Commercial Auto Insurance NJ: What You Need to Know

When it comes to commercial car insurance, each state has its own list of mandatory coverages and minimum costs. If you are a trucker seeking coverage in New Jersey, it would be best to be up to date with the New Jersey Department of Transportation regulations along with news from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Also, Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA) specifies its own set of regulations for commercial trucking.

truck driver insurance 1

There are several coverages that you may want to inquire about and acquire. The compulsory ones include primary liability insurance. Depending on whether you are a leased independent contractor, an independent operator with your own authority, or a motor carrier, you would additionally require bobtail coverage, cargo coverage, physical damages insurance, and non-trucking liability, among others.

New Jersey Commercial Trucking Insurance Premium Pricing

According to New Jersey laws, it is mandatory to have minimum liability coverage of $750,000. This amount may vary if the freight being hauled is hazardous in nature and can go up to $5,000,000. For a commodity like oil it would rise to $1,000,000. Liability insurance for hauling household goods is slightly lower at $300,000.

It also depends on your radius of operation and the other states you transport your shipment through. If you operate locally within NJ, you could acquire an intrastate only US Department of Transportations (USDOT) unique number. Certain forms need to be filed by you and processed, in accordance with the rules of USDOT to process your authority, including Form MCS-95, Form E, Form H and the BMC-96.

The price of commercial trucking insurance you should settle for is also determined by the kind of vehicle you own and the freight hauled. For example, it could be a flatbed truck, you may be into livestock hauling, hazardous material hauling, intermodal trucking, refrigerated trucking and others.

The price of your NJ commercial auto insurance plan also depends on your driving history. Business car insurance quotes depend on the report on all drivers with access to your business vehicles. That said, drivers with accidents or violations on their driving record will usually cause rates to increase. 

Furthermore, commercial vehicle insurance quotes depend on the coverage needs of the business owners. The more coverage you need, the more expensive your commercial auto insurance will increase. For example, a $1 million liability policy will have a significantly higher premium than a policy with state minimum liability limits. 

Types of NJ Commercial Auto Insurance 

While liability insurance is mandatory in NJ, you may additionally require other coverage plans to run a secure and successful commercial trucking operation in NJ. These are the types of commercial car insurance you can purchase in New Jersey:

Primary Liability Insurance

It is compulsory for all commercial trucking operations before they hit the road. It compensates for bodily injury to other people as well as property damages that may be incurred by others when you are at fault in an accident. If you do not acquire this coverage, you may be fined and penalized heavily.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance covers risks when you are not on the road, for instance, in your head office. Sometimes, it may prove difficult to get this coverage when you haul hazardous material.

Physical Damage Insurance

It covers you for collisions on the road that may cause damage to your vehicle. The other part of this coverage includes comprehensive coverage that is valid for all circumstances except collisions, including fire, theft, vandalism, or damage due to animals and weather.

Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Bobtail insurance protects your truck when it is not on the road, and the trailer is disconnected from the truck. While the truck is not being used to transport a shipment, you need to be covered for property damages or injuries caused while using the truck for personal purposes.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is basic coverage for the freight being hauled in your truck. The minimum amount for this would vary according to the nature of the freight being hauled. For instance, hazardous material might involve higher insurance rates.

Trailer Interchange Insurance

This type of commercial vehicle insurance covers you for any damages when a load is being transferred and the trailer is not attached to the owner’s truck. It fundamentally compensates for damage caused to a non-owned trailer you may be using, while you are under a trailer interchange agreement.

Uninsured Motorist

This is another crucial coverage for a semi-truck insurance policy. It compensates for another vehicle that may be damaged due to your fault in an accident and does not have insurance or does not hold adequate insurance to cover the expenses.

Workers’ Compensation

Trucking companies need to have workers’ compensation to cover their employees as a mandatory requirement.

Umbrella Insurance

It covers the gaps between your other insurance policies. Also known as excess liability insurance, it basically compensates you for lawsuits that go beyond your existing coverage. You need to consider carefully while setting your minimum coverage, deciding on the payment installment patterns and selecting additional coverage.

Finally, commercial auto insurance isn’t just for big companies. If you own a small business, auto insurance is something you should consider as it covers you financially in case something unpredictable happens. 

At East Insurance Group, we offer you the services of our leading insurance experts in New Jersey. You have the benefit of having a dedicated insurance agent who would carefully assist you in understanding, analyzing, considering and selecting the repertoire of insurance policies that suit your requirements best. We understand your aspirations as a local or regional commercial trucker and present you with the most affordable options that help you grow your business, operate with peace of mind and have the guarantee of being covered at all times.

If you found this article helpful, make sure you read more about the best ways to keep your fleets safe!