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What is owner operator insurance

Owner operators need very specific type of truck insurance depending on whether they are operating under their own authority or permanently leased to another authority.  Its important to know the difference when choosing the right insurance coverages.

Owner operators with their own authority

Owner operators who have their own authority must carry their own auto liability insurance as well as a handful of other useful truck insurance coveages, including:

  • Auto Liability: This coverage is the primary coverage in any auto policy.  The primary purpose of this coverage is to protect the public from injury or property damage resulting from an accident where you are deemed at fault. 
  • Uninsured Motorist: This coverage protects you in the event of an accident that you are deemed not at fault and the other party doesn’t have enough auto liability insurance to cover your medical bills.
  • Medical Payments: Coverage to help pay medical expenses for you and any passenger in your vehicle who are injured during an accident or auto related injury.
  • Personal Injury Protection: This coverage may be required depending on where you live.  PIP insurance pays for your personal medical expenses or for injuries of your passengers regardless of who is at fault.
  • Physical Damage: This coverage is used to pay to fix your truck in the event you are in an accident and you are deemed at fault.
  • Trailer Interchange: This coverage provides physical damage coverage while pulling someone else trailer under contract.  
  • Motor Truck Cargo: This Coverage is often just called Cargo Insurance, is used in the event of a cargo loss in the care, custody or control of a for hire trucker.  Cargo coverage does not cover your own property while in transit.  This type of coverage would full under an inland marine policy or equipment floater policy.
  • Motor Truck General Liability: This coverage is often called Truckers General Liability, is used to pay for injuries or property you cause as a result of business activities not directly related to operating your truck.
  • Rental Reimbursement with Downtime: This coverage can help with business expenses in the event your truck is down due to an accident. 

Owner operators under permanent lease to another authority

It can be common for a trucking company to provide the auto liability coverage while an owner operator is working for them under permanent lease.  But they typically don’t offer physical damage for the tractor.  You can get physical damage coverage as well other useful coverages including:

  • Non-Trucking Liability: This coverage also called NTL coverage is used while being permanently leased to a motor carrier.  It provides liability insurance for the truck during your day(s) off.
  • Uninsured Motorist: This coverage protects you in the event of an accident that you are deemed not at fault and the other party doesn’t have enough auto liability insurance to cover your medical bills.
  • Medical Payments: Coverage to help pay medical expenses for you and any passenger in your vehicle who are injured during an accident or auto related injury.
  • Personal Injury Protection: This coverage may be required depending on where you live.  PIP insurance pays for your personal medical expenses or for injuries of your passengers regardless of who is at fault.
  • Physical Damage: This coverage is used to pay to fix your truck in the event you are in an accident and you are deemed at fault.

Owner operator insurance questions

There are a lot of factors that go into a owner operator truck insurance rate.  This includes, type of truck, garaging location, radius, age of driver, driving record,  value of the truck and dot history, to name a few.  

Truck insurance for owner operators is under the umbrella of commercial auto.  Most states require a minimum auto liability limit of $750,000 to be considered legal.  Other coverages are available and may be required from your broker.  This could include, truckers general liability, physical damage coverage on a none-owned trailer or motor truck cargo coverage.

The main reason owner operator insurance can be expensive is due to the potential impact or damage the vehicle can cause. Hence, why the states require trucking operators to carrier a minimum auto liability limit of $750,000.

Owner Operator Insurance

Other common Insurance coverages

We can tailor a truck insurance package to your needs, anything from liability only to get going, to full coverage.

Liability Coverages

Vehicle Coverages

Truck Specific Coverages

Driver Coverages

Towing Specific Coverages

Specialty Truck Coverages

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