Owner operator truck insurance coverageOwner operator truck insurance coverage

Owner operator truck insurance coverage is a complex subject with many different options. It is important to find the right policy for your trucking business and budget.

Depending on your haul type and range, you may need a variety of policies such as primary commercial auto liability while under dispatch with a motor carrier, bobtail coverage for when you are between loads, occupational accident insurance, and physical damage coverage.


There are several insurance coverages that owner-operators need to consider for their business. These coverages can vary based on whether the trucker is leased to a motor carrier or operating under their own authority. There are also special considerations that affect insurance costs as a result of whether a trucker is hauling general freight or specialty cargo.

One of the main types of owner operator truck insurance is liability coverage. This covers damages to third parties caused by a truck accident. It is typically required by most state laws and by client contracts.

A trucker should look for a liability policy that provides adequate limits and deductibles, but also offers a wide range of add-on coverages to protect the business. This can include equipment breakdown coverage, which pays for repairs to a truck’s equipment and related expenses when it is out of commission due to a mechanical problem or another reason.

Another common add-on is roadside assistance and towing coverage. This can cover towing, labor and other expenses for the driver if their truck breaks down on the side of the road or is damaged at a loading dock. This type of coverage can also pay for hotel rooms if the truck is stuck in a remote location overnight.

Other policies to consider for owner operators are physical damage and cargo insurance. These policies can pay for repairs to a truck in the event of an accident with other vehicles or objects and can include loss of income coverage to offset lost earnings while the truck is not functioning. The cost of these insurance policies will vary based on the trucker’s haul type and range, their experience and driving record, as well as the cargo they carry.

While the price of owner operator truck insurance can seem high, there are many ways to lower these premiums. For example, if the trucker is willing to increase their deductible, this can reduce the total cost of the policy. It is also possible to save money by paying a yearly lump sum rather than monthly. Trucking experts agree that this can cut insurance costs by over 10% and sometimes even 20%.

Physical Damage

Owner-operators need physical damage insurance to pay for the repair or replacement of their owned truck and trailer in the event of an accident or theft. The cost of this coverage depends on the truck’s actual cash value, its history and the amount of the deductible selected. The coverage is also impacted by state laws, driving records and other factors. The two most popular types of physical damage coverage are collision and comprehensive.

An owner-operator may also wish to purchase roadside assistance and downtime coverage. Roadside assistance provides towing and recovery services and may also cover rental car expenses. Downtime coverage protects an owner-operator from loss of income when they are not able to drive their truck because of a covered claim. These additional options are usually added to a physical damage policy and can be purchased for an additional premium.

Many owner-operators have their own physical damage policies, but some who are permanently leased on to a motor carrier need Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) coverage for when they are not hauling. NTL covers the owner-operator for liability in the event that they use their truck for personal purposes. This can include trips to the movies, grocery shopping and attending sporting events. It is important to check with your motor carrier or broker for details.

Another type of coverage available to owner-operators is a trailer interchange policy. This allows an owner-operator to pull other people’s trailers, providing them with a way to earn more money. Trailer interchange policies are usually only available from insurance companies that specialize in this type of coverage.

Having the right kind of owner operator truck insurance coverage is important for any over-the-road driver. A good commercial truck insurer will understand the unique risks that come with being an independent trucker and can help an owner-operator customize a policy to their specific needs. To get started, fill out our online application and we will match you with top carriers. Licensed agents will provide expert advice and competitive quotes. Insureon is the easiest way to find owner operator truck insurance coverage.

Occupational Accident Insurance

Owner-operators and contract drivers who qualify as independent contractors can be covered by an occupational accident insurance policy. This is an alternative to workers’ compensation coverage for truckers and can help pay for medical, death, or dismemberment benefits in the event of a work-related accident. In addition, the policy will often cover lost wages and provides for a return to work schedule. In addition, the motor carrier typically purchases contingent liability coverage in tandem with the occupational accident policy to defend itself against claims by an owner-operator who attempts to file a workers’ comp claim.

Some states allow an employer to assume the responsibility for providing workers’ compensation, but it is more common for companies to use occupational accident insurance policies as a way to fund these obligations. Occupational accident policies are also generally less expensive than workers’ compensation coverage.

If an owner-operator has a physical problem or injury that prevents them from driving, loss of use coverage will pay to rent a comparable truck for the duration of the disability. This is a popular option for those who depend on their truck as their main source of income.

Adding to primary liability and physical damage, most owner operators need collision and cargo coverage to protect themselves from events that may occur while they are on the job. These include accidents, theft, and natural disasters that can destroy the load. A standard owner operator needs a minimum of $750,000 in limits for these coverages, but this can be increased if hauling hazardous materials is involved.

When shopping for owner operator truck insurance, it is important to find an insurer that specializes in transportation. Generalists can be more likely to overlook the nuances of this type of insurance. It is also important to talk to other owner-operators and learn what they like or don’t like about their current provider.

If you have a new truck and are looking for the best rates on owner operator truck insurance, consider working with an independent member agent of OOIDA’s Trusted Choice network. These specialists will take the time to understand your specific needs and provide recommendations tailored for your situation.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)

Whether you’re hauling ice cream to kids at the local park or shipping heavy cargo to a client seven states away, it’s important to protect your business with owner operator truck insurance coverage. Insureon’s licensed agents can help you find affordable insurance policies that fit your unique needs. We’ll work with top insurers to find you a policy that meets state requirements and client contracts. We’ll also help you navigate other types of owner operator truck insurance that protect you from a lawsuit over property damage or injuries.

The OOIDA is a trade association specializing in trucking and advocating for professional owner-operators. The OOIDA offers customized truck insurance policies, including liability and non-trucking liability. Their comprehensive policies are available at an affordable rate with monthly payments instead of lump-sum upfront costs. Their trucking insurance covers both leased and owned trucks. They can also provide trailer interchange coverage and supplemental clean-up and towing coverage. OOIDA also offers a number of occupational accident plans that cover disability income, accidental death and dismemberment, and medical and dental benefits. These plans can be purchased on their own or in conjunction with primary liability to save on premiums.

Trucking accidents can be costly, and just one at-fault accident can skyrocket your premiums and tank your SAFER score. Taking care of your trucking business by following the rules of the road and having the right owner-operator truck insurance is the best way to protect yourself against financial disaster.

On average, it costs $9,000-$12,000 a year for owner-operators with their own authority to insure their truck and trailer. Costs will vary based on the type of truck, commodities, and other factors. To reduce the risk of financial ruin, it’s a good idea to insure your truck with an insurer that can offer a variety of different types of trucking insurance and will provide a competitive quote for all of your coverage needs. This includes auto liability, physical damage, and cargo. It’s also a good idea to find an agent that can handle multiple insurance policies under one policy so you don’t have to worry about making payments to multiple companies.