by Ed Sneneh, Specialist in Trucking Insurance Quotes in Illinois

Trucking insurance is one of the complicated subjects that face both trucking business and insurance brokers. Understanding the basic types of trucking insurance and coverages is very important to meet the needs of the trucking business properly.

Trucking Insurance Coverage Types:
  • Liability Insurance -  This is the heart of the trucking insurance protection. The coverage offers protections by paying for bodily injury and property damages that the trucker causes to other people .
  • Physical Damage Coverage -  This also includes Trailer Interchange Coverage. This is to cover own trucks/ trailer. It offers comprehensive and collision coverage by paying for repairs to your truck  if it's damaged in an accident.
  • Motor Truck Cargo Insurance -  Also called Inland Marine Coverage. It offer protection by paying for cargo damages  because of a covered loss (fire, theft, or crash).
  • Motor Truck General Liability Insurance -  Not auto related coverage, meaning that the coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage that the trucker or the trucking business may cause because of activities not directly related to operating any truck.

Who Needs Trucking Insurance?

1. Owner Operators

Those people are owners of trucks that lease their equipment to other motor carriers under written lease agreement. They need Owner Operators Insurance to meet their lease requirements. The type of insurance they need is based on the lease agreement. But most agreements stipulate that the primary insurance is offered by the motor carrier, and that the owner operator may have to furnish only bobtail policy. A bobtail policy is a liability policy that offer liability insurance for the owner operator when he/ she is not under dispatch by a motor carrier (employer).

Here it is worth it to distinguish between two types of liability coverage for owner operators who work for under the authority of others, bobtail insurance and non trucking insurance.

Bobtail insurance and non trucking insurance are close in meanings and coverage. Many agents use them interchangeably but there is some basic difference between them. A non trucking insurance policy offers valuable protection when the truck is not used for business and regardless if a trailer is attached to it or not. Bobtail, aka Dead Head Insurance,  covers a truck while not attached to a trailer and while traveling regardless if the truck is used for business or not!trucking insurance quotes in Chicago Illinois

2. Motor Carriers or Trucking For-Hire

Those are the actual trucking companies that may have their own trucks and/ or lease the trucks of owners operators to work for them. Primary liability insurance is required from all motor carriers. The insurance has to be filed with the department of your home state regulating the trucking business and with  the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The most important form that the FMCSA needs is The BMC-91 filing and Form MCS-90 which are to guarantee the FMCSA that you have the adequate and the required amount of  Liability insurance that allow the trucking business to transport goods or people across state lines. Other forms must be filed with the home state including Form E (Liability Filing) and Form H (cargo Filing).

Other coverage types listed above (ie general liability or physical damage) may or may not be required according to the specific needs and size of the trucking business.

3. Private Motor Carriers

If you work for your own company, or you have your own business where you use your own trucks for the sole purpose of transporting your own goods then you will be classified as a private carrier. You will need to consider the above coverages, considering that the liability insurance is mandatory.

Insurance Coverage Offered for the Following Commercial Trucks:

  • Insurance for Box trucks
  • Insurance for Semi trucks
  • Insurance for Flatbed trucks
  • Insurance for Garbage trucks
  • Insurance for Pickup trucks
  • Insurance for Tow trucks
  • Insurance for Dump trucks
  • Insurance for Auto hauler trailers
  • Insurance for Flatbed trailers
  • Insurance for All light trucks

Limitations of Trucking Insurance Coverage

Following is a list of the prominent limitations included in many trucking policies.

Operators Age: Many companies set limits on age. Most companies will not offer coverage for operators under age 21, or over 72. Almost all will surcharge operators under age 25 years, if they are acceptable.

CDL Experience: Many truck insurance carriers insist on 2 years of CDL experience.

Radius of Operations: Some companies will not offer coverage if the radius of operations is over 500 miles. Certain companies will offer lower rates for over 500 miles compared to local! (for example: certain companies think that local truck driving in Chicago may involve more risk that driving on a freeway)!

Hazardous Materials Insurance: HAZMAT involves different limits, licensing and filing. The above discussion refers to Non Hazmat.

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