Understanding The Key Kinds Of Trucking Insurance
Every trucking operation needs to carry insurance. The applicable policies will vary between independent operators, fleets, and brokers, though. Understanding the key kinds of truck insurance is critical so here are six of the big ones.
Any one person or organization directly operating the vehicles needs to be aware of the accident risks in the industry. Third-party liability insurance covers bodily harm and property damage. If a semi collides with a random car on the road, there is possible third-party legal exposure. The car's driver is likely going to file a claim against the driver or their company. You want a trucking insurance policy that'll cover claims that could get into the millions of dollars if the victim suffers catastrophic and lifelong injuries.
Bobtail and Deadhead Insurance
Generally, trucking insurance only covers the vehicle during transport operations. The vehicle is bobtailed when it's running without a load. Especially if your company has to move rigs between locations or send them to outside sites for maintenance, you need bobtail insurance. Also, every independent operator who drives their rig home should have this coverage.
Deadhead insurance covers entirely non-trucking activities. If you stop the truck to pick up the mail on your way home, that's a deadhead activity. Unless you have deadhead coverage, it's likely also not insured by other policy riders.
Moving goods incurs more liability exposure. Especially if the cargo includes perishables or high-value items, you may be liable if your equipment fails. For example, losing a load of milk products because your trailer's refrigeration system failed may incur losses. Even some companies that handle their own transportation with company-owned trucks and trailers purchase cargo insurance to offset their risks.
Fleet operators' drivers are employees in most cases. Consequently, their truck insurance policy should include workers' compensation insurance coverage for their drivers. Otherwise, they may be on the hook for claims if drivers suffer injuries.
Government agencies are becoming increasingly vigilant about punishing spills from trucks. If the truck's fuel dumps into a body of water, for example, you might have to pay for the cleanup costs.
The truck is a valuable asset in its own right. Accidents, vandalism, theft, and other incidents can significantly devalue the truck or even render it inoperable. Without a policy covering the truck as property, you'll have to pay to get the vehicle back on the road or to replace it.
For more info about truck insurance, contact a local company.