Understanding Non-Trucking Liability Insurance (sometimes referred to as Bobtail Insurance)

May 09, 2017 in Insurance 101, Trucking Industry

It started out as a typical day. You were off work. It was supposed to be a day of relaxation. You hopped in the truck and drove off. A day of heading to the movies with a few friends was on the docket after you hit the gym.

A solid workout was had, and you went to pick up a friend in your rig. Then it was off to the movie. But you never made it to the theater that day. Instead, you had an accident.

Your friend went to the hospital. You only had minor injuries. The other driver wasn't so lucky.

While things were bad, you figured insurance would be covered, and things wouldn't get worse.

Sadly, that wasn't the case. Your crash occurred while doing non-business related activities. You assumed that your insurance would cover the accident, but that wasn't the case.

Your policy didn't cover non-business related accidents. The crash wasn't covered. You were going to be held responsible for all damages and medical expenses. This wasn't going to be cheap.

The bills started to pour in. Each month, you saw more and more of them. While the damage to the car and the truck was predictable, the medical bills kept coming and coming.

Your friend needs surgery. The other driver needed a few of them. With operations come follow-up visits, rehab, and more. You're still receiving bills eight months down the road.

Three credit cards maxed out. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt that could have been avoided. You could have avoided all these costs by doing one simple thing. Just one.

All you needed was a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance policy.    

What is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

If you ever use your truck for non-business purposes, then you absolutely need Non-Trucking Liability Insurance. Your rig isn't covered when driving for pleasure. Without these policies, you could be on the hook for a lot of money.


Who Needs Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

If you own or drive a rig, then getting Non-Trucking Liability Insurance could be a great idea. While many don't plan on using their truck for non-business purposes, life happens.

Nearly every driver ends up using their rig for personal use. As such, most drivers will benefit from the coverage and extra level of protection.

Just understand that this coverage does not apply when:


  • Using the truck for any revenue generating purpose.
  • Pulling a loaded trailer.
  • Operating for a trucking company.
  • Fueling up while working.
  • Cleaning and washing the rig.


What Does Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Cover?

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance has two primary coverage purposes. First, the coverage is used to protect an owner or operator for all liability while driving the rig during non-business purposes or time.

The second benefit of Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is for the motor carrier that is under a permanently leased contract, but not under dispatch. Basically, the rig will be covered when it's not being used for business – from all aspects. It is important for carriers to maintain an arm - lengt relationship with their owner operators.


How Much Does Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Cost?

Due to the vast differences in fleets, owners, and more – there is a wide range of costs for Non-Trucking Liability Insurance policies. Some policies are incredibly cheap. Others can cost a small fortune.

Variables that influence costs include:


  • Number of trucks.
  • How much time spent driving during non-business hours.
  • The overall amount of liability coverage.


Overall, Non-Trucking Liability Insurance can cost between $450 and $1 thousand per year for coverage. While incredibly wide-ranging, the majority of the policies do not come close to the $1 million mark. Most are closer to the $450 figure.

 For rig drivers, purchasing a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance can be essential

Understanding Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

 For rig drivers, purchasing a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance can be essential towards ensuring you have coverage at all times. Without Non-Trucking Liability Insurance, you'll have a massive gap in coverage.


This article is for general information purposes and is not intended as insurance and/or legal advice. Please consult your insurance agent/broker and/ or seek legal advice as policies vary widely and needs defer. Bobtail.Insure is an insurance program for owner operators under permanent lease to a motor carrier exclusive for members of the North American Independent Contractors and Owner Operators association.