What is non-trucking liability insurance, often referred to as bobtail insurance, and why do I need it? These are two of the most common questions from owner-operators who will be leasing to a motor carrier’s authority. They ask this because, more often than not, they are told that they do not need non-trucking liability because the liability from their motor carrier covers their truck all the time. This statement is incorrect. A motor carrier with owner-operators that lease onto their authority must add them to their primary auto liability coverage. This coverage only covers the owner-operator when they are under the dispatch of the motor carrier. For example, an independent owner-operator who has been added to the auto liability policy of the motor carrier would be covered by that policy while they are under dispatch hauling freight.
Non-trucking liability insurance is liability coverage designed for when you are not under dispatch and not hauling freight should you damage someone else’s property. This coverage protects you on the days when you need to get your truck looked at by a mechanic, filled up for your next trip, or have the oil changed. Your motor carrier often requires non-trucking liability for them to agree to have you lease onto their authority. This coverage does have some contingencies that are associated with it. For one, this coverage does not replace primary auto liability and does not authorize you as a for-hire motor carrier to haul freight. That is a separate coverage and is typically more expensive than non-trucking liability. To learn more about starting your authority, ask about truck insurance for new authorities. For the policy on this coverage to be in effect, you must have a signed lease agreement between you and a motor carrier and have been added to their primary auto liability policy.
Why is non-trucking liability necessary, and why do you need it?
Simply put, non-trucking liability protects you in the event of an accident when you are not hauling freight. Most high-ticket truck insurance claims happen while carrying cargo. However, when operating the truck on your own, there is still the possibility of getting into an accident that would have an expensive claim. While those times may be limited, there will still be times when you aren’t using your truck for work and will need coverage. Non-trucking liability is also, on average, less expensive than other lines of truck insurance. There isn’t a reason not to have non-trucking liability for the cost. Some of our customers see premiums of under $10 a week for non-trucking liability!