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Truck Insurance: Primary Liability Simplified

Truck Insurance: Primary Liability Simplified

Truck Insurance: Primary Liability Simplified

When it comes to purchasing a commercial truck insurance policy, you will find yourself presented with a varying degree of coverage options. In the trucking industry there are so many types of jobs, trucks, and companies, that there are also a lot of types of truck insurance to fit all the different needs.

Some insurance policies may be specific to the exact type of cargo you haul (produce and other perishable goods, for instance). Some drivers haul hazardous materials and chemicals that need proper coverage. Hauling live animal needs the right amount of coverage as it can be expensive cargo to replace. Cargo insurance exists to covers all kinds of precious loads. If something happens to a truck full of chickens, make sure you aren't the one who has to pay for it.

Other insurance policies may also be intended to cover just trailers so that you can participate in trailer interchange agreements with other drivers or motor carriers.

Coverage needs will also vary depending on whether you own your own truck and sub-contract your services to large-scale freight shippers. In this case, you'll need to provide yourself with coverage against any damage to your own property. Many employers provided coverage for their drivers, but in many cases that coverage ends when a drivers "clocks out" or is finished delivering a load. If the driver is still operating the truck (driving home, cruising around, etc.), the driver needs what is called "bobtail" insurance. Without bobtail insurance the driver is assuming all financial liability for any accident That is a scary place to be.

State and federal regulations are also an important consideration. State laws will vary from region to region, but federal law is constant. Primary liability insurance is one type of coverage that federal law requires. No matter what state you're in or what truck you're driving, if you don't have primary liability coverage you are risking financial safety.

Primary Liability Basics

Primary liability insurance is a type of commercial truck insurance designed to cover the costs of damages and bodily injury sustained to the party that is not at fault in an accident involving a commercial vehicle. As an example, if you as a truck driver, run into a car, primary liability will cover the damages to that car or injury to its passengers. This type of truck insurance coverage is most often provided by commercial motor carriers to cover their drivers as well as independent owner/operators working for them on a contract basis.

It is important to understand the magnitude of cost behind accidents involving commercial trucks. If insurance isn't there to pay for it, someone will be. No one ever wants to be that someone, but unfortunately it does happen.


While primary liability protects commercial truck drivers by deferring the cost of medical and repair bills, it does not cover everything. This is especially true and important in the case of independent truck drivers. Separate comprehensive truck insurance coverage would be needed to cover personal property damage, regardless of fault in an accident.
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Truck Insurance: Primary Liability Simplified