More Information On Bobtail Trucking Insurance

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More Information On Bobtail Trucking Insurance

June 29, 2016

Whether you are an operator of box trucks, flatbed trucks, dump trucks or front loaders, they are typically the lifeline of a business. As such, bobtail insurance must be provided to cover the vehicle when it is not making sanctioned runs. Ensuring operators have bobtail trucking insurance in place will give motor carriers one less thing to worry about.

Bobtail is also referred as non-trucking liability insurance. It provides coverage for the owner or operator of the truck when the vehicle is not running under dispatch. When the truck is under dispatch, the motor carrier coverage is in effect. Basically, bobtail insurance covers property damage and bodily injuries caused by the vehicle’s operator when the truck is being operated outside the capacity of the lease agreement with the motor carrier.

Trips that involve taking the vehicle to a garage for servicing could also be exempt from coverage. However, the court has made the decision that in this type scenario, motor carriers could be held liable if the operator was in the process of fulfilling the maintenance terms and conditions of the independent contractor business agreement.

It is important to know the following facts about non-trucking liability insurance:

• While there is typically a $1 million maximum-value coverage, higher limits could be available
• Bobtail insurance is only in effect when the truck is being driven by the owner-operator on his or her personal time.
• It cannot be used to replace primary liability
• As a means of protecting their company, motor carriers require every leased operator to buy bobtail insurance.

Not all movement of a truck is authorized by a trucking company. As such, there will be times when commercial truck operators drive without being commissioned. Without the authorization, the truck will not be covered under the primary liability insurance of the contracting trucking. Given that millions of truck owners and operators are independently contracted, bobtail insurance is an essential part of commercial insurance policies.

An accident can happen and cause damage while the vehicle is being operated for recreational purposes. The same is true for when the truck is off the job site, at a truck stop or service station and in a number of other situations. If coverage is not being provided by the insurance policy of the trucking company during any of those times, the slack will be picked up by bobtail insurance.

Another corresponding type of commercial truck insurance is typically required for the vehicle to be fully covered. Cargo insurance and comprehensive insurance will provide coverage for other damages that occur in any rollover or accident.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Liability Coverage

Within the insurance marketplace, the terms ‘bobtail insurance’ and ‘non-trucking liability insurance’ are often interchangeably used but they do not have the same meaning. They both provide commercial motor vehicles with liability coverage and motor carriers usually require owners/operators to have either of these covers. The insurance requirements in the lease agreement with the motor carrier must be verified to determine the course of action that will be taken. Below are some examples of situations in which bobtail insurance would be chosen over non-trucking liability insurance and vice versa:

Bobtail Insurance

When the truck is used without its attached trailer, this is commonly called ‘bobtailing’ or ‘deadheading.’ If insurance coverage is required when the truck is being operated in this manner, bobtail liability coverage is the one you should purchase. This will provide coverage whenever the truck is being operated without its trailer; irrespective of whether it is under dispatch. If any damage is caused to the truck during this type of operation, it would be covered under bobtail insurance.

For instance, the coverage would apply when the tractor is driven without the trailer to the terminal and back. In addition, it would apply to travels that take place in between loads when the trailer is detached. Again, this type of liability coverage is applicable whether or not the operator was under dispatch for these hauls. Essentially, bobtail liability insurance provides wider coverage when compared to non-trucking liability insurance. It is typically more costly as well.

Non-trucking Liability Insurance

The majority of motor carriers require non-trucking liability but they are some that require bobtail insurance. Non-trucking liability insurance is less costly when compared to bobtail because it provides policy holders with a narrower coverage. In the most general terms, coverage is provided by non-trucking liability insurance when a commercial motor vehicle is being operated for non-business, personal use. Typically, non-trucking liability insurance coverage is in effect when owners/operators are not under dispatch.

Prior to purchasing either of these insurance covers, you should make sure that the motor carrier is clear on what is required of you. In addition, it is important that you consult with a professional insurance agent, who has wide-ranging knowledge of the trucking industry.

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