Northeast Ohio has had its share of truck accidents this week.  We’ve seen miles-long hours-long backups twice with trucks involved in collisions within a few miles of our home office.  It made me think about trucking insurance and hoped those truckers had enough.  Sometimes the basic amount isn’t enough.  Insurance is essential for any owner-operator trucking business.

Owner-Operator Trucking Business Insurance Q&A

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about what types of coverage you need. Please note that this information is intended as an introduction to the topic. Check with your insurance agent for specific requirements in your state.

Q: What is the absolute minimum coverage I need to obtain an authority?

A: The FMCSA requires you to carry $750,000.00 primary liability, but most clients and freight brokers raise that requirement to at least $1,000,000.00. You must also carry cargo damage insurance. The specific amount of cargo coverage you must carry will vary depending on the client and the types of products you’re carrying.

Q: Do I have to buy my own coverage if I am leased to a carrier?

A: The FMCSA requires the carrier you are leasing from to obtain the coverage. However, the leasee often detracts the cost for the coverage from the driver’s compensation. This may or may not be true in your case, depending on the deal you work out with the carrier. It’s vital to always review the agreement before signing your name.

Q: What does physical damage insurance cover?

A: Physical damage insurance protects your truck from damage caused by vandalism, theft, weather events, and fire. It’s roughly similar to comprehensive coverage for passenger cars and trucks and is an important layer of protection for any owner-operator trucking business.

Q: Will the DMV give me tags if I only have bobtail liability coverage?
Probably not.

Q: What is secondary liability insurance?

A: It’s a supplemental form of coverage a leaser adds to a driver’s existing primary coverage.

Insurance Recommendations?

Since every state has its own requirements, we can’t recommend any particular company or insurance agent to help you out.  You’ll need to do your own research to find out who’s offering you the best deal for your business needs.

Trucking Business:  You need to know your cost per mile, including insurance.

This is not an optional expense.  It’s part of the cost of doing business.  That means you’ve got to include it as part of your calculations to figure out the cost per mile you pay for your truck so you don’t go broke taking loads you can’t afford.  But figuring out that number without a good trucking management software program is tricky.  That’s why we have it built into TruckingOffice.  When you enter your data for a load, you’re starting to create a database that will track your cost per mile and your revenue per mile without you doing anything else.  Just keep those numbers up to date:

  • Fuel expenses
  • Maintenance costs
  • Repair costs
  • Insurance payments
  • Loan payments
  • Living Expenses

and you’ll quickly find out if you can afford to take that load that’s only going to pay $.79 per mile.

Sound like a lot of work?  It’s not.  TruckingOffice makes it easy.  We’ve made our program simple to run from a smartphone, from a tablet or from a desk-top computer.  We secure your data and use it to help you secure your future.

TruckingOffice was designed by truckers for truckers, with features that can help you manage every aspect of your company. Find out for yourself how good our product is by taking it for a free test drive starting today.

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