Trucking companies carry way more insurance coverage than an average driver. However, the amount of commercial truck insurance you must carry depends on your trucking business’ size and operation. Insurance coverage can range from the minimum under federal law — which is $750,000 — up to $100 million. Other companies may not even carry general liability insurance, which covers them in the event of an accident. For additional information, read more here.
The FMCSA Minimum Coverage
As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulations have been issued governing trucking companies that operate in commerce between states. Under these federal regulations, most motor carriers need to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance.
This requirement has been in place for more than 35 years, regardless of inflation and increasing litigation and medical costs. However, the minimum amount of liability varies based on the cargo as follows:
- Non-hazardous freight moved in vehicles under 10,001 lbs: minimum of $300,000
- Non-hazardous freight in vehicles over 10,001 lbs: minimum of $750,000
- Oil moved by for-hire and private carriers: minimum of $1,000,000
- Tanks over 3500 gal or other hazardous material moved by for-hire and private carriers: minimum of $5,000,000
These are the minimum limits set by the FMCSA, but some brokers might require a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage regardless of what they are hauling. Other trucking businesses voluntarily buy more coverage than the minimum required.
If you are hauling hazardous materials, the insurance coverage requirements can grow. Some coverage options can protect your truck but not the load you are hauling, leaving you in a bad spot if something goes wrong. As a trucking business owner and truck driver, it is vital to keep your driving records as clean as possible, as it can play a huge factor in the ability to get coverage and overall insurance costs.
Trucking Insurance Policies
Some of the trucking insurance policies you might need based on your situation include the following:
- Auto Liability: Protects you from liability risks if you or your truck driver gets involved in an accident and is found responsible.
- Cargo Insurance: Covers non-hazardous freight or commodity and liability for your cargo.
- Physical damage: protects your commercial truck when physical damage occurs.
- Non-Trucking Liability Insurance: Offers coverage for using your truck for non-business purposes when using the truck on days off.
- General Liability Insurance: Covers you in the event of an accident, in claims for personal injury, bodily injury, property damage liability, medical expense, and advertising injury liability.
- Passenger accident insurance: offers coverage if you are involved in a truck accident while an uninsured passenger is in the vehicle.
These insurance requirements and needs can often change depending on your haul. However, your insurance provider will listen to your needs and find the best insurance coverage options within that scope.
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