Montana Owner Operator Insurance

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Montana Owner Operator Insurance Policy Information

MT Owner Operator Insurance

Montana Owner Operator Insurance. If you own or operate a truck, then you need insurance that mitigates your risks and protects you from liability. Owning and operating your own truck can be a wonderful way for an entrepreneur to make a good income. With owning a truck comes freedom of being one's own boss, making it a worthwhile occupation for many owner operators. However, the need for insurance is an essential operating expense.

Protecting your business to the fullest requires that you buy a sufficient amount of Montana owner operator insurance for your trucks.

Montana owner operator insurance helps your business cover costs from an accident if you or an employee is found liable - with rates as low as $167/mo. Get a fast quote and your proof of insurance now.

Owner operators can make a substantial living from their businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the opportunities for owner/operators are poised to grow 9 percent by 2018. Most truckers bring home around $58K per year, although many make more. Most owner operators have invested a princely sum in their vehicles, and protecting them with the right level of insurance coverage is essential to the ongoing success of the small MT owner-operator or owner operators with multiple trucks.

While clearly this field is one that's rewarding, MT owner operators must protect their assets in the event that a theft or accident occurs. With the immense cost of buying a truck or fleet of trucks, it only makes sense to protect your investment with an adequate level of Montana owner operator insurance. If an accident or theft occurs, specialized insurance is a godsend.

Insurance Requirements for Tractor-Trailer, Semi-Truck and Other Commercial Vehicle Owners

If you are a commercial vehicle owner, federal law requires that you maintain a minimum of $750K in liability insurance coverage. Since an accident in a large truck like a tractor trailer can potentially cause a significant amount of damage, some experts recommend that truck owners buy $5 million in coverage. It is always better to have more than you need than to have less than you need if a bad accident occurs.

The driver of your truck, if you lease it out to someone else, is responsible for carrying liability coverage on the truck. Still, if the responsible party does not carry insurance in a sufficient amount to cover an incident, you may need to buy it yourself to ensure that you are not left holding the proverbial bag if an accident occurs. Consult with a licensed agent to determine if you should purchase additional Montana owner operator insurance to mitigate your risks.

Additional Truck Coverage Options

States vary widely in the amount of insurance required from owners of large trucks, tractor trailers and semis. Check your state to be sure you're fully insured and legal on the road. Based on your situation, you may need to purchase added coverage. Some other additional coverage options include:

  • Physical damage policy. This type of coverage is likely required by your lender if you finance your truck, and when required, usually is required for the loan's term. You will have to pay premiums typically amounting to around 5 percent or so of the value of the truck, but your rate can be also based on your driving history. If your record is not so great, the cost of your policy will likely cause more. If your truck is involved in an accident, the insurance company will depreciate its value when determining a payout.
  • Gap coverage. If you owe a lot on your vehicle, you should consider purchasing gap insurance. Like the name indicates, it bridges the gap between what you owe and what your vehicle is worth. In other words, if you total out the truck and still owe your lender for it, the difference in what the insurance company is willing to pay and what you owe is covered by gap insurance instead of coming out of your pocket.
  • Equipment policies. Add this type of policy to your insurance to cover things like electronic equipment, tarps and other items that you add as after-market additions to your truck.
  • Bobtail insurance. If you drive the truck without the trailer attached, this type of insurance covers any liabilities you face on the road if you were to collide with another vehicle or object.
  • Cargo coverage. The U.S. government mandates the purchase of $5K or more in cargo coverage for the shipments you haul. Shippers and clients may require a higher level, depending on what you're actually hauling.
  • Non-trucking liability coverage. If you are driving your truck outside the realm of conducting business, this coverage protects you from liability in the event of accident or injury.
  • Occupational accident coverage. This protection supplements your employee's worker's comp benefits and provides other benefits such as accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
  • Non-owned trailer. If you are using a trailer that does not belong to you, this type of coverage is essential to covering any damages that occur.

The Costs of Owner/Operator Insurance

In addition to basic coverage types for commercial drivers, you can also choose from an array of different Montana commercial auto insurance coverage types based on your particular needs. For instance, you may wish to opt for rental replacement insurance to cover the cost of renting a vehicle while yours is being repaired. You may choose roadside assistance and towing coverage to help offset the costs of vehicle breakdowns.

Will Your Policy Cover Personal Use of a Business Vehicle?

Although your particular needs, driving history, credit, and other factors go into determining the amount of your Montana owner operator insurance premium, comparing quotes makes a lot of sense. Your age, the condition of your truck, the equipment you've added to the truck, the cargo you normally haul, the route you take - these all go into determining the cost of your policy.

Although it's difficult to estimate, the following ranges are common:

  • Primary liability insurance. This type of insurance starts at around $5K per year, but can be significantly more.
  • Non-trucking liability coverage. This coverage starts at around $450 per year.
  • Cargo insurance. Expect to pay around $1K annually.
  • Physical damage insurance. Plan on paying around $2.5K.

Reduce your premiums by accepting higher deductibles or working with your agent to find discounts for which you qualify. Ask your agent to comparison shop for you to find a policy that is a blend of the protection you need and a budget you can afford.

Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance

Made In Montana

Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.

No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.

If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.

With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.

Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana

As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.

Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.

There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:

  • Billings
  • Bozeman
  • Butte
  • Great Falls
  • Helena
  • Kalispell
  • Missoula

Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Information technology
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas production
  • Retail development
  • Transportation

If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.

Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana

The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.

Montana requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.

Montana also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.

Additional Resources For Commercial Auto Insurance

Learn about small business commercial auto insurance which includes liability and physical damage protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes.


Commercial Vehicle Insurance

The person injured in an vehicle accident may be a child, a wage earning single parent, a brain surgeon, or even a homeless person. The costs of the accident may be relatively small or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the victim and his or her injuries. Do you have the assets to handle such costs?

Trucking operations in this chapter are among the most heavily regulated in the country. All are subject to multiple types of regulation including municipal, state and federal. The regulations are necessary because potential for severe property damage and/or bodily injury is extremely high.

All carry cargo that if not handled appropriately could have serious consequences to the cargo owner and/or the public at large. Those that carry people must prove that they keep their equipment in good condition and that employees operate in a safe, sober manner.

The insurance company pays amounts an insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage and certain types of pollution events covered by this insurance caused by an accident and resulting from ownership, maintenance or use of covered vehicles.

The obligation to pay is triggered only by accidental occurrences involving vehicles covered under the Business Auto Coverage Form. An eligible pollution event is covered only if it is connected to a covered bodily injury or property damage loss.

It is important that you have the proper Limit of Insurance to protect your operations. This limit is the most the insurance company pays for the total of all damages, including any covered pollution cost or expense resulting from any one covered accident, is the Covered Auto liability limit of insurance on the declarations.

This limit applies regardless of the number of insureds, autos covered, vehicles involved in an accident, premium paid, or number of claims made.

Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Motor Truck Cargo, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Motor Carriers Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.

Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Mobile Equipment, Signs, Warehouse Operators' Legal Liability, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and International Coverages.


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Also find Montana insurance agents & brokers and learn about Montana small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MT business insurance costs. Call us (406) 637-8400.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Information

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and ideuries.
  • Safer System - The FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System offers company safety data and related services to industry and the public over the Internet. Users can search FMCSA databases, register for a USDOT number, pay fines online, order company safety profiles, challenge FMCSA data using the DataQs system, access the Hazardous Material Route registry, obtain National Crash and Out of Service rates for Hazmat Permit Registration, get printable registration forms and find information about other FMCSA Information Systems.
  • FMCSA Forms - All forms needed for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Update MCS 150 - Form MCS-150 and Instructions - Motor Carrier Identification Report.
  • How does CSA work? - CSA (Compliance - Safety - Accountability) re-engineers the former enforcement and compliance process to provide a better view into how well large commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers are complying with safety rules, and to intervene earlier with those who are not.
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