Owner Operator Insurance Policy Information
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 owner operator insurance for your trucks.
Owner operator insurance helps your business cover costs from an accident if you or an employee is found liable - with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your proof of insurance now.
How Much Does Owner Operator Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small owner operator trucking businesses ranges from $57 to $159 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
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 owner-operator or owner operators with multiple trucks.
While clearly this field is one that's rewarding, 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 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 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 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 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.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
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.
- Big Rig Truck
- Bobtail Non-Trucking Liability
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Van
- Dump Truck
- Freight Forwarder
- Food Truck
- Non-Owned and Hired Auto Liability
- Owner Operator
- Pizza Delivery
- Tow Truck
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.
Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Information
- PUC - Regulated Transportation - The PUC regulates motor carriers that transport property, passengers or household goods as well as brokers of passenger transportation between points in for compensation. Property carriers (e.g., trucking companies) and charter bus carriers (seating capacity of more than 15) are regulated for safety and insurance requirements only.
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 injuries.
- 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.