What Type of Truck Insurance Do Truckers Need?

Friday, October 12, 2018

You’ve passed your testing requirements, you have your truck, and you have your route. Be sure you have your truck insurance requirements as well.

Interstate Truck Insurance is a requirement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To get an Operating Authority/MC number. the FMCS requires that you first get public liability insurance which has coverages for both bodily injury and property damage.

Public liability Insurance protects truck drivers and the public from accidents where the trucker is at fault. The bodily Injury portion of liability insurance pays for hospital bills incurred by pedestrians or other motorists who are hurt in accidents. Property Damage, pays for repairs to other people’s property damaged in an accident.

The FMCSA requires interstate truckers to meet minimum limits of coverage which depends on the type of freight being hauled.

Type of Freight with Minimum Limits:

  • Non-hazardous freight moved in vehicles under 10,001 lbs. - $300,000
  • Non-hazardous freight in vehicles over 10,001 lbs. - $750,000
  • Oil moved by For-Hire & Private Carriers - $1,000,000
  • Other Hazardous Material moved by For-Hire & Private Carriers - $5,000,000

These represent bare minimum limits. Many shippers and brokers require you to have at least $1,000,000 as a liability limit, regardless of what type of material being hauled.

Other Insurance for Interstate Truckers

Cargo Insurance  

Depending on the type of cargo you haul, the cost of insurance can vary. Cargo insurance covers the goods hauled in your trailer, and while not required by the FMCSA, interstate owner operators need it anyway. Most shippers will not do business with you without it.


If you’re an owner-operator with primary auto liability insurance, then you are not required to get bobtail insurance. But, if you’re leased onto a motor carrier and you are running under their authority, you might need it. Your lease agreement should spell this out.

Physical Damage

If you’re financing your truck, Physical Damage Insurance is required. It protects against accidents on the road. However, if you own your truck, it is not required, but it’s still good to have this coverage. All it takes is one accident to create a financial disaster.

Contact your local independent insurance agentto get the best possible rates on your truckers’ insurance. They will do the shopping for you and make it easy, fast, and affordable.

And be sure to be safe and alert out there!


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