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Why Truckers Insurance Is Necessary: Risks and Liabilities All Truckers Face

If you have a truck for hire, direct a hauling company, or are considering opening a trucking company, you need to understand why truckers’ insurance is necessary.

There are some specific issues faced by long-distance truck drivers and trucking companies that are unique to the industry. As such, truckers’ insurance is tailored to address them and help mitigate risks.

Although the options for your insurance will differ depending on the trucks you have in your fleet, the drivers, and the goods that they are carrying, one thing remains true: all will need truckers’ insurance. 

Risk Factors and Liabilities of the Trucking Industry

The following industry conditions can create liabilities that represent just some of the reasons why trucking insurance is so necessary.

Negative Health Impact

Trucking generally requires the drivers to sit still for most of the day and night while driving long distances. This sedentary lifestyle, along with the other job requirements of trucking, can contribute to a variety of health problems:

  • Lifting, loading, and unloading heavy cargo increase musculoskeletal injuries
  • Exposure to diesel fumes can lead to respiratory issues
  • Driving for long hours and distances can lead to extreme fatigue
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Obesity due to the lack of movement
  • High blood sugar
  • Stress

Lack of Sleep

Truck drivers often have irregular sleeping patterns; this can cause issues like insomnia and the inability to get sufficiently restful sleep. There are federal regulations that will dictate how long a driver can be operating before taking a break. Lack of sleep not only has generally negative health effects, but it is a hazard for truck drivers themselves and other road users while driving. 

Tight Deadlines

Truck drivers often work under tight deadlines. This can cause many of them to take risks with their speed. Although most companies will stipulate that they adhere to the regulations, some simply don’t. According to reports from the National Transportation Safety Board, 20–40% of truck accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue.
These factors contribute to the high risk of crashes and injuries that truck drivers face. Truck drivers and trucking companies also face the risk of lost or damaged cargo, being liable for the damages and injuries caused in an accident you are responsible for, and the damage of expensive trucking vehicles and equipment.

Types of Truckers’ Insurance Coverage

Once you recognize the risks of the trucking industry and the necessity of good truckers’ insurance, it’s important to make sure you have the right coverage for the risks your specific business faces. Here is a rundown of the common commercial insurance policies for truck drivers:

Primary Auto Liability

It is a federal requirement for truckers to have primary auto liability. Each truck, including leased units, must carry commercial auto insurance. This liability insurance provides you with protection if a third party becomes injured in an accident.

General Liability

General liability differs from auto liability because it protects you in the case of damage caused by something other than a vehicle. If an injury-causing accident occurs to a third party or property while employees are loading inventory, due to another part of your operations, or on your property, you’ll need general liability insurance to protect you.


Bobtail coverage, also known as non-trucking liability, covers the truck when it is being used for personal purposes or off dispatch. It covers any situation where the owner-operator is not covered by the primary liability coverage, such as when they are returning home after a load has been dropped off. Bobtail insurance doesn’t cover when a truck is pulling a trailer or being used to make money by transporting property. 

Physical Damage

Physical damage coverage will cover the costs for commercial truck and trailer repairs. It can apply in cases of damage caused by:

  • Theft
  • Natural disasters
  • Collision
  • Vandalism

If your truck or trailer becomes damaged beyond repair, then the physical damage coverage will replace it. The value of the truck and your equipment will be the deciding factor for the premiums. 

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists

If you’re hit by a driver who is uninsured (or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the total cost of damage), uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will pay for the remaining costs, saving you from having to pay out of pocket.

Trailer Interchange

If you are pulling a trailer, trailer interchange insurance provides physical damage insurance for trailers being pulled under a trailer interchange agreement.

This is basically physical damage insurance for non-owned trailers. You are protected if your trailer is damaged by fire, theft, collision, vandalism, and explosion.

When looking for trucking insurance, it is important that you ensure you have the full coverage that you need. Having insufficient insurance coverage can leave you with a lot of costs to cover yourself, as well as limited protection in the event of a collision. 

You should evaluate your trucking insurance every year to make sure that it meets the needs of your fleet.