Independent trucking contractors, or owner-operators as they are known as in our industry, are usually required by their motor carrier to have Non-trucking Liability insurance, ie. bobtail insurance. This insurance covers the liability of the owner-operator when they are not running under dispatch; when under dispatch, the auto liability coverage of the motor carrier is in effect.
Non-trucking liability insurance is coverage for bodily injury and property damage that is caused by the operator of the vehicle when operating outside the scope of his lease agreement with the motor carrier.
Non-trucking liability insurance is:
- $1 million limit on coverage. higher limits may be available Not a replacement for primary liability Only in force when the owner-operator is driving truck on personal time
To protect their company, the motor carrier requires that each leased operator purchase bobtail insurance.
InsureMyRig can provide excellent bobtail, or non-trucking liability, coverage to individuals, or as part of a group leased operator plan. For an individual quote online, please click here or for leased operator group plan information email our division manager Michael Lawrence .
If your fleet is more than 20 trucks, please visit our parent site here.
Difference of liability coverages for commercial motor vehicles:
In the insurance marketplace, oftentimes the terms non-trucking liability and bobtail insurance are used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same thing; both are liability coverages for commercial motor vehicles, and your motor carrier may require you as an owner/operator to have either one of these coverages. You
absolutely need to verify the insurance requirements in the carrier’s lease agreement to determine your course of action.
Using your truck without the trailer attached is commonly referred to as “bobtailing” or “deadheading.” If you want to or are required to have insurance coverage for when your truck is operated without the trailer, the type of insurance you should purchase is bobtail liability coverage. This type of liability protection will cover you when the truck is driven without the trailer, regardless of whether or not you are under dispatch and covers any damage that occurs to your truck. The coverage would apply, for example, when your drive your tractor without its trailer to and from the terminal. It would also apply when you are traveling between loads without the trailer attached. Again, bobtail liability coverage is applicable whether or not you were dispatched for these hauls; true bobtail liability insurance offers broader coverage than non-trucking liability insurance and it is usually more costly.
Non-trucking liability is what is required by most, but not all, motor carriers. Non-trucking is more narrow coverage, and therefore, less expensive than bobtail. To put it in the most general of terms, Non-trucking liability is coverage for operating your commercial motor vehicle for personal, non-business use. Commonly, non-trucking liability coverage applies when an owner/operator is not under dispatch.
Again, before you purchase either of these coverages, check with your motor carrier on what they require you to have. And always deal with a professional insurance agent with extensive knowledge of the trucking industry.