The truck industry is, in many ways, the backbone of a country’s economy. From a single person who ordered something online to a business that requires a large number of goods, it depends on trucks and truck drivers.
Most trucks that move across the country do so with a trailer in tow. When a driver is under a third party’s trucking authority without a trailer, it’s known as bobtailing. Bobtail Insurance is insurance that comes under liabilities. This is applicable when a driver operates a truck in the absence of a trailer.
Do you really need Bobtail Insurance?
It doesn’t matter where you are driving your truck in the country, you’re going to need some sort of insurance.
In a lot of cases, you will be covered by your work insurance while you are on the job. Once you drop off the load, you are technically not on the job anymore. What if something goes wrong then? To bridge this coverage gap is why you need Bobtail Insurance.
If you’re operating a truck with the help of someone else’s trucking authority, the insurance that your motor carrier or trucker’s liability only helps if you have a trailer in tow or if you are working on despatch. For all other possible scenarios, it’s best to have coverage for yourself as an individual.
When do you need Bobtail Insurance?
- If you are operating a truck using someone else’s authority without any kind of trailer in tow
- In any case of an accident, you need to keep yourself protected from lawsuits and large payments out of your pocket
- If the motor carrier you use lists it as a requirement
When don’t you need Bobtail Insurance?
- If you never operate a truck without a trailer in tow
- If you take personal trips or are only going on recreational drives
What exactly can Bobtail Insurance cover for you?
Bobtail Insurance works on a policy that centers only around liability. If you get in an accident while operating a truck under someone else’s authority without a trailer in tow, Bobtail Insurance covers you.
Some scenarios where you would be covered by Bobtail Insurance are:
- You get into an accident while in the middle of dropping off one load and picking up another load
- You get into an accident while en route to pick up the first load
- You get into an accident while you’re on the way home after work
What exactly will Bobtail Insurance cost you?
There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration while considering the cost of Bobtail Insurance. The insurance company will need to know about your history with respect to driving trucks, how often you drive trucks without a trailer in tow and what kinds of limits were requested by you.
Some of the other things that matter are your history in claims, years of experience you have in the field, your volume of business, the number of trucks involved in your operation, details about your employees like how many they are and their records with respect to driving.
Different Bobtail Insurance companies will also offer you different kinds of rates. Insurance companies that specialize in Bobtail Insurance only will probably get you a slightly lower rate. It’s always best to get quotes from as many different companies as possible before making your choice.
How do you apply for Bobtail Insurance?
Some of the details you will need to apply for Bobtail Insurance include:
- The owning operator’s contact information
- The kind of cargo load you will be carrying or transporting
- The distance you will be covering
- Criminal record of the driver (if it exists)
- Credit score (yours)
- Your insurance claim history for the preceding 3 years
What should you consider before getting your Bobtail Insurance?
- Listen to as many quotes as possible
There are so many companies in the insurance market today. So what you need to do before choosing your insurance is to make sure that you are getting quotes from many different companies. You may think you’ve got a great quote, but you might find a better one somewhere else.
- Take the help of a broker
Insurance brokers know the insurance industry in and out. They will be able to help you with all the doubts and questions you may have. They will be able to understand you and your company and get you the best possible quote in the market.
- Consider investing in an annual plan
Insurance rates tend to fluctuate as the years go by. Even if you stay with the same company for a long time, you may find that you are paying premiums that are quite high. Experienced truckers and truck drivers know that an annual insurance will save you a lot of money.
- Maintain a clean record for driving
Good drivers and bad drivers aren’t dealt the same hand when it comes to insurance. Those drivers that have constantly been involved in accidents and mishaps will be given very high insurance rates. They are a risk to the insurance company. Maintain a good record, and you’re safe from high rates.
Which are some of the best Bobtail Insurance companies?
- OOIDA Bobtail Insurance
- Progressive Bobtail Insurance
- State Farm Bobtail Insurance
- Bobtail Insurance GEICO
- CoverWallet Business Insurance
- Chubb Insurance
- Next Insurance
How do Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability differ?
Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability are sometimes used as interchangeable terms. On the outside, it may seem that they are quite similar as concepts, but they couldn’t be more different from each other. It’s important to know what the difference is before investing in any insurance.
What exactly is Bobtail Insurance?
As explained before, Bobtail Insurance only counts when you are operating a truck under someone else’s authority without a trailer in tow. Consider a situation where you drop off your good trailer at Point 1 and head to Point 2 for the next job without a trailer in tow.
This is where Bobtail Insurance comes in. It covers you in that area between Points 1 and 2, where you are not operating a truck with a trailer in tow.
What exactly is Non-Trucking Liability?
Non-Trucking Liability covers those times when your truck is being used for non-business purposes. It’s understandable that you may have to run some errands while in your truck. Shopping, groceries, transporting family, etc. Non-Trucking Liability covers you in this scenario.
So, Bobtail Insurance is coverage for when you operate a truck under someone else’s authority without a trailer in tow. It doesn’t make a difference whether you were operating the truck for personal reasons or business reasons in this case.
Non-Trucking Liability is coverage for when you use your truck for any purpose that isn’t related to your business. When you run personal errands in your truck, with a trailer in tow, Non-Trucking Liability will cover you in the case of any accident or mishap.
As a trucker who transports goods and travels long distances quite often, it is important to be covered adequately.
Bobtail and Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability are the two different kinds of trucking coverage that you can consider based on your needs. After taking stock of all your needs, make the right choice.