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What Types of Trucking Insurance are Available to Leased Owner-operators?

Many owner operators who have leased their trucks go through the company they have leased their truck with for their trucking insurance, but they often find that securing their own insurance policies is less expensive in the long run. There are other advantages to securing your own financing. One is that you know exactly what the premiums and coverage amounts are and can make changes if you’d like to. Another advantage is that you won’t have to change insurance companies if you decide to terminate your lease.

There are many types of insurance available to leased owner-operators, including non-trucking liability and physical damage. Some of these insurances are required by law, while others are optional and may be purchased as a package for additional discounts.

Non-trucking liability insurance provides coverage to your company while the truck is on the road for personal service rather than professional service. This trucking insurance only covers the truck when it is not being used to make money.

Other types of liability insurance include bobtail liability and unladen liability. Bobtail liability is designed to provide liability coverage for the truck when it’s being driven with no trailer, whether or not the truck has been dispatched. Unladen liability protects the company from liability when the truck is being driven without a trailer or attached to an unloaded trailer.

Passenger accident insurance provides coverage against accidental death and dismemberment as well as accidental medical expenses for passengers who are guests. There is no deductible and no age requirement for coverage. These policies generally exclude employees and co-drivers who are riding in the passenger seat.

Physical damage insurance covers leased owner-operators from damage or loss to any insured vehicle when the damage is caused by theft, collision, fire or vandalism on a basis of cash value. Coverage often includes downtime coverage as well as glass breakage and chip repair. Most policies have a combined deductible so that you don’t have to pay twice when both the trailer and tractor are damaged during the same incident.

Several optional coverages can be purchased with your physical damage insurance policy if you choose. These policies protect your company from further liability in the event of an accident or loss. One of these coverages is downtime coverage. This insurance provides you with extra protection for times you are not working due to physical damage of your truck or trailer. Waiting periods and daily maximums apply.

Breakdown coverage is a great option for owner-operators who have their trucks leased on with carriers. This insurance helps you pay for unexpected labor and towing when you are stranded on the side of the road due to mechanical failure.

Owner-operators who purchase their trucks new are often hit with significant depreciation charges. Limited depreciation coverage insurance is a great way to eliminate depreciation, but you can only purchase this coverage if you bought your truck new and it is the current model year. Gap coverage is another type of insurance that is especially important if you purchased your truck new. This insurance covers the difference between the amount you owe on your truck loan and the market value of your truck if your truck is deemed to be a total loss in an accident. You can purchase gap coverage to cover both your tractor and your trailer if you own them both.

Trailer interchange insurance may not be necessary if you have leased your truck with a carrier because they typically own the trailers you are pulling. This insurance covers you from liability for damage to any trailer that you don’t own when it is being pulled by your truck. Ask the company you are leased to if trailer interchange coverage is required.

What Types of Insurance Does an Owner-Operators Need to Protect Their Business?

Most owner-operators understand the importance of having business insurance to protect their company. You never know what will happen when you’re out on the road, so having trucking insurance is essential to keep your business protected and legal. Along with the insurance required by law, an owner operator may choose optional insurance coverage for additional protection. You can even get discounts by purchasing several types of insurance together.

Primary liability is one of the most important insurance policies an independent trucker can have. This insurance protects your company against losses related to legal liability for property damage or bodily injury to another party. You must have liability coverage that meets the requirements set out by law and many brokers require additional liability coverage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires each company to have a general liability insurance policy with coverage of at least $750,000.

Commercial general liability is designed to protect your company against bodily injury and property damage claims that arise out of operations, completed operations and premises as well as personal injury liability and advertising. You can purchase commercial general liability insurance with your primary liability insurance for a discount with most companies.

Motor truck cargo is another type of trucking insurance you should purchase to protect your company. This insurance protects your company against loss if you become legally liable for damage to merchandise or goods in your custody and care in the normal course of transportation. Motor truck cargo insurance includes coverage for earned freight, refrigeration breakdown and removal of debris.

Passenger accident coverage is an important supplemental insurance to consider if you allow riders in your trucks. This insurance provides coverage in the event of accidental death or dismemberment as well as accidental medical expenses for passengers who are not co-drivers or employees. The coverage is not subject to a deductible and there is no minimum age for coverage.

Physical damage insurance covers damage or loss to your company vehicle caused by fire, theft, vandalism or collision on a basis of actual cash value. Coverage generally includes glass chip repair, downtime coverage and glass breakage. There is a deductible on the policy, but only one deductible will be applied if both the tractor and trailer are damaged.

There are several types of option insurance you may purchase with your physical damage policy. Optional downtime coverage is insurance that is designed to help an owner operator during periods of downtime due to repairs that follow a physical damage claim that was covered under your physical damage policy. Waiting periods generally apply and various coverage amounts are available.

Breakdown coverage is important because it helps you pay for necessary expenses such as labor and towing when your truck breaks down on the road.

Supplemental clean-up and towing is another insurance that can save you thousands of dollars if your truck gets into a major accident. This insurance covers towing your vehicle from the accident scene and helps you pay to clean up the mess that was made during the accident. Several coverage limits are available.

Rental reimbursement coverage provides you with a rental truck to replace your truck until it has been completely repaired after an accident that was covered under your physical damage policy. The maximum amount of coverage is $300 per day, per vehicle with a maximum of $9,000 during any policy period.

Trailer interchange coverage is a great option if your motor carrier or shipper requires your company to be responsible for any damage to a trailer that is owned by their company and pulled by your truck. Trailer interchange coverage is generally inexpensive and the company whose trailer you are pulling will let you know if they require this coverage.

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11501 Dublin Blvd. Suite 200
Dublin, CA 94568

510-887-9300
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Quick Transport Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 3686
Hayward, CA 94544-3686

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