Many commercial trucks can be driven both with the trailer attached and without. They can be operated with cargo inside them, or without freight inside them. There are many different types of trucks that are out there, and not every commercial truck insurance provider will provide coverage for all of them.
With a wide variety of different types of insurance policies that a commercial truck driver can purchase, it is important to educate yourself about the different kinds of insurance plans and what they cover exactly. One of the types of insurance that people often ask about is called bobtail insurance. This insurance can cover expenses when people are bobtailing, which can also be called deadheading.
Bobtailing happens when people driving trucks, such as 18 wheelers, do so without the trailer attached. Sometimes semi-truck owner-operators need to, or choose to, occasionally make trips without dispatch, trips without their trailer, and in these cases, they are often required by the motor carrier to have special insurance coverage, which is called bobtail truck insurance.
What is Bobtail Insurance?
Bobtail insurance covers costs that can occur when a driver is driving their semi or other qualifying truck without the trailer attached. The insurance provides liability insurance coverages when driving without the trailer, regardless of whether or not you are under dispatch. This includes when you drive your vehicle, without its cargo trailer, to and from the terminal in many states. If you are traveling between loads without your trailer attached, bobtail truck coverage can also apply.
Do I Need Bobtail Insurance?
Any time you could be in a situation where you are driving without your trailer attached, you should have bobtail insurance. This insurance coverage can help cover expenses that can occur in a wide variety of situations where your other commercial truck insurance plan might not kick in. Damage to big rig trucks can be extremely expensive, so as an owner operator it can be extremely important for you to cover all of your bases, even if you think an accident might not occur. Bobtail Insurance plans exist because accidents do happen, even when your trailer is not attached.
What Is Covered By Bobtail Insurance?
Bobtail insurance coverage can help you if you drive a truck under someone else’s authority without a trailer, if you want to protect yourself from lawsuits or other high out-of-pocket expenses if an accident occurs, and if your motor carrier requires you to have this type of insurance coverage. If you do not drive a truck without a trailer, or you need coverage for driving recreationally or on personal trips, this policy is not right for you.
Bobtail insurance policies cover the same costs that other types of liability insurance policies cover, except they cover you when you are driving a truck under someone else’s authority without a trailer. It does not cover physical damage to your truck in these situations; however, it pays costs associated with liability. This can include legal fees, medical bills, and settlement expenses.
How Much Does Bobtail Insurance Costs?
Many factors are taken into consideration when determining bobtail insurance prices. Companies will review your driving history, the limits requested, and the frequency of truck use without your trailer attached. Often, this type of plan costs between $30 and $50 or more per month.
What is the difference between Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability?
There are three main differences between non-trucking liability insurance and bobtail liability insurance. Non-trucking liability insurance covers independent semi drivers, particularly when they are outside the scope of their lease agreement with the motor carrier. The coverage kicks in when semi operators are driving their trucks without the trailers and on their own time.
Another difference is that non-trucking liability coverage does not provide insurance for drivers while they are under dispatch. It is generally a more narrow coverage type and does not cost as much is bobtail insurance coverage. Non-trucking liability insurance is not as common, but most commercial motor carriers do require it since independent drivers sometimes drive their trucks without trailers on personal trips.