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Do Truckers Need Liability Insurance?

As a professional trucker, there are several types of insurance coverage you need to be protected in the face of accidents, loss of cargo, and other potential disasters.

One such type of insurance every trucker needs is liability insurance. Liability insurance for truckers is not only recommended, but it’s actually legally required in every US state.

An essential for any business, liability insurance is especially important for truckers who spend lots of time driving, as it can help cover any injuries that are caused while on the road or operating your vehicles. Without this insurance, you could face the costs of off-road accidents that occur. And that lack of coverage could prove damaging for your business or for yourself as a trucker.

What Liability Insurance for Truckers Covers

There are certain liabilities that truck drivers face when it comes to operating a vehicle. If you own a business with a whole fleet of vehicles and drivers, then you may also face legal obligations as an employer.

The two basic types of liability coverage that are legally required for truckers are primary auto liability and general liability insurance.

Primary Auto Liability

Primary auto liability insurance covers the costs of any injuries and damages that impact a third party because of your vehicle. This is the insurance that will protect you if you as a driver or your company’s driver is found to be at fault.

General Liability

General liability insurance covers other injuries that occur on your premises or because of your operations. For example, if a customer falls and sustains an injury while on your property or if a shipment is accidentally sent to the wrong address, general liability insurance can cover these business-related (but not road-accident-related) cases.

Examples of Cases Involving Trucking Liability Insurance

Cases where truck drivers or trucking companies have needed to take advantage of liability insurance are anything but rare. And in some cases, they lead to enormous financial consequences when a driver is found to be at fault for an injury or death.

One example of such a case is a suit settled in 2019. A jury ordered a trucking company to pay $27 million to the family of a woman killed in a 2016 crash. She was hit head-on by a truck driver who was driving recklessly due to road rage.

Another case was in May 2019, when $15 million was awarded to a man in Pennsylvania who was rear-ended by a truck driver. Although this accident was not due to reckless behavior like the previous case, the jury judged that the driver should have been driving slower due to the rainy conditions at the time of the accident.

Even when you hire professional, experienced drivers, a simple mistake like driving too fast could spell disaster. It’s important that liability insurance is in place to help cover court-ordered payouts and expenses in such cases.

Why Liability Insurance for Truckers Is Essential

Beyond the obvious need to obey laws, liability insurance for truckers is essential for protecting your business, your drivers, your customers, and other people on the road.

A single mistake can end up being very costly, but liability insurance can help cover those costs where necessary. Your liability insurance can even cover expenses such as attorney fees if you are involved in an accident.

Before you get behind the wheel of a truck or send your fleet out for deliveries, make sure you’re equipped with a liability insurance policy that protects your business.