Knowledge Center  |  Trucking Tips

Did you Know?

Multi-ethnic truck drivers

–  If you own a truck tractor and work as an independent contractor, you’ll probably need insurance beyond what your motor carrier offers you. In most cases, when you’re under dispatch, the Primary Liability Insurance your motor carrier provides covers you. However, once you’re off the clock, you’re also not covered by that policy. In order to bridge the coverage gap, many independent contractors purchase Non-Trucking Liability Insurance or Bobtail Insurance.

–  Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is often incorrectly referred to as Bobtail Insurance.  However, Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is not the same thing as Bobtail Insurance.  These two terms are usually used interchangeably, but are not actually the same thing.

–  Non-Trucking Liability Insurance covers losses that occur when the driver is not dispatched, while Bobtail Liability Insurance covers damages that occur when a trailer is not attached to the truck, regardless of whether or not the driver is dispatched. Please review your contract or verify with your Motor Carrier to determine exactly which coverage you need.


What is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance (NTL)?

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance protects an owner-operator from liability claims in the event of an at-fault accident. This coverage applies whether a trailer is in tow or not. Non-Trucking Liability Insurance provides coverage in case you cause an accident while you are using your vehicle for non-business or personal use other than transporting goods or merchandise. Non-Trucking Liability Insurance coverage does not apply when you are pulling a loaded trailer, operating on behalf of a motor carrier | leasing company, or using a vehicle for any revenue generating purpose. These types of activities are covered by Primary Liability coverage. If a motor carrier is providing your Primary Liability coverage, their coverage will not apply when you are not under dispatch and you’ll need Non-Trucking Liability Insurance coverage.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance provides protection for:
–  The owner-operator, for liability when driving the tractor while not in the business of trucking.
–  The motor carrier, from liability when a permanently leased contract driver is not under dispatch.


What is Bobtail Insurance?

Bobtail Insurance protects an owner-operator from liability claims in the event of an at-fault accident when the truck is without a trailer in tow (deadheading) while traveling. This coverage applies whether the truck is being used for business purposes or not. Bobtail insurance is a name that stems from truckers who commonly refer to their trucks as bobtails when there are no trailers attached.


What is Primary Liability Insurance?

Primary Liability Insurance protects against loss from legal liability of the insured for bodily injury or property damage to another party as a result of a truck accident. This coverage is mandated by state and federal agencies and proof of coverage is required to be sent to them.  Truck Insurance USA offers liability coverage that fulfills the legal obligations of those owner-operators with their own authority. This coverage is required to activate your own authority. FMCSA requires $750,000 and most shippers and brokers require a $1,000,000 limit.


What is Physical Damage Insurance?

Physical Damage Insurance is coverage for your truck and trailer. This coverage is for repair or replacement for damage resulting from things such as collision, fire, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, mischief, or vandalism to your owned vehicles. Truck insurance pricing is based on the value of your equipment and usually pays a percentage of that value. The lien holder of your vehicle may require this coverage.


What is Occupational Accident Insurance?

Occupational Accident (Occ-Acc) insurance is an affordable alternative to statutory Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Occupational Accident is an insurance product designed for Independent Contractors to provide coverage for medical expenses, loss of wages and provide benefits resulting from a loss due to a work related accident or injury.

Protect your most important asset…the people behind the wheel. A truck can be replaced, but a person is a different story. Whether you’re looking to protect a single Independent Contractor or 100, Occupational Accident Insurance helps drivers get well and return to work as quickly as possible. Protect your company by protecting your drivers.


What type of coverage does Occupational Accident Insurance provide?

 There are three components of Occ-Acc:

 1.  Accidental Death and Dismemberment:  A benefit paid monthly to the owner-operator or their beneficiaries in the event of the loss of use of certain body parts or their death.

2.  Medical:  When a driver is involved in an accident requiring medical treatment the medical expense coverage will pay for the medical costs up to the limit of the policy for two years.

3.  Disability:
a.  Temporary Total Disability:  Partial wage replacement benefit paid to the owner-operator in the event of a covered injury resulting in an inability for the owner-operator to work during the time they are recovering from the covered injury.
b.  Continuous Total Disability (after Temporary Total Disability Period of 104 weeks):  Partial wage replacement benefit paid to the owner-operator in the event of an injury resulting in the complete inability for the owner-operator to work in their qualified occupation during the time they are recovering from the injury. If an Insured Person sustains a Covered Injury after the Insured Person’s normal Social Security retirement age, as determined by federal law, the Insured Person cannot qualify for Continuous Total Disability.


What type of coverage does Contingent Liability Insurance provide?

This coverage provides a layer of protection by providing defense to the Motor Carrier when a qualified Independent Contractor attempts to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits as an employee. If the independent Contractor is deemed an employee, the Contingent Liability Policy will pay benefits equivalent to those payable under the Workers’ Compensation statutes and Employer’s Liability law that apply.


What is an Interstate Operating Authority?

Formerly known as ICC or FHWA authority, Interstate Operating Authority is permission granted by the federal government to transport regulated freight across state lines and is identified by the issuance of an MC number. Interstate Operating Authority is now granted by the Office of Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the auspices of the FHWA. Unlike many of the other regulations governing interstate operations, there is no minimum weight threshold that requires compliance. Any vehicle operating for hire in interstate transportation of regulated freight or passengers must have operating authority. Trucking Insurance USA’s in-house Operating Authority practitioner can handle all of your necessary filings.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Services:

What is the mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)?
What are the steps in the FMCSA registration process?
What is a MC Number? | How do you apply for your Authority to Operate?
What are the types of Operating Authority?
What is a USDOT number?
How do you update your registration with the FMCSA?
What are the insurance requirements for the various Federal Filings?


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