By Deborah Graves, OOIDA Truck Insurance Department
Question: What kind of insurance do I need?
Answer: Let’s talk about the “what” part of buying truck insurance. There are many coverages available, and sometimes that can be confusing. One benefit of choosing a great agent is being able to trust that he or she will help you decide on the coverages you need to protect yourself and your business. The basic insurance you need will depend upon the type of operation you have.
For example, if you are running under your own authority, you will need primary liability and motor truck cargo insurance. Your brokers and shippers may have other contractual requirements, but these two coverages are the most important.
Primary liability is insurance against loss from legal liability of the insured for bodily injury or property damage to another party. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires $750,000; however, most shippers and brokers require $1 million, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.
Motor truck cargo is insurance against loss from legal liability for damage to goods or merchandise in the insured’s care and custody in the ordinary course of transit. It includes coverage for debris removal, earned freight and refrigeration breakdown.
If you are leased to a motor carrier, you’ll need to consult your contract. The lease should specify any requirements for secondary liability such as bobtail, non-trucking liability, or unladen liability. The lease should also list any additional coverages the motor carrier requires. Be aware that you will always have the option to secure these coverages from the insurance provider of your choice. You do not have to buy them from your motor carrier.
You can reach an OOIDA truck insurance agent Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST, at 800-715- 9369.
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