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The increasing number of road casualties indicate that it is increasingly critical for trucking companies and individual contractors to be covered before they hit the road. Commercial trucks include a range of vehicles like front loaders, box trucks, auto hauler trailers, garbage trucks, flatbed trucks, semi trucks, pickup trucks, dump trucks, tank trucks and flatbed trucks.
Commercial truck insurance provides fleet owners as well as truck owners a safety net in case of road accidents, through guaranteed coverage against losses and damages of various kinds. There are several benefits of commercial truck insurance.
- Protection against accidental damage in the case of collision.
- Coverage for the affected and injured third party.
- Protection to the third party for bodily injuries caused by the trucker in the case of an accident.
- Coverage for physical damages caused to any third party.
- Coverage for medical expenditure for the third party.
- Coverage for damages for trucks on-hire.
Interstate insurance is listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as an integral part of your minimum coverage as interstate truckers. When you apply for your Operating Authority, or MC number, there are a set of insurance requirements that need to be fulfilled. There are a number of forms required by the FMCSA, these can be filled out by your insurance company once you file your application with FMCSA.
A critical coverage for interstate truckers, public liability insurance is the key component for protection from accidents where the trucker may be at fault. It works both ways by protecting the trucker as well as the public.
- Protection for Bodily Injury: A portion of the liability insurance compensates for medical bills including hospitalization, for any other vehicle drivers or pedestrians hurt in the accident.
- Protection for Property Damage: This section of the insurance accounts for the repair work to any private property that may be damaged in the accident.
According to the FMCSA, the interstate truckers are required to meet the minimum amount of the coverage equivalent to the worth of damage caused. This baseline limit depends on the type of freight being carried. For instance, for non-hazardous freight in vehicles under 10,001 lbs, the minimum limit is $300,000 while in those above 10,001 lbs, the minimum limit is $750,000.
In the case of private or hired carriers for oil, the minimum limit goes up to $1,000,000 and for other hazardous material carriers it extends to $5,000,000.
These are the minimum limits but often a liability coverage of $1,000,000 is recommended by shippers and brokers.
According to a recent study by the FMCSA, the minimum limits of coverage may be too low and there is a high probability of the increase in baseline limits in the next few years.
This is not mandated by the FMCSA, but it is a recommended coverage most shippers would ask for. It protects the goods hauled in the carrier. The minimum coverage is usually estimated at $100,000 and depends on the freight being carried. Most interstate shippers would cite this as a fundamental premise for further business practice.
Motor carriers that haul household goods also require cargo insurance with a minimum of $5,000 for each vehicle and it goes up to $10,000 for each occurence.
If you are a trucker working under the authority of a motor carrier, you would require bobtail insurance. The exact nature of coverages would depend on your lease agreement with the carrier company. On the other hand, if you are an owner-operator, the bobtail insurance is not required in your case.
If you own or finance your truck, this one is an absolute must have for you. This insurance covers your personal carrier from road accidents. In the absence of this insurance, you make yourself vulnerable to a financial catastrophe in case of an unforeseen damage on the road.
Apart from these, general liability insurance is also important for truck owners. It covers off-road risks to your business including wrong delivery of freight and any damages to clients caused in office, misbehavior by drivers or slandering a load broker. The minimum coverage for general liability insurance is $300,000.
Get a Truck insurance quote today
East Insurance Group brings you the best range of interstate truck insurance options. Our award-winning service provides you swift and quick service at lower costs. Contact our live agent right away to begin the process for safeguarding your business on the road. Our experienced insurance agents understand your needs and work through your challenges and requirements to bring you the best coverage for your commercial vehicle, helping your business grow on the road and giving you the peace of mind of an invincible safety net.