Which comes first, the trucker or his insurance?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg … hmmmm?
Scientists now claim to have a definitive answer to this question*
Here’s another question for you: which comes first, the trucker or his insurance? It’s a very good question and one that a lot of folks actually get wrong. There are a few different scenarios. Lets look at them one by one. In order to answer ‘which comes first?’, we must ask the questions: what, where and when.
First off, WHAT? There are lots of different kinds of insurance that a trucker might need to purchase. Depending on whether the trucker is a fleet owner or an independent contractor and whether the vehicle is financed or fully paid off. A trucker may need truckers’ liability insurance (also known as commercial automobile insurance) or if he is an independent contractor, he needs non-trucking liability insurance (some call this ‘bobtail’ insurance); automobile physical damage insurance (people might call this coverage ‘collision insurance’) and there is also occupational accident insurance (sometimes called ‘workers’ comp for owner operators’). So the first question is: What kind of trucker is needing insurance? A federally regulated motor carrier or an owner operator who is leased on to such a motor carrier.
WHERE? Are we still at the truck dealership purchasing a new (to us) semi-truck? Is the vehicle financed? An owner-operator needs non-trucking liability insurance to legally operate his vehicle when he is not under dispatch or actively involved in the business of trucking. So if he is driving his new truck home or to the motor carrier’s terminal, he will need non-trucking liability. Also, if the vehicle is financed, the lender will demand a certificate of insurance for automobile physical damage thus protecting the vehicle from loss.
And lastly, WHEN? As we noted above, if the owner-operator has not yet signed on with a motor carrier he will need – at least - a temporary NTL policy (and probably physical damage insurance) to drive off the dealer’s lot.
And one more “When” question. When starting the process to secure their own regulatory authority to become a motor carrier, owner-operators sometimes get told by others -even FMCSA- that they need insurance first. In reality, they are able to apply- and need to apply- for DOT and MC numbers BEFORE they get insurance. Once a trucker has gotten themselves legal then they should give us a call for their insurance. Most insurance carriers will not quote without the DOT number. However, truckers are sometimes erroneously led to believe that they need insurance prior to getting authority. Not true.
At Roemer Insurance / InsureMyRig.com we sell every kind of heavy duty trucking insurance that an owner-operator or fleet owner might need. The trucking insurance experts at Roemer know the difference between a fifth wheel and a steering wheel. So, whether it is automobile liability insurance, non-trucking liability insurance, automobile physical damage insurance, motor truck cargo or occupational accident insurance, we’ve got you covered.
*We are not sure we’re buying it but scientists now say it was the egg that came first. Or a non-chicken(??) In a nutshell (or an eggshell, if you like), two birds that weren't actually chickens went through a genetic mutation and created a chicken egg that then hatched into a chicken and hence, we have an answer: The egg came first.
Call or email InsureMyRig today with your questions about trucking insurance.
Whether you are an Owner-Operator, or a fleet owner of any size from 1-1,000. Give us a call. We know the difference between a fifth wheel and a steering wheel.