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Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements Explained

Trucking insurance isn't optional. Learn what are the minimum requirements for commercial truck insurance

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What Are the Requirements for Commercial Truck Insurance?

When running a business, it's vital that you not only possess the necessary tools and resources at your disposal but also that you take measures to keep those resources safe.

This is why trucking company insurance isn't optional if you want to keep your business running smoothly and profitably. Truck insurance premiums are rising, but you may still locate policies that can provide peace of mind and reduce risks as you run your business.

New and established enterprises are subject to additional commercial truck insurance regulations beyond basic liability coverage.

To comply with federal regulations, interstate carriers must meet certain insurance requirements detailed on the FMCSA website.

The FMCSA will only provide an MC number with proof of public liability insurance, which must include protections for both property damage and personal injuries.

In the event of an accident in which the truck driver is found at fault, public liability insurance will kick in to protect both the public and the truck driver. When a pedestrian or another driver is harmed in a collision, the Bodily Injury coverage of their liability insurance will help pay their medical bills. Once an accident occurs and causes damage to someone else's property, your property damage will cover the cost of making repairs.

What Does FMCSA Dictate About Commercial Truck Insurance?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dictates that all interstate truckers have at least the minimum coverage. If a trucker causes an accident that results in $1,000,000 in damages, the FMCSA requires that their insurance coverage pays for at least $1,000,000. Insurance with limits of $500,000 or less would need to be increased here.

The FMCSA mandates that commercial trucks have public liability insurance, which pays for damages to people and their property up to specific limits based on the kind of cargo being transported:

  • Cargo under 10,000 pounds and not considered dangerous (non-hazardous) can be transported for $300,000.
  • Cargo weighing more than 10,000 pounds might cost between $750,000 and $5,000,000.
  • Transportation of home items is covered by cargo insurance of up to $5,000 per vehicle.
  • Insuring home items in transit is $10,000 per incident.
  • $1,000,000 is required for oil transported by private and commercial carriers.

Remember, these are the very lowest restrictions that will be tolerated on a federal level. Regardless of the cargo you transport, many brokers and shippers will insist that you carry at least $1,000,000. Many individuals and businesses in the transportation industry would benefit immensely from more extensive insurance plans.

Getting commercial truck insurance is easier than you think, but you still need to provide your agent with as much data as possible about your business so they can select the best coverage for you. The following are some things you will need to get going:

  • A commercial driver's license (CDL) if the load exceeds 26,000 pounds
  • DOT Authority and MC

You also need to include information about each vehicle you're adding to the coverage, including:

  • Model
  • VIN Number
  • Year
  • Make

Those who own trucks or operate a trucking business should get extra insurance to protect themselves completely in case of an accident.

For this reason, it is crucial for truck drivers and transportation businesses to partner with a reliable insurance provider that values its customers - this guarantees that each client receives tailor-made insurance. Coverwallet can help here. Contact a Coverwallet insurance agent today for quality insurance

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FAQs on Commercial truck insurance requirements

Is Commercial Truck Insurance Mandatory?

Commercial truck drivers benefit greatly from having insurance. Trucks can only roll if they are properly insured. Without it, you cannot legally run a commercial vehicle business in the United States, per the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA).

You'll need to provide proof of liability insurance if you want to apply for an Operating Authority or Motor Carrier Number from the FMCSA or Department of Transportation (DOT). Most shippers need confirmation of coverage before entrusting your business with their cargo. You can legally operate as a trucking company if you get the necessary insurance policies. In the case of an inspection or accident, you must have proof of insurance on hand.

Any time clients entrust you with their freight, they give you a stake in their company. Your customers rely on the safe delivery of their cargo to their destination since they represent a major portion of their income. The customer's company can be at risk if their shipments arrive damaged. By having insurance, you can demonstrate to your clients that you can look out for their best interests in the event of an accident. Furthermore, it covers you by paying for some of the costs associated with an accident.

How to Choose a Policy to Comply With Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements

Commercial truck insurance providers often provide a wide variety of coverage choices. The restrictions increase if you transport harmful products, for example. Engaging with a reliable insurance company that takes the time to learn about your situation and gives tailored recommendations is essential.

There are a variety of insurance policies available. However, some of them may only cover your vehicle, not the cargo it carries. When something goes wrong, this might put you in a difficult situation. Since your ability to receive coverage and the cost of insurance, in general, may be greatly influenced by your driving history - professional drivers should have a clean record.

As you haul for many carriers with different coverage expectations, these demands and standards might frequently change. Your insurance representative will be able to assess your needs and identify the best coverage alternatives for you within that context.

There needs to be more than the minimum insurance to ensure your trucks, cargo hauled, the public, and yourself are well protected against accidents. Only the above-described confirmation of public liability insurance is required to obtain your operating permission and MC number. You'll need a [couple more truck insurance policies]( to have adequate coverage.

The following are some of these coverages.

Bobtail Insurance

Owners and operators with primary auto insurance coverage are exempt from purchasing separate bobtail policies. However, [bobtail insurance may be required]( if you rent a motor carrier or operate under their jurisdiction. Your lease agreement will spell out the types of insurance you are liable for.

Cargo Insurance

The contents of your trailer are protected by cargo insurance. Although the FMCSA does not mandate it, this insurance is necessary for for-hire interstate owner-operators. Most clients will only do business with you if you have [cargo insurance](

However, the sort of goods you transport might affect the maximum on your cargo insurance, which is often set at $100,000. Cargo insurance shields the belongings in your trailer from loss or damage.

Physical Damage

Financing a truck means you'll need physical damage insurance to cover any damage your tractor or trailer sustains on the road. Even if you're the sole owner of your truck, it's prudent to get this insurance if something happens.

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