It’s no secret that all commercial vehicles and trucks in Georgia are required to get licensed and insured by the state. So, commercial owner-operators should look for insurance coverage.
However, there’s more to a commercial vehicle insurance policy than meets the eye. For instance, some coverage options aren’t required for commercial trucks, but they can prove helpful. In this article, we’ll lay them out for you so that you can choose the right insurance.
What Are the Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements?
Simply put, truck owners are required to get owner operator insurance or primary liability insurance, and that coverage pertains to the following:
Bodily Injury Liability
This physical damage insurance would come in handy if a driver were to cause an accident and someone else got injured, as the driver may be legally responsible for the damages. So, trucking insurance covers the damage’s costs. Not to mention, it backs the driver up with some legal defense in case of the other party filing a lawsuit.
And if we’re talking numbers, the coverage should be at least $25,000/50,000. The first value is the highest cost your insurance can give the other party to cover their injury. As for the second, it’s the minimum value paid to several individuals if the accident had multiple people injured.
Property Damage Liability
That coverage is in case your accident causes any damage to properties, whether that’s another vehicle, house, fence, or structure.
With primary liability coverage, you can have insurance covering the damage’s costs for other individuals’ vehicles. This truck insurance type pays to have such property repaired or replaced. As for the minimum coverage needed here, it’s $25,000.
Tip: We’d highly recommend that truck drivers don’t settle for the minimum needed insurance. Instead, it’d be wise to increase the coverage amount to cover the actual cost of injuries and damage. This way, they wouldn’t have to pay extra money.
Additional Types of Commercial Truck Insurance Offered by Insurance Companies
Now that we’ve established the necessary truck coverage for a trucking company, let’s delve into the optional insurance policies. Again, these aren’t legal requirements but can come in handy in multiple scenarios.
- Collision: When the vehicle of a driver collides with another object or vehicle, this causes physical damage, which requires coverage. Your regular liability coverage may barely be enough to cover the other party’s damage. So, this insurance takes care of yours as well.
- Cargo: Motor truck cargo insurance acts as compensation for damaged or lost cargo in transportation. Trucking insurance companies can pay a trucking business or driver for the stolen or damaged freight it hauls.
- Bobtail: Bobtail insurance is a policy targeted towards any truck or tractor with no trailers.
- Comprehensive: Also known as physical damage coverage, this is when the insurance company covers damage because of a truck accident that doesn’t involve collisions, such as hail and theft, vandalism, fire, falling objects, hitting animals while driving, natural disasters, and more.
- Non-Trucking Liability: A truck driver may have accidents outside traditional hauling or work hours, causing damage to a property or a personal injury. In that case, insurance companies can step in with the needed non-trucking liability insurance.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Injury: Other motorists or drivers involved in the accident may have inadequate auto insurance or none at all. This specific insurance fills in for the other party’s insurance, paying for the medical bills of professional drivers and their passengers and covering the truck and other properties’ damage.
- Non-Owned Trailers Damage and Liability: This insurance is helpful if the driver or trucking company doesn’t own the attached trailers to the truck.
What Is the Average Cost of Commercial Truck Insurance?
First, let us establish that we’re referencing any truck that drives in Georgia because trucks that cross state lines are a different matter. Furthermore, this truck should weigh over 10,000 pounds. If that’s the case, owner-operators may pay $8,500 to $14,000 on average every year.
In addition, the average commercial truck insurance cost is $750,000 or more in coverage if it’s hauling non-hazardous freight. And Georgia’s minimum insurance for liability coverages is $100,000 for a person and $300,000 for an accident. In addition, commercial trucks that carry over 12 passengers require high insurance costs. We’re talking no less than $500,000.
Also, if you haul oil products in your business, we’d recommend that you have $1000,000 in insurance. Finally, if your company requires that you haul hazardous materials (Hazmat), you’re looking at a minimum of $5,000,000 in coverage.
Do Truckers Need General Liability Insurance?
No, trucking companies and services don’t need general liability insurance, according to the law of Georgia. However, most clients won’t do business with a trucking company that doesn’t have it.
So, merely checking off the boxes of commercial truck insurance requirements in Georgia isn’t enough. Instead, a company should fulfill the client’s requirements and be adequately insured to protect its assets.
All in all, an owner-operator truck insurance policy can help pay for the repairs of other structures and any injury sustained by the other party. But if you want to secure the assets of your business, meeting the minimum commercial truck insurance requirements in Georgia is far from enough. You don’t want a highway crash to take its toll on your business.
To elaborate, the bare minimum won’t cut it if the commercial truck is robbed, burnt, or driven for personal use and crashed. For all these potential accidents and more, additional coverage is the way to go.