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.
Understanding Non-Trucking Liability
If you're operating for-hire trucking under permanent lease to a motor carrier that provides your primary Trucking Liability coverage, you may benefit from Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) coverage while using your truck for non-business purposes.
NTL kicks in when you use your truck on your days off for things like going to the movies, picking up groceries, attending sporting events or visiting friends. It can pay for medical and other expenses associated with injuries to others or damage to other peoples' property that you cause. This endorsement only modifies the liability portion of your policy.
Exceptions & Restrictions
NTL doesn't provide liability coverage for business use or when:
- Hauling any type of cargo
- Driving to and from the terminal
- Fueling up
- Traveling for maintenance or vehicle servicing
- Driving during layovers
- Dead-heading (driving without a load)
- Washing your truck
All may be considered using your truck for a business purpose.
These activities typically would be covered by the motor carrier's primary Trucking Liability insurance.
NTL does not apply when:
- Pulling a loaded trailer
- Operating on behalf of a trucking company
- Using a vehicle for any revenue-generating purpose.
These types of activities are covered by primary Trucking Liability insurance.
Non-Trucking Liability insurance is also not available on policies with an FHWA (federal/ICC), MCS-90, SR-22 or State Filing.
Bobtail vs. Non-Trucking Liability
Non-Trucking Liability insurance is often incorrectly referred to as "bobtail insurance".
However, Bobtail isn't the same thing as Non-Trucking Liability.
Please review your contract or verify with your motor carrier to determine which coverage you need.
If you're an owner-operator leased on to a motor carrier who provides your primary Trucking Liability, you should carry your own Physical Damage coverage to protect your truck.
Why is this?
Typically, a motor carrier provides primary liability coverage for owner-operators but not necessarily physical damage coverage. When you maintain Physical Damage on your policy, the insurance carrier usually pays for damages to your truck caused by a collision, overturn, theft or natural disaster — even if you experience a total loss. In addition, this coverage is not confined by any radius restrictions.
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2) Identify the right coverage for your operations