Truck Insurance Basics: Primary Liability for Commercial Trucks

Eleanor Hanson

The commercial truck insurance industry is highly regulated industry and tons of policies are available to motor carriers and independent owner/operators alike.

Choosing the right policies for yourself or business can be challenging-since the industry is so diverse and cargo values fluctuate greatly, it’s tough to anchor down efficient policies that don’t involve over-paying or under-protecting your assets at times.

To make choosing your policies simple, here’s a little bit you should know about primary liability as related to truck insurance.

Primary of General Liability

Primary liability is in most cases the only type of commercial truck insurance required by law. It’s basically comparable to what we all have as car insurance. General liability or truck liability are terms sometimes used to describe the same policy.

What Primary or General Liability Covers

Primary liability is general insurance that covers property damage and bodily injury costs associated with damage or injuries that occur in accidents involving a commercial truck.

What Primary Truck Liability Won’t Cover

Primary liability doesn’t cover damages to your own equipment. If an accident is ruled the drivers fault, the insurance company won’t pay for damages to the driver’s truck.

If an accident was another driver’s fault, that person’s liability insurance provider would cover the damages to your truck up to a certain amount.

It’s a federal law that all commercial truck drivers or motor carriers that commission truck drivers carry a primary liability policy to cover public damages or injuries-but remember, it doesn’t do much for your own truck.

Policies in Addition to General Liability

Most truckers will add other policies to their liability coverage, most notably comprehensive coverage in order to protect their own vehicle and some type of cargo insurance to protect the goods they haul. Covering your truck, trailer and cargo is the best way to have highly effective commercial truck insurance.

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