If you are a driver and own your semi-truck and also work as an independent contractor, you need to fully understand how trucking insurance works for you. Usually, when driving for a trucking company under dispatch, you're covered by your employer’s business insurance policy. But once you are off the clock, your own trucking insurance kicks in.
Often, people in the transportation industry refer to this type of insurance as “bobtail” insurance. Although many use the terms bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance interchangeably, this is incorrect. There are differences in what and how the coverage works.
Bobtail trucking insurance covers you and your semi-truck if you’re driving without hauling a trailer or other type of load. For example, you drop off a load in San Francisco and need to pick up another load in Vacaville for a different carrier. Bobtail insurance covers you for the time you are driving between loads, as well as when you drive home after dropping a load and trailer.
Bobtail insurance never covers you if you are hauling any trailer or another load. Even if the trailer is empty, there may not be protection if you are in an accident. You can use your truck for personal reasons and you may be covered as long as you don’t haul a trailer to get your dry cleaning or do other errands.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
This type of trucking insurance is sometimes called contingent liability insurance. Unlike bobtail insurance that only covers you if you do not have a load attached, non-trucking liability protects owner-operators from liability claims when the truck is not being used for business purposes, whether or not there is a trailer in tow. Most companies require their contract drivers to have non-trucking liability insurance, as it protects them if you have an accident while not under dispatch.
Non-trucking liability insurance is only for scenarios where you and your semi-truck are not being used for commercial purposes. For example, you and your spouse take your semi-truck when you go out for dinner. You are involved in a minor accident with minor damage to the vehicle you had the crash with. Your primary trucking liability insurance won’t work as you are not under dispatch at the time of the accident. But, the non-trucking liability can provide coverage, just as if you were driving a car with standard auto insurance.
Bobtail insurance covers your semi-truck for traveling between assignments from different carriers or for personal use, but only if there is no trailer being hauled.
Non-trucking Liability Insurance covers owner-operators from any liability claims when the truck is used for non-commercial reasons, irrespective of whether there is a load attached or not.
Do you have the right coverage? Call Turrentine Insurance Agency at (281) 476-0557 for more information on Houston trucking insurance.