Get Commercial Truck Insurance For Owner-Operators in North Carolina

Saturday, July 22, 2017

No matter what type of trucks you use in your business or fleet, it’s imperative owner-operators have commercial truck insurance in North Carolina. It doesn’t matter whether you lease onto a carrier or operate under your own authority, you still need coverage.


The trucking insurance world can be complex, just like other policies and coverages. Luckily, we are here to break things down for you and help owner-operators find the ideal coverage options for their fleet in North Carolina.


What is Truck Insurance?


Before we dive too deep into the specifics of truck insurance in North Carolina, let’s define what the coverage is. Trucking insurance is essentially a coverage for businesses or owner-operators that offer trucking services. If you use your truck for business purposes, then there’s no doubt that you need some type of truck insurance. It’s illegal to hit the road without it.


Types of Coverage


Before you purchase trucking insurance in North Carolina, it’s imperative to know exactly what type of coverage options you have available. There are a number of types of coverage and each owner-operator will have different needs.


Here are five of the most common trucking insurance coverage options:


  • Primary Liability: This is absolutely mandatory for truck drivers. State and federal organizations require all owner-operators to carry primary liability coverage. This insurance protects you from damage or injuries if you cause a crash while driving.


  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage: This coverage is for your trailer and truck. Comprehensive and collision will pay for damages to your rig in a number of situations, including a wreck, natural disaster, flood, or vandalism. Most owners of newer rigs will want to pay for this coverage.


  • Motor Truck Cargo Coverage: This policy protects a truck driver or transporter when moving a load. If you lose or damage freight, motor truck cargo coverage will help protect you. Each policy has its own load limits per vehicle.


  • General Liability: Another liability coverage that protects your business while others are on the premise. While certain small transporters may not require this coverage, many larger trucking companies need general liability.


  • Bobtail Coverage: Even when you’re not driving your truck, you still need insurance. Many types of trucking insurance do not protect owner operators when they are not driving or do not have a load attached. Bobtail coverage ensures they are protected at all times.


Operational Types Covered


Every owner-operator in North Carolina operates a little differently. We get that. There are a variety of ways you can manage your trucking business. As such, there are a multitude of coverage options and types. Here are a few common ones:


  • Hazmat
  • Hotshot
  • New Driver
  • Car Carrier
  • LTL
  • Intermodal
  • Reefer
  • Flat Bed
  • Logging
  • Livestock


These are just a few of the different trucking operational types in North Carolina. If you manage your trucking business in a different manner, there’s still a variety of insurance options available to you.


North Carolina Requirements


No matter how you operate in North Carolina, the state mandates a certain level of coverage. North Carolina law requires every trucker to carry liability insurance at a minimum level. The minimum is determined by where you’re transporting and what type of freight you carry.


Here are the minimum standards for truckers in North Carolina who drive a big rig and never take their truck out of state:


  • Oil Transport Liability Coverage: $1,000,000 minimum
  • Hazmat Liability Coverage: $5,000,000 minimum
  • General Freight Liability Coverage: $750,000 minimum
  • Household Goods Liability Coverage: $300,000 minimum


If you transport goods out of North Carolina, the minimums tend to be higher and the standards more rigorous. Most federal laws require $1,000,000 minimum coverage when transporting goods between states.


It’s important to note that liability is generally the only coverage options required. However, most truck owner-operators will definitely want to purchase other policies, too. Options like bobtail coverage and comprehensive should be considered.


Getting the Paperwork Right


Not only do you need to get the minimum amount of coverage in North Carolina to be legally allowed on the road, but you’ll also have to make sure your paperwork is in order. Certain fillings are absolutely required by the state and USDOT.


Your insurance agent should be able to help you with these. Any reputable insurance company will know which forms to fill out and send. The forms allow the government to know all your insurance requirements have been fulfilled. These forms must be received by the proper government agencies before any of your authority can be processed.


The main forms are:


  • Form E
  • Form H
  • Form MCS-96
  • BMC-97


Finding the Ideal Quote For Your Operation


You might haul household goods from Charlotte to Atlanta every week. Maybe you manage a fleet from Raleigh. You could move Hazmat materials between coastal waste sites. No two trucking companies will ever be exactly alike. There are hundreds of different types of owner-operators out there. Every single company in the industry is different.


As such, your insurance policies must be tailor-made to fit your needs. You need coverage that fits how you operate. Since different trucking companies handle different operational types in different ways, it’s imperative you shop around when looking for trucking insurance in North Carolina.


Finding the right trucking company for your needs can take a lot of effort. You need to work with a company that writes competitive quotes for your type of business. This typically means getting quotes from as many insurers as possible.
Your only goal is to find trucking insurance for owner-operators at the lowest possible price – without sacrificing any coverage. If that’s what you’re looking for, then get in touch with Protective Agency today. One of our professional and courteous agents is waiting by the phone to answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect policy for your needs.