3 Facts Every Truck Drivers Must Understand About Trucking Insurance
As an industry, trucking, or the process of transporting products and services by truck, has grown substantially. Professional truckers drive billions of miles annually. As protection for a field full of thousands of workers who conduct business on the road, trucking insurance remains a vital necessity for truckers on the job.
1. The FMCSA Sets Forth Legal Guidelines and Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a governing body within the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the country’s trucking industry. As a federal agency, the FMSCA designates two regulations when it comes to trucking insurance. Most truck drivers are required to have public liability insurance by law as well as a minimum amount of coverage.
Public liability insurance protects the public as well as truck drivers in the case of an accident where the trucker is at fault. More specifically, public liability policies cover claims of bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury pays for any medical bills that may pile up in the case of an accident involving another motorist or pedestrian. On the other hand, property damage takes care of repair claims that may result due to a trucking accident. While public liability insurance mostly deals with the public, the coverage protects both parties financially since insurance claims and accidents may end up costing thousands of dollars in the long run.
Truck drivers are also legally required to have minimum amounts of coverage. The amount of coverage a truck driver needs is subjective to their line of work and what kind of cargo and vehicle they transport and operate. The main goal of coverage amounts is to guarantee that a trucker will have enough insurance coverage to take care of any scenario where insurance claims may file. For example, a trucker who transports non-hazardous materials under 10,001 lbs must have a minimum coverage of $300,000 in public liability insurance. Similarly, trucking works that transport materials considered hazardous on a for-hire or private basis must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in public liability coverage.
2. Truck Drivers Must Qualify for Trucking Insurance
As with any insurance policy, truck drivers must qualify for trucking insurance. Usually, truck drivers must have a commercial driving license, especially if they transport over 26,000 lbs of cargo. Additionally, most truckers will require DOT and MC endorsements. Truckers will also need to provide information on the type of vehicle they drive for their job. Typically, insurance companies require truckers to provide their vehicles model, make, year, and VIN before they offer a trucking insurance policy.
3. There Are Other Insurance Policies Professional Truckers Obtain
While all truckers must have the minimum amount of coverage set forth by the government, most trucking workers also invest in other forms of coverage that their job or state may or may not require. The most common forms of insurance that truckers include on top of public liability insurance are cargo and physical damage insurance.
Cargo insurance is especially valuable if a trucker transports large amounts of expensive products or goods on the road. In the case of an accident, theft, or vandalism, cargo insurance will cover the value of any materials lost while in transit. Physical damage insurance will take care of any damages that may ensue on a trucker’s vehicle while on the job. For example, physical damage policies cover damages from accidents, extreme weather vandalism, or property crime.
After you conduct a risk assessment, consider contacting an official insurance provider that provides trucking insurance plans. At the very least, make sure you have the minimum requirements of public liability coverage according to your cargo, vehicle, and job. You should also gather any necessary information to qualify for your trucking insurance.