Commercial Truck Insurance
Serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas
If you own a semi-truck, tow truck or a box truck, you need commercial truck insurance. This insurance covers you and your truck while on the road or being used for work. Commercial truck policies have a multitude of different options that include coverage for physical damage, injuries and property damage related to your vehicle. Commercial truck insurance is available through many different companies including auto insurance carriers, commercial vehicle specific companies and more recently, online providers. It is recommended to include general liability and motor truck cargo insurance when considering a commercial truck policy.
What is Considered a Commercial Vehicle in Missouri?
A commercial motor vehicle is defined as any vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds and carries 9 or more passengers, including the driver, or transports goods.
Motor Truck Cargo
Motor truck cargo insurance protect the goods you’re hauling against accidental damage or theft. Truckers are frequently moving goods for other people and businesses want to ensure those items are covered against damage while in the trucker’s care. Motor truck cargo policies are designed to provide coverage for trailer losses involving accidents, collisions, rollovers, overturning, freezing, bursting of the cooling system, falling cargo and other hazards. These policies also cover road service charges incurred when you must change a flat tire or be towed away after an accident.
Why Do You Need General Liability Insurance in Missouri?
General liability insurance protects your trucking business against errors or at fault accidents:
- Employees or customer injuries
- Driver errors or mistakes
- Property damage
- Legal fees resulting from a lawsuit and any payouts
As you can see, having general liability in addition to your commercial truck policy is a must have for any business that employs drivers or hauls loads.
Coverage Limits for Commercial Truck Insurance
If you are an owner-operator trucking business in Missouri, you must at least carry a liability limit of $1 million for bodily injury and $1 million for property damage with a $100,000 Uninsured Motorists coverage limit. This is the bare minimum required by law in most states to operate legally on the roadways.
Many carriers find additional coverage highly desirable to protect their assets (and yours) in case of legal action against you.
Your motor truck cargo should carry minimum of $100,000 in coverage for your cargo. In the event something happens, you would be responsible for any damage up to that point. It is advantageous to go beyond this minimum as required by law and carry a higher limit on your cargo insurance coverage – typically $1,000,000 or more – which would cover damages or loss of your product(s) in most cases.
Commercial Truck Coverage Options for Missouri and Kansas Truck Drivers
In addition to liability and cargo coverage, owner-operators also need coverage for the truck. Since your truck is probably your most valuable asset, you want to ensure that it’s properly protected. You can purchase coverage through your insurance company or directly from a commercial carrier. However, if you go with a commercial carrier, make sure its policy meets the minimum requirements of the state where you live and work.
The first thing to look at in a truck policy is how much coverage you need. If an accident results in damage to your truck, the company will subtract your deductible from the settlement check it sends you. So if you have a $2,500 deductible and your insurer settles a claim for $25,000, you’ll receive only $22,500. Some insurers offer lower deductibles – in some cases as low as $250.
What License is Required for Commercial Truck Drivers?
Every driver that operates a commercial sized vehicle must posses a valid CDL or commercial driver’s license. Operating a vehicle with a capacity of more than 16 people — including the driver, requires you to hold a commercial Class A or Class B license. Operating any size vehicle transporting hazardous material requires you to hold a Class A or B CDL PLUS hazardous materials endorsement. You can be disqualified if you have 6 points on your driving record.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that commercial truck drivers are covered by minimum amount of insurance in the event of an accident. In addition, household goods movers in some states must also submit a TL676 filing to guarantee sufficient liability insurance and cargo coverage.
Commercial Truck Insurance Cost
The average cost for commercial truck insurance policy is between $9,000 and $15,000. The size of the truck and gross vehicle weight is one of major factors in determining how much an insurance policy would cost for a commercial vehicle. The price can vary based on state and insurance company policies and premiums may also depend on what type of business you own or work for.
A semi-truck that travels across the country has a higher chance of suffering an accident than a box truck delivering locally. The more time spent on the road, the more likely there is to be an accident. Collisions between semi-trucks can be considerably worse than those involving small trucks.
What is Non-Trucking Liability and What Does it Cover?
Non-Trucking liability insurance covers your truck when it is not being used for trucking business. It means you don’t have a trailer attached and you are not under dispatch and the truck is not being used for any business purpose. Even driving you tractor to pick up another load still falls under business usage. It pays third parties who might be injured by the operation of your vehicle while it’s being used for personal reasons – picking up groceries, visiting friends etc.
There’s also a policy known as Bob-Tail coverage that would cover your commercial usage while you’re not under load. It’s frequently confused with non-trucking liability, but it isn’t the same thing. Bob-tail insurance can provide coverage between loads, whereas non-trucking liability does not.
Let’s assume you’ve dropped off your trailer in Kansas City and are on the road to St. Louis to get another shipment. That time, your bob-tail would be active, which means it would protect you in the event of an accident. Bob-tail coverage is never effective when you have a trailer attached; even if it is empty.
What Coverage Do I Need for a Tow Truck?
Commercial truck insurance is required for a tow-truck that is equivalent to a semi. You’ll need at least $1 million in liability coverage, on-hook coverage of at least $100,000 for the vehicles you’re towing, and general liability insurance of at least $1 million that protects your company.
If you are towing high-end vehicles, you need higher on-hook coverage that protects the towed vehicles while in your custody.
Who Needs Tow Truck Insurance?
Any company that tows vehicles either on the flatbed or on a hook is required to have tow truck insurance:
- Mechanic bringing vehicles to his shop for repairs
- Tow company allowed to pick up stranded vehicles on the highway
- A car dealer bringing vehicles to the dealership or customers.
What Payment Options Are Available on Commercial Insurance?
The most popular choices are automatic payments that may be spread out over a year. Setting up your policy on a monthly basis provides you with a greater discount than receiving your bills delivered to you every month.
Another alternative is to pay the entire annual or six-month premium in advance, which offers the greatest discount.
Are You Ready To Get a Quote?
Bargain Insurance Connection is an independent insurance agency in Kansas City, MO that offers coverage for all owner-operator truck drivers in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas.