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All About Bobtail Insurance

All About Bobtail Insurance

Bobtail insurance is a type of commercial truck insurance that provides for very specific needs.  Any commercial truck that is driven without the trailer attached requires bobtail insurance coverage in order to be properly protected.  Bobtailing, also known as deadheading, requires a specific type of liability coverage to protect the truck when there is no trailer; this includes when you are on your way to pick up a new load or when you have just dropped one off, even if you are still on the clock.

Bobtail insurance is a commonly misunderstood type of liability insurance because it covers the truck only when there is no trailer attached.  Many companies require owner operators to carry their own bobtail insurance in order to protect the company from any potential issues that might occur if an accident takes place.  It is a very good idea for any owner operator to carry a bobtail insurance policy, because it provides protection for the truck at all times when the trailer is not being hauled.  Even if you drive the truck to and from your house, you will require bobtail insurance.

Although the terms bobtail insurance and non-trucking insurance are often beleived to be the same thing, they have a different definition.  Non-trucking insurance covers you whenever you are operating your truck in a personal capacity and not under the direction of a carrier.  This can be any use of the truck that is not commercial in nature and is therefore not covered under the policy provided by the carrier in question.  It protects the carrier from a potential liability claim against them in the case of an accident when you drive your truck off the clock.

Bobtail insurance in contrast covers the truck whether or not you are under direction from the carrier, as long as the trailer is not attached.  Thus it can cover you both for personal use and for commercial use; it simply applies any time the trailer is not on the truck.  

There is a third type of insurance that has recently become popular, and that is unladed insurance.  This covers the truck with or without a trailer and whether or not you are under the direction of a carrier when operating it.  Thus it can combine bobtail insurance with unladen insurance and even add a new aspect to the coverage.  This type of insurance is much broader in scope and therefore also more expensive in many cases.  This is because the insurance company is taking on more risk by covering you for more possible liability situations.

Whether you need bobtail insurance, non-trucking or unladed insurance depends on a variety of factors.  You should discuss this with your insurance agent in order to determine which type of insurance will bes protect you when you are driving your commercial truck.  The important thing is to be sure you are covering all of your bases as much as possible to prevent a situation where you could face serious financial problems due to a liability incident.

Photo courtesy of altheengineer.

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