Primary liability insurance is the only coverage for commercial truckers mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is basic coverage and proof of financial responsibility that you must have before you can drive. The purpose of primary liability insurance is to cover claims for bodily injury and property damage that you cause to others while operating your vehicle. It does not cover any losses that you suffer, regardless of who was at fault for causing them.
The FMCSA lifted the mandatory requirement for cargo insurance for everyone but motor carriers in early 2011. While it is highly recommended that you have cargo insurance, the decision to purchase it is optional. Unlike with primary liability insurance, you will not receive a fine or any other sanction if anyone discovers that you drive without it.
Cargo insurance covers repair or replacement cost of items damaged in transport. Typical causes of damage to cargo include collision with another vehicle, fire, and striking a load. Your policy may also cover the costs to clean any debris that you accidentally dump on a roadway or waterway. Additional features of many cargo insurance policies include legal costs if another party sues you, costs associated with preventing the same incident from happening again, and any financial loss you suffer for not delivering the load as expected.
Motor carriers must have primary liability and cargo insurance.
When you lease to a motor carrier, that company must provide primary liability and cargo coverage on your rig. However, the motor carrier has the right to pass these costs onto you. In that case, you certainly can get your own primary liability and cargo insurance when leased to a motor carrier. It is important that you read your contract carefully to ensure that you understand exactly what the motor carrier will pay for and what you need to pay for on your own.
Cargo insurance is always a good idea.
Regardless of who pays for cargo insurance, maintaining a cargo insurance policy is in your best interests. Imagine that you depended on the income for delivering a large load across the country. After driving for several days, you get into an accident 50 miles from the customer’s location and dump the load all over the highway. Not only are you out income you were counting on, but you could also find yourself facing a lawsuit and clean-up costs as well. Knowing that you have cargo insurance in a situation like this is priceless.
Get multiple quotes for big rig insurance.
At TruckInsuranceQuotes.com, we work with commercial truckers to locate and obtain the most appropriate types of insurance coverage for their unique needs. For example, we can help you find three different types of cargo insurance depending on the type of goods you normally transport. We can also provide you with helpful tips on finding primary liability insurance at a rate that won’t eat away at your profit margin. Our agents work exclusively with the trucking industry and understand the challenges you face each day.
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