Truck Insurance

The type and amount of truck insurance a driver decides to carry will depend on whether they own a truck and are operating under their own authority, or if they are leased to a motor carrier. Motor carriers very commonly provide primary liability insurance and physical damage insurance. Primary liability insurance is required for all trucks by federal law. Currently trucks are required to have a limit of one million dollars of primary liability truck insurance. Primary liability insurance will protect other drivers if the truck/truck driver causes personal injury or property damage in an accident.

Primary liability insurance does not cover damage to the tractor or trailer in the case of an accident. To get that type of protection, truck owners or motor carriers would want to purchase physical damage insurance. The physical damage insurance should only be listed for the market value of the vehicle, as insurance companies will not pay out anything more. The premium for this type of truck insurance will increase or decrease based on the market value of the vehicle, so it would only hurt the company/owner to insure the vehicle for more than what is needed.

In almost every instance the motor carrier will provide primary liability and physical damage truck insurance for leased vehicles. Drivers signing on with a company will want to check first to see who is responsible for those types of coverages before making decisions about insurance. Other types of truck insurance are also available. Because trucks are often used to haul freight, insurance policies that cover cargo are worthwhile in most cases. Common types of cargo insurance are:

  • Warehouse Legal Coverage Insurance
  • Terminal Coverage Insurance
  • Cargo Insurance
Truck Insurance Warehouse legal coverage protects cargo that is stored at warehouse locations for a certain period of time. Terminal coverage provides only temporary coverage for freight stored at specific terminals, usually for a period of not more than 72 hours. Cargo insurance covers cargo while the truck is en route and when the driver needs to take breaks.

While the only federally mandated truck insurance is the primary liability insurance, state requirements can differ. Drivers should check with their state to see if a certain amount of coverage is required on each vehicle.

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Last Updated: 09/18/2014

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