Trucking Insurance Requirements

Top 3 tips for understanding what insurance you need as a trucker!

You’re starting up a new trucking business, buying equipment, signing customer contracts, finding loadboards, planning routes; all the time avoiding thinking about one of the most important things for your business. Insurance. What kind of trucking insurance is required, how much is enough, where do I get trucking insurance? Hopefully, this article can help you with answers to some of your questions about commercial trucking insurance requirements; and hopefully turning the conversation from what is required, to what insurance is best for you to purchase.

1. Know what you are, and what you will be.

  • Sure, right now you may only be hauling intrastate; but, as a new and hopefully growing company, you will probably want the option to go longer miles and also have the opportunity to generate more revenue. If indeed you are going to be an interstate motor carrier, crossing state lines you will be required to have auto liability limits of:

    1. $750,000 for motor carrier transporting non-hazmat property

    2. $1,000,000 for a motor carrier transporting some low-level hazardous material

    3. $5,000,000 for a motor carrier transporting higher-level hazardous goods

As a motor carrier, that’s all the trucking insurance that is REQUIRED by the DOT. Once you purchase this insurance, the company will make filings with the FMCSA, and you are legal from an insurance standpoint. BUT, being legal is definitely not the same as properly protecting yourself.

2. When we take calls from prospects, many times they just say they want the minimum trucking insurance to get them legal.

  • That’s not nearly enough; the auto liability policy protects other people and their property from damage in a trucking accident, but only up to the policy limit. And while it’s not required, almost all trucking companies also purchase:
    1. General liability coverage

    2. Physical Damage coverage to protect their own trucks/trailers

    3. Cargo insurance to cover the value of the goods they haul

    4. Workmen’s compensation to protect their employees from on the job injuries

    5. Excess liability insurance to provide coverage above what is required.

3. Start treating your agent as a trusted advisor!

You shouldn’t be paying an agent to just “get you legal” you should be paying them to help you cover your assets! The goal of insurance is protection; for you, your family, your trucking business and others you come in contact with. Only some trucking insurance coverage is REQUIRED; make sure you are consulting with an agent who understands your trucking operation, and can advise you on which trucking insurance policies are applicable.