Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements
One of the key features of getting a commercial truck insurance is to adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in terms of the requirements of interstate insurance. It is one of the most simple processes, one that will get you the clearance for Operating Authority (with the MC number) as long as you get the public liability insurance first, which covers the dual aspects of physical injury as well as damage of the property.
Let’s look at the interstate insurance as proposed by the FMCSA.
Interstate Truck Insurance
One of the important requirements while attempting to procure a license as prescribed by the FMCSA, especially if it pertains to interstate truck users, is to apply for public liability insurance, which is extremely crucial in order for the interstate truck drivers to attain coverage in case of any form of untoward incidents or accidents on the road, especially in cases where the driver is at fault. The insurance protects the drivers in those cases.
Another important aspect of this insurance is that it gives the trucker the advantage of paying hospital bills in cases of physical injuries of the drivers or pedestrians they have harmed while doing their job. Additionally, the insurance that covers property damage ensures that the costs that are incurred in fixing the ones involved in the accident are taken care of by the insurance.
However, in order to enjoy the benefits of this insurance, one needs to meet the minimum requirements of the FMCSA. Primarily, if the driver who has been involved in an accident has done the damage of, say, $100,000, then the FMCSA will cover that amount only if the insurance policy covers that amount. One will not be able to avail this benefit in case the costs are just $50,000.
There are several factors that dictate the kind of freight the driver is expected to haul as part of his/her job. According to the FMCSA, the driver will receive minimum benefits of up to $300,000 if the freight they are carrying is under 10,001 lbs of non-hazardous material. The number goes up to $750,000 if it is non-hazardous freight that weighs over 10,001 lbs. Substances such as oil transport by for hire as well as other private carriers will bring an insurance coverage of $1,000,000, while the insurance coverage of $5,000,000 applies to those who move hazardous materials by for-hire or other private vehicular transportation.
Do note that these insurance coverages have a bare minimum parameter. It’s common knowledge that most shippers, as well as brokers will need you to have a limit of at least $1,000,000 worth of coverage irrespective of the hazardous or non-hazardous materials they are moving.
What Other Insurance Options Are There for Interstate Truck Drivers?
While an interstate trucker will do well with the Operating Authority and the MC number, you need more than just the evidence of the public liability insurance as we have spoken about above. Let’s look at the other kinds of insurance an interstate trucker will require for maximum protection.
Insurance of the Cargo
This covers the liability of the cargo you are hauling in your vehicle. Even though the FMCSA doesn’t require you to have cargo insurance, as an interstate trucker, you need to have it in order to work without any hassles with the shippers, who will not agree to carry out any transactions with an O/O on the cargo insurance. The cargo insurance can go up to $100,000 depending on the kind of haul you have.
Insurance of the Bobtail
While most owner-cum-operators do not require a bobtail insurance, it is imperative to get one in case you have leased the carrier and function under someone else’s authority. Your lease will be helpful in negotiating exactly how much coverage you are liable for.
Physical Damage Insurance
This is one of the most important parts of the insurance that the trucker is liable for. In this case, the physical damage insurance helps protect the vehicle or the trailer that the driver is using in the event of an accident while driving. However, this insurance applies only if the driver has financed their own truck or vehicle. In cas