Bobtail and Non-trucking Liability Insurance What’s the difference

Bobtail and Non-trucking Liability Insurance: What’s the difference?

If you work as an independent contractor or own a motor carrier company, it’s crucial to ensure that you are covered for all liabilities that could arise from trucking operations. Normally, when operating for a trucking company under dispatch, you’re covered by your employer’s business insurance policy. However, when you hit the clock, your own trucking coverage kicks in.

More often than not, transportation experts refer to this type of coverage as “bobtail” in insurance. Although many refer to bobtail insurance to refer to non-trucking liability insurance, this is incorrect. While bobtail insurance vs non-trucking liability insurance might be similar, they are two different policies that every truck driver can benefit from holding.

Bobtail Insurance

Bobtail coverage is a liability policy specifically designed for circumstances where a truck driver causes an accident while driving the vehicle without a trailer (commonly referred to as bobtail). If an accident occurs after a truck operator has dropped off the goods and it’s heading to another location or driving home without a trailer, this coverage will handle settlements, legal and medical expenses. Bobtail truck insurance covers property damage and third-party physical damage, but it does not cover any damage that happens to the truck itself.

According to Insuranks, bobtail policy provides coverage regardless of whether the vehicle was being operated without a trailer for business reasons (i.e., travelling to up a load) or was being driven for personal matters.

  • While driving off the clock, you skid on ice and rear-end the vehicle in front of you. In this case, bobtail coverage would cover damages to other vehicles and medical expenses for injured drivers. 

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

The non-trucking liability coverage is best applied for personal use. A lot of drivers drive their truck on their days off, and general commercial car insurance isn’t going to handle the expenses of the repairs the truck need if an accident occurs while you’re one the way for personal matters. Since more than enough drivers use their trucks as personal vehicles, think of a non-trucking liability as a type of insurance for your truck. It covers medical bills, damages to property, and the cost of repair for your truck if an accident occurs while you’re not on the job.

  • After dropping off the goods in Pittsburgh, you’re heading home to Tallahassee. You take a detour to visit someone on the way but case an accident when you run a red light and hit a vehicle in the intersection. Here’s where non-trucking liability enters the scene, covering the resulting damage to the vehicle and medical expenses for the other driver. 

Why is Bobtail Insurance or Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Important?

If you’re a truck owner-operator, most operators you will work with will require you to have non-trucking or bobtail insurance. Usually, non-trucking liability coverage is the most common, but you will need to verify which coverage the operator requires to make sure you’re properly insured.

If the unexpected happens and your motor carrier’s policy will not handle the claim, you could be forced to suffer the costs for bodily injury and property damage which can be considerably expensive. Both policies will provide financial protection from these claims.

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