Who Needs Bobtail Insurance?
In a nutshell, if you are under a lease agreement with a motor carrier and find yourself driving sometimes without a trailer attached, you need bobtail insurance.
Most owner operators under lease agreements are covered by the motor carrier’s primary liability insurance while hauling loads for them. But what happens when you are driving between loads? This is when bobtail insurance kicks in. If you are an owner operator leased to a motor carrier, you most likely need bobtail insurance. This type of insurance is typically used by independent contractors to cover the gaps in the insurance provided by their motor carrier.
If you are under a lease agreement, ask yourself:
- “Do I ever drive my rig without a trailer attached?” If you answered “Yes,” then you need bobtail liability insurance.
- “Am I already covered for Bobtail?” Sometimes bobtail insurance is included in a motor carrier lease agreement. Request a copy of your lease agreement to see which forms of insurance you’re responsible for and which you already have.
What’s Included in a Typical Bobtail Insurance Policy?
Bobtail liability insurance, like typical commercial primary liability insurance, usually covers the following:
- Liability insurance with a limit of $1,000,000
- Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage
- $350-$600 monthly premium – cheaper than most motor carrier policies
Where Do I Get Cheap Bobtail Insurance?
To find the best bobtail insurance at the lowest price, it’s crucial to compare policies between different companies. This is often difficult since commercial trucking insurance providers are hard to find.
I have my own authority. Do I need Bobtail Coverage?
If you have your own authority, your primary liability policy most likely already covers you when your trailer is detached. In that case you wouldn’t need bobtail coverage. It’s a good question, and you should always make sure you have coverage for the scenarios that arise in your operation. You don’t want to take chances with your livelihood.
Sometimes it’s helpful to get a typical real-life scenario to better understand bobtail insurance. For example, on a day off, while you are not under dispatch, you have to take your truck in for service. So you bobtail on up to the truck shop 20 miles away. On the way, a deer jumps in front of you, you over correct and end up mowing down an telephone pole. Good news, you have bobtail insurance and your insurance company picks up the tab to replace to pole and the other damage that was caused. Damage to your truck? That’s covered by the physical damage part of your policy.