Transporting cargo and freight throughout the US highways and neighborhoods is a risky businesses. Even if the carrier and driver follow all the safety precautions mandated by federal agencies, they can’t fully eliminate the chances of an accident.
This is why most trucking companies and drivers get insurance to protect themselves from liability. The insurance can be for life, health or financial coverage in case of an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that drivers and trucking companies to carry commercial carrier insurance and public liability insurance.
Trucking Company Insurance Limits
All large cargo trucks must have insurance that provides coverage for the driver and others who incur a loss due to an accident with the truck. The United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Section 387 requires insurance coverage that ranges from $300,000 to over $5 million for large commercial vehicles. The requirement for insurance coverage can be even higher for trucks that are used for dangerous activities or materials.
- Commercial Trucks with a loaded vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds must have at least $300,000 in liability insurance coverage.
- Commercial Trucks with a weight over 10,000 pounds must have an insurance coverage of $750,000
- Commercial Trucks that carry certain types of hazardous materials or chemicals must have a liability insurance of $1 million at the minimum.
- Commercial Trucks that have a capacity of more than 10,000 pounds and carry hazardous substances are required to have insurance from $1 million to $5 million.
- Lastly, commercial trucks that are carrying explosive materials or HAZMAT cargo are required to have insurance coverage of $5 million at the minimum.
Types of Insurance Coverage
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires certain types of coverage for truck drivers and their employers. Carrier companies and truckers are required to have the following types of insurance for their commercial vehicle.
Physical Damage Insurance
This type of insurance protects the truck and trailer itself from damage, in case of an accident. This coverage is not mandatory but it is extremely useful for the trucker to get compensated, if the vehicle is damaged in an accident.
Primary Liability Insurance
This insurance helps compensate any third parties that suffer a financial loss, injury or death due to an accident with the truck. This insurance is mandatory and required by federal regulations.
Usually, the primary liability also covers the driver from injuries and death in case of an accident.
Many insurance companies offer specialized coverage for truckers and drivers based on their needs. These are not mandated by the federal law, but some states may require carriers to buy specific coverage.
It may be possible for a trucker to add on specialized coverage to their policy without increasing the total cost of their premium. It is a good idea to get coverage for as many scenarios as possible. The increase in total cost of premiums is usually small and adds much better protection for truckers.
This insurance protects the trucking company and its personnel from any injury or financial loss that does not involve a truck. For example if there is any damage or fire at the truck depot, general insurance can help provide coverage for the trucker.
This insurance is usually carried by the shipping company where the cargo is insured against accidental damage. Total compensation cannot exceed the value of the cargo. This type of insurance is not mandatory.
Insurance for truckers and carriers helps ensure that victims of catastrophic accidents will be taken care of if they are found to be a fault or liable. When a victim or their family brings a case against a trucker or their carrier, the resulting verdicts and settlements can be in the high 7 or 8 figures due to the incredible amount of damage they can cause. If you or a family member has been significantly injured in an accident involving a truck, bus or public works vehicle, you can use TruckAccidentAttorneyNetwork.org to help you find a qualified truck accident lawyer near you.
All of our listed attorneys must have litigated a minimum of 5 truck accident cases to successful conclusion (settlement or verdict), must be licensed and in good standing for at least 10 years, and 100% of their practice must be dedicated to personal injury with a focus on motor vehicle collisions and truck accidents.