Commercial Truck Insurance for Owner-Operators
When you're an owner/operator, it is easy to get confused regarding the legal aspect of your occupation. While you drive a truck, you also own a business. Because of this, there are many different kinds of insurances that you may want to consider. Of course, you need primary liability insurance to stay legal on the road. Primary liability requirements change slightly depending on what you drive and where you drive, but you must have at least $750,000 in primary liability insurance to drive your truck—even if it's just from your home to your business.
Primary liability insurance covers accidents that you may have as a trucker on the road, and the money is used to pay for the damages. If you don't have enough, you pay out of pocket. Because this can financially bankrupt you, getting more than the required $750,000 is also advisable.
General liability insurance is something that few truckers would be caught without on the road. Although you won't face the legal penalties associated with driving without primary liability insurance, operating a truck without general liability insurance means you are responsible for any accidents that occur when the truck is not on the road, whether that be in a truck stop, rest area, or private business. Truckers spend quite a bit of their time parked. If you're not covered for the theft or accident that might occur in the parking lot, you're not really covered.
Of course, you'll also want to make sure to get an insurance package that includes bobtail insurance for when you are not carrying a load, parking your truck in your driveway, or leaving it at the mechanic's. Insurance on the cargo of your truck can also be beneficial in the event of theft or an accident. Although your client may be paying for the bulk of the cargo insurance, there is always the chance that there is not enough coverage, potentially making you liable if that load is lost or damaged.
Trucking insurance can be difficult to understand, especially when you are an owner/operator without a company to fall back on if you make a mistake. You don't want to be duped into paying too much for insurance you won't need, but you also don't want to pay too little and end up paying for it three-fold later. Because of this, it is important to understand the general types of insurance necessary for truckers, in addition to knowing what other kinds of insurance you might be able to pair with your commercial trucking insurance. For instance, general auto insurance, property insurance, and types of business insurance may be offered by your carrier. This way, you can save money but still be sure you're covered in the long run.