insurance. Make sure to fill in your coverage by the leasing company’s policy!
Bobtail (aka Deadhead) Insurance
Even experienced operators may not be familiar with bobtail or deadhead insurance. This is coverage for an independent operator in every situation. It’s crucial for operators who may not strictly follow the truck owner’s instructions since private activities void coverage under the owner’s policy.
When would an independent operator need bobtail insurance?
The owner’s policy may not cover the truck while refueling at a truck stop. It may not cover the truck if the driver takes a quick side trip to see someone or exits the geofences set up with GPS tracking before starting the haul.
Physical Damage Insurance (Collision and Comprehensive)
Physical damage insurance covers damages to the truck, whether or not the operator is at fault. It comes in two parts, collision to cover damages in a crash and comprehensive to cover damages off-road. It’s separate from cargo insurance and worker’s comp.
What Determines the Cost of Semi-Truck Insurance?
Your policy will be rated for the make, model, and year of the rig you are insuring. The insurance company will consider the kind of cargo you haul, your history of insurance claims, your credit history, and your operating radius, how far your trucks travel from your office of record. You may also need different kinds of coverage to meet state insurance rules.
Getting the best value on your semi-truck insurance requires experienced, professional advice. Elite International Insurance Services can help. You can contact us at anytime at 909-202-4966. The home offices of Elite International Insurance Services are located at 7426 Cherry Ave Suite 210-600, San Bernardino, CA 92336.