If you're an independent contractor and own a semi-trailer truck, you probably are already required…
Insurance For Deadheading And Bobtail Trucking
Deadheading and bobtail trucking basically refers to non trucking liability. There are varying types of liability coverage and each offers different levels of coverage. If you are the operator or owner of a commercial truck it is imperative that you refer to your lease agreement with the carrier to determine what kind of coverage you are required to have. Many contracts use the terms non trucking liability and bobtail trucking liability, implying it has the same meaning however, there is a slight difference between the meaning of these two terms, You should know exactly what bobtail trucking liability is and what it covers. Failure to get the right coverage may cost you an enormous amount of money, in the unfortunate event of an accident.
When you use any truck without the attached trailer, it is known as bobtailing or dead heading. If your carrier requires that you have insurance for when you operate your truck without the trailer, you need to go for bobtail liability coverage. Basically this type of insurance will cover your truck when it is used without the trailer, whether you are on dispatch or not. It also covers any damage to your truck.
When and Why is Bobtail Liability Coverage Needed?
It is necessary to have this coverage in the event that you drive your tractor to and from the terminal, but without the trailer. It is also applicable when you are traveling between your loads, without the trailer attached. Once again, it is important to remember that Bobtail Liability Coverage applies whether or not you were dispatched for these loads. This type of insurance is usually more costly than other types of liability insurance. However, it does offer much wider coverage than your standard liability coverage. In most cases, your lease agreement with your carrier will contain many different terms, such as bobtail, dead-head, or non trucking liability. However, as the operator or owner of the truck, the onus is on your to ask them exactly what type if liability coverage the need the truck to have. By asking these key questions and doing your research to find out exactly what liability coverage you need, you will save yourself or a lot of money in times to come.
Non trucking liability basically refers to using your truck on your days off. It is not uncommon for truck owners to use their vehicles for personal reasons such as going to the movies, buying groceries or visiting family and friends. Non trucking liability will offer you coverage in the event that you meet with an accident. It can pay for your injuries and medical expenses associated with others. It can also be used to pay for damages to other people’s property that may occur if you have an accident, while not on dispatch.
What Does Dead Head or Deadhead Mean?
You have heard the term dead-heading being used, however, since you are new to this, you don’t fully understand what it means. To put it simply, anytime that you travel with an empty trailer, it is called deadheading. So if you travel from point A to Point B with a trailer full of groceries to be dropped off at Point B, but return to point A with nothing inside your trailer, it is referred to as deadheading.
Non trucking liability basically does not cover any business related activity while you truck as this should be covered by your carrier. So for example, if you are hauling any type of cargo, fueling up, or doing any type of maintenance on your truck , it is regarded as business activities and you will not be covered by non trucking liability protection. Non trucking liability will also not cover you in the event that you are pulling a loaded trailer.
Physical Damage Coverage
In most cases, your carrier company will only cover your truck for liability damage and any actual damage to your truck itself will not be covered. This is why you need Physical damage coverage. This type of coverage is absolutely necessary and will cover your insure your truck against theft, natural disaster, collision or overturn. This coverage is not bound by any restrictions. Physical damage rates vary, but you will usually be able to get deals as good as 2.5% of the value of your truck. Accidents can occur with no prior warning and cause major damage to your truck and in some cases, a serious accident can cause you to write off your truck. Other unfortunate events could lead to the theft of your truck or it may be the victim of a natural disaster. You never know what could happen every time your use your truck on the road. However, you can take the necessary steps to make sure that in the event of any type of disastrous event, your truck is insured.