Bobtail Truck Insurance
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What is Bobtail Insurance?
Driving your 18-wheeler without the trailer attached is known as bobtailing or, more commonly, deadheading. Semi owner operators who occasionally make deadhead trips with or without dispatch are usually required by their motor carrier to have special coverage, known as Bobtail truck insurance.
Here's what independent big rig drivers need to know about Bobtail truck insurance:
Provides liability coverage when you are driving your semi without the trailer- whether or not you are under dispatch
Applies when you drive your big rig without its cargo trailer to and from the terminal
Applies when you are traveling between loads without the trailer attached
9 Things you Need to Know About Bobtail Insurance
- First off…..most truckers don’t even NEED bobtail insurance, they need non-trucking liability (it’s different, trust us)
- Bobtail insurance, more accurately called non-trucking liability, only applies when a driver has an active lease agreement with a motor carrier
- True bobtail insurance is coverage without a trailer attached; non-trucking liability is broadly defined as personal use of a commercial vehicle, and NTL is what most motor carriers require
- Bobtail insurance is NOT the same as non-trucking liability- though the terms are often used interchangeably. Most motor carriers ONLY require a non-trucking liability policy.
- Bobtail and non-trucking are liability policies, and provide for bodily injury and/or property damage that your truck causes while not operating under dispatch
- Bobtail and NTL do not cover damage to YOUR truck. That is covered under your physical damage policy and is normally offered at time of sale. This coverage is normally required by your financer.
- Virtually every motor carrier will require an owner/operator to carry non-trucking; some motor carriers may provide group programs at a discount.
- While bobtail provides a wider coverage range than non-trucking liability, it is also more costly and many times not available in the marketplace.
- A good insurance agent such as InsureMyRig will help you to determine if bobtail coverage is right for you, and to find the best policy for the best price.
America's Truckers and Their Real Life Stories on the Road (From the Driver's Seat)
This one REALLY takes the cake!
First thing yesterday morning here at InsureMyRig, we got a call from a trucker in Oklahoma. Let's say his name is “Joe."
He has been a customer of InsureMyRig for eleven years. He has Non-trucking liability as well as physical damage coverage. He has always been a real pleasure to work with because he usually cracks a joke or has something else interesting or funny to say – he’s really the kind of person you like to help out.
Well yesterday he was not joking around. He is an independent contractor with a big trucking company out of Pennsylvania and he was upset because he was told by his motor carrier that his bobtail/ non-trucking liability insurance was not valid, and they would not dispatch him until he got things in proper order. He was pretty steamed up over this because he always pays his bills on time and he was pretty sure everything was ok with his non-trucking liability and automobile physical damage policies through InsureMyRig.
What is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?
Bobtail liability insurance often is confused with non-trucking liability insurance, but there are a few important differences. They include:
- Non-trucking liability insurance covers independent semi drivers when they are outside the scope of their lease agreement with the motor carrier.
- Generally, this coverage applies when semi operators are driving their big rigs without trailers on their own time.
- This insurance does not provide coverage to semi drivers while they are under dispatch.
- Non-trucking liability insurance is a more narrow coverage and does not cost as much as Bobtail insurance.
Which One and How Much Will They Cost?
Generally, trucking companies will require their independent big rig drivers to carry Bobtail insurance since it’s common for them to drive their 18 wheelers without their trailers but under dispatch.
Non-trucking liability insurance is not as common but still usually required by most commercial motor carriers since independent semi operators often drive their big rigs without trailers on personal trips.
Overall, Bobtail provides wider coverage than non-trucking liability and usually is more costly. The most requested coverage is the $1 million limit, but higher limits are available. Your cost will depend on the amount of coverage you carry for each but plan on spending more for bobtail coverage than non-trucking liability.
What Now and Where To Buy Bobtail Truck Insurance Coverage?
Remember: Before you buy either coverage, check with your motor carrier on which coverage is required and how much it costs. Then contact a professional trucking insurance agent with extensive knowledge of the American trucking industry for a quote. You can save a lot of time and money working with a pro.
InsureMyRig.com has experienced bobtail and non-trucking liability insurance experts who can provide coverage to individual big rig drivers or to a group-leased operator plan. Give us a call today or fill out a quote online.