Trucking companies obtain their own commercial coverage according to state and federal requirements. Private owner-operators are required to purchase insurance, too, and these owners need affordable policies as they don’t normally generate the same profits as major trucking corporations. Learning about big rig insurance policies helps owner-operators make better choices when insuring their vehicles.  

What Is the Basic Coverage?

The basic coverage requirements for 18-wheelers include $1 million for oil transport liability coverage, $5 million in hazmat liability insurance, $750,000 in general freight liability insurance, $300,000 in household goods liability coverage, and $20,000 per vehicle with $20,000 catastrophe cargo insurance. All commercial operators that own their own big rig must comply with the minimum requirements for the state. Need to insure an 18-wheeler? find insurance for your big rig here now. 

What Are the Interstate Insurance Requirements?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires $300,000 in non-hazardous freight coverage for vehicles under 10,000 lbs. Next, they require a minimum of $750,000 with a maximum of $5 million for all freight trucks over 10,000 lbs with $5,000 for cargo coverage for vehicles carrying household goods and $10,000 to cover occurrence in cargo coverage for all household goods. 

Additional Insurance for 18-Wheelers

First, owner-operators have the option to get primary liability insurance, and the coverage doesn’t apply to the 18-wheeler if an accident happens. The insurance coverage offers benefits for the other driver when the 18-wheeler owner causes an accident. 

Physical damage insurance policies protect against financial losses because of accidents, vehicle theft, and events that cause damage to the big rig, such as engine fires. If physical damage results from a covered event, the insurance provides benefits of funds to repair or replace the 18-wheeler.  

Truckers’ general liability coverage pays for property damage caused by the owner-operator’s vehicle at another person’s property. This encompasses loading docks and truck stops. In addition to this policy, the owners need non-trucking liability coverage protects against accidents and injuries that happen during non-business hours. 

Motor truck cargo coverage provides additional protection for all cargo in the truck to protect against a financial loss. This covers events such as refrigeration unit breakdowns that cause food to become ruined because of the breakdown. It also covers damage caused by specific perils related to geographical areas where the driver travels to deliver goods to customers and companies. 

Should You Extend Liability Coverage? 

An owner-operator faces a lawsuit if they cause an accident and their insurance doesn’t cover the medical costs and auto repair expenses incurred by the victim. Basic liability coverage may not offer enough protection to prevent a financial loss.

Just because the owner has liability coverage doesn’t mean the victim cannot try to collect compensation for serious or life-altering injuries. Each policy has a maximum payout, and the victim must agree to accept the maximum for these injuries or take the matter to court. For many private owner-operators, one serious accident leads to the end of their business because of the financial losses.  

Commercial trucks must be covered by liability and cargo coverage according to state laws and federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, and the local DMV define these requirements for trucking companies and owner-operators.

Non-compliance leads to fines and catastrophic losses for the owners. Local and federal agencies can penalize the trucking companies and owner-operators if an accident happens and there is no or inadequate insurance coverage. Need coverage for a big rig? Turn to insurer for more information.