Are you about to purchase non trucking liability insurance for owner operator in 2021? If YES, then here is everything you need to know about it. Working as an owner-operator and driving your own truck entails that you must have the right protection whenever you hit the road.

A good number of times when you are under dispatch, you are covered by the insurance your motor carrier offers, but if you are not working and you are using your truck as transportation, know that this insurance does not cover you.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance, otherwise known as NTL Insurance, is a liability coverage plan for when you use your truck for personal use. NTL Insurance covers any property damage or bodily injury to a third party.

However, you must know this type of insurance does not cover everything. If you are taking your truck to the garage for servicing, you are not covered by this type of insurance. You also have to understand that this type of coverage doesn’t cover you when you have a trailer on your truck. Even if the trailer is empty and you get in a collision, this coverage still does not protect you.

Every company’s situation will be different depending on how employees are hired and managed. As a general rule-of-thumb, the owner/operator of the truck is the one responsible for purchasing NTL insurance. So while your carrier may acquire insurance for the vehicle while it is in operational use, the owner/operator is responsible for all that occurs during personal use of the vehicle. Since NTL Insurance covers this window of time, it is the owner/operator’s responsibility.

Whether or not you will be mandated to have NTL Insurance is dependent upon your carrier. They may have alternative plans set up which would require different types of insurance. Talk with them about exactly what’s required and the pricing of such insurance from their current provider.

While each policy may vary slightly, the general total coverage with NTL Insurance will be $1,000,000 CSL. However, ensure to talk with your carrier about whether or not this is required. It is common that bobtail insurance may be sufficient in place of NTL, but this will depend on your carrier’s plan.

Benefits of Having Non Trucking Liability Insurance

NTL is in most cases, required by the motor carrier with whom the owner/operator has signed a lease agreement. This insurance is known to fill a potential gap for non-business use and helps to protect the motor carrier’s primary liability policy. Basic benefits of this insurance include;

  • It fights legal battles for you: Note that if you ever get sued, rightly or frivolously, liability insurance will foot the bill for your legal representation and any damages you owe. It makes the daunting legal process much easier to handle.
  • It covers damage so you don’t have to: Although this insurance won’t pay to cover damage to your own vehicle, it will pay for damage you caused to others. Note that it is way easier to budget for insurance premiums than it is for a sudden $100,000 cost—which helps your business stay solvent and profitable.
  • It guarantees that you’ll be able to pay if you hurt someone or damage their property: If you’re at fault for an accident, paying to make the other parties whole isn’t just the law; it’s the right thing to do. Liability insurance helps you make things right as fast as possible.

Steps to Purchase Non Trucking Liability Insurance as an Owner Operator

Here are simple steps to take when looking to purchase non trucking insurance as an owner operator;

  • Contact an independent insurance agent: The agent you choose should have an established track record working with a few different insurance companies (called carriers), so they can shop around and find you the right deal. You should feel free to ask your agent lots of questions to get a feel for their expertise.
  • Decide what kinds of coverage you want: If you’re in the market for other kinds of business insurance, like physical damage insurance, now is a good time to buy. Bundling multiple types of insurance together can net you a discount.
  • Fill out applications: Note that your agent will fill out applications for you or help you fill them out yourself. Then, insurance companies will decide what prices and coverage to offer you. These offers are called quotes.
  • Compare quotes: At this point, you have a few different offers to consider. Remember not to just go for the cheapest option right away. Talk with your agent about which quote is the right choice for your business. Ideally, you want an option that balances cost and effectiveness. Also, ask about which discounts have been applied and whether you might qualify for more.

Conclusion

Non-trucking liability coverage is likely to cost a few thousand dollars per year. However, you should budget for it as part of your business insurance coverage. Note that having business insurance helps your trucking business run smoothly and stay profitable. Non-trucking liability insurance can be bundled in with other policies like physical damage insurance as part of your commercial auto policy. You can work with an independent insurance agent to mix and match policies to create the business insurance that’s ideal for you.

Joy Nwokoro