Bobtail Liability Insurance: What It Is and How It Works

Posted by

Bobtail liability insurance is a type of insurance that offers protection to truck drivers when they are operating without the attachment of their trailer.

Bobtail Liability Insurance: What It Is and How It Works

It offers coverage for events that happen during the business and non-business use of the vehicle, for instance, running errands or work.

How Does It Work?

When a truck driver is operating a vehicle without a trailer attached to it, a primary or traditional trucking insurance policy might not cover them. This is the essence of a bobtail liability insurance policy.

Hence, we are bridging the gap by offering coverage for these incidents. If an accident happens when the driver or policyholder is bobtailing, the insurance quote will cover the medical expenses, liability costs, and damages caused to the truck. But you need to purchase a policy first.

What Does Bobtail Liability Insurance Cover?

Bobtail liability insurance generally offers coverage for events that result in:

  • Bodily Injury: Covers the medical expenses for injuries to involved parties in the accident.
  • Property Damage: Offers damage coverage to the truck or other property in an accident.
  • Legal Expenses: Legal fees if the driver is sued are covered.

What Does It Not Cover?

Here is what bobtail liability coverage does not cover:

  • Commercial Use: If you use the truck for commercial activities, damages during this activity will not be covered.
  • Damage to the Trailer: Damage to the trailer is not covered because it is not attached.
  • Cargo: This is usually covered under a different cargo insurance quote.

Who Needs a Policy?

Commercial truck drivers who operate or work with trucks with trailers attached should consider purchasing bobtail liability coverage. Independent contractors, owner-operators, and leased drivers should also consider this type of insurance.

How Much Does Bobtail Liability Insurance Cost?

The cost of buying bobtail liability coverage is affected by various factors. These include the insurance provider, driver’s experience, coverage limits, value of the truck, and driving record. Nevertheless, the premium amount policyholders pay is usually a few hundred to a few thousand dollars annually.

How to Get Bobtail Liability Insurance

Truck drivers who operate a lot without a trailer should get this form of insurance coverage. If you do not know how to begin, here is a helpful guide that you can follow:

  • Research insurance companies.
  • Compare policies.
  • Confirm Requirements.
  • Contact insurance providers.
  • Review quotes.
  • Make inquiries.
  • Buy the policy.
  • Finalize purchase.
  • Stay informed.

It is also important that you review your policy or quote annually to make changes or adjustments when necessary. Follow the steps above to get bobtail liability coverage to protect you and your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bobtail liability coverage required by law?

It is not mandatory by law to have bobtail liability coverage. But most trucking companies need drivers to have this policy as an employment requirement and protection against possible liability claims.

Can I add bobtail liability insurance to my existing commercial truck insurance policy?

Yes, many insurance providers offer bobtail liability insurance as a separate, additional coverage or endorsement quote that can be included in your existing commercial truck insurance policy. You can check with your insurance provider to see if this option is available.

Is bobtail liability insurance the same as non-trucking liability insurance?

No, bobtail liability insurance is not the same as non-trucking liability insurance. Non-trucking liability insurance is also known as NTL insurance, and it has quite some similarities with bobtail liability insurance, but there are differences.

Non-trucking liability insurance covers the truck when it is not in use due to business purposes. On the other hand, bobtail liability insurance covers the truck when the trailer is not attached.

Do I need bobtail liability coverage if I lease my truck to a motor carrier?

The answer to whether or not you need bobtail liability coverage if you lease your truck depends on the requirements of the motor carrier and your lease agreement terms. Some motor carriers require truck operators to have bobtail liability coverage if you are leasing your truck to them.

Are there any discounts available for bobtail liability coverage?

Most insurance providers offer discounts to interested policyholders based on these factors. They include bundling various insurance policies, having a clean driving record, and finishing safety training programs.