Owner operators are individuals who own their own trucking business. They may operate under their own authority under their own MC number or they may lease on to another motor carrier. We will discuss owner operator insurance coverage types.
If you want your own authority, you will need to apply for this through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will need to prove that you have the minimum liability limits as required by FMCSA and pay a $300 filing fee. You can go to their website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/get-mc-number-authority-operate to see the steps to apply for your own authority.
If you do haul under your own authority, then you will need to have these required limits of auto liability, (in some cases) cargo liability, and an active MC number. The proof of insurance, as sent to the FMCSA by your insurance company, are referred to as filings. These filings are delivered to the FMCSA as proof that you have the minimum liability limits.
For those not hauling under their own motor carrier authority, we want to discuss several coverage options.
NON-TRUCKING LIABILITY and BOBTAIL LIABILITY
If you decide to lease on to another motor carrier and haul under their authority, then they will carry the primary liability insurance. If this is the case, you still need to have a non-trucking liability insurance policy. This covers you when you are not under dispatch for that motor carrier. Non-trucking liability is also commonly referred to as bobtail liability. This is not accurate. We will discuss the difference later in this article.
The cost is typically much less for this coverage type then truckers liability insurance due to the limited time that coverage come in to play. You do not want to be without this coverage in the event that you are in accident when you are not driving under another carrier’s authority.
PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE
If you are financing your truck then the lienholder or bank will require you to have physical damage coverage to cover the damage to the vehicle in the event of a claim. This comprehensive and collision coverage will cover those losses.
Even if you are not financing the vehicle, you want to seriously consider this coverage to put you back to where you were before the accident occurred.
Cargo insurance covers the load you are hauling. Depending on several factors, the FMCSA may require you to have a certain amount of cargo insurance. Even if this isn’t required by the FMCSA then you may be required to have it by the contract you are in with the motor carrier. There are various coverage and deductible options for cargo insurance. You will need to explore these options versus the requirements you may have along with what suits your needs.
TRUCKER’S GENERAL LIABILITY
Trucker’s general liability or motor truck general liability covers losses to property damage or bodily injury due to your negligence, not related to operating your truck. This is the least common coverage type of those discussed but you may have a contract requirement that would cause you to purchase this insurance.
The expense of this policy is generally much cheaper than the other coverage types so you should consider purchasing this policy even if it is not required, to protect yourself from any coverage gaps.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NON-TRUCKING LIABILITY AND BOBTAIL LIABILITY
Non-trucking liability typically comes into play when you are using your truck for any personal use whatsoever. If you are involved in a large accident then it will be up to the insurance carriers, and in some cases, the courts to determine who is responsible for paying for the damages. The motor carrier you are hauling for would be responsible for the liability while you are driving under their authority. It is also in the opinion of the court in many instances that they would also be responsible for liability losses during your drive home.
Bobtail liability will cover you when you not hauling a load or trailer. If you drop off a load for one carrier and you are on your way to pick up a load for another carrier, this is when your bobtail liability would come into play.
The FMCSA will not require you to have non-trucking liability or bobtail liability since you are not under motor trucking authority. Many contracts will also not require this coverage from you since they are only responsible when you are hauling for them. This leaves the choice up to you. Since you own your truck, when there is a loss you will be responsible. When a loss occurs while driving a large truck, the loss amount can be significant and could cripple you and your business financially. Don’t wait until after the loss to consider this very important coverage.
Trucking can be a very lucrative career and the need for this industry doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. The start-up of a trucking company can be a daunting task. The insurance part of that start-up is probably one of the most common areas of confusion to new businesses and trucking veterans alike. We realize this and have therefore put a trained staff in place to help you with any questions. Please contact us at 704-494-9495 for any help with these topics.
Bars and night clubs have various insurance coverage needs that are exclusive from those of many other kinds of businesses. We will talk about many of those different coverage options that will protect your business from various types of insurance claims.
Many companies shy away from offering coverage for certain types of risks like night clubs, restaurants, wine bars, topless clubs, cigar bars, lounges, hookahs, sports bars, dance halls, comedy clubs, and pool bars just to name a few. You will want to make sure that you do your research and find a company that will not only give you a reasonable premium, but will also offer the coverages you need.
You never know when you will have a claim and you don’t want to be at risk for having certain exclusions on your policy when it is too late. You should at least understand the many different coverages that are available. Once you educate yourself on what these coverages are, you can determine what chance you think that you will incur any of these claims.
Some of the more popular coverage options for bars and nightclubs are:
General Liability Insurance:
Insurance for bodily injury or property damage on your premises.
Liquor Liability Insurance:
Provides liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage by intoxicated patrons of your establishment. General liability insurance will not cover you for losses pertaining to intoxicated guests.
Bouncer Liability Insurance:
Covers physical harm by employed bouncers to your patrons. Also covers injury to your employed bouncers.
Assault and Battery Liability Insurance:
Provides liability if fights occur while on the premises and patrons are injured. This coverage must be in place if you want coverage for these types of losses as a general liability policy will exclude these losses as well.
Workers Compensation Insurance:
Covers injuries to your employees while on the job. Working in a fast paced environment with food and beverages can greatly increase the likelihood of an injury to your employees.
Insurance coverage on things like the misuse of data or illegally obtained client data. Don’t expose yourself to a claim scenario like your clients credit data being illegally obtained and used.
These are just some of the coverage options that you could choose from. Understand that, as is the case in many commercial policies, there are many endorsements that can be added to your policy that can cover losses like employee dishonesty, damage to outdoor signs or windows, employee discrimination complaints, and many, many others.
Rates can vary greatly depending on several factors.
Some of these factors include:
Hours of operation
Types of entertainment
Capacity of patrons
Location of your establishment
Types of coverage chosen
Years experience or years in business
Every establishment is different and you want to make sure that you discuss your needs with an agent that specializes in these forms of coverages and policy types to make sure that you minimize your losses. Whether you have a quiet lounge or a tavern with a mechanical bull, bad things can happen that can put you out of business unless you are properly insured.
Call and talk with an agent today to see what coverages would be recommended for your establishment. Our agents can be reached at 704-494-9495.
Commercial auto insurance has several coverage options that you should familiarize yourself with and determine if they are right for your business. We will discuss several of these below.
Gives Liability coverage for a non-owned or unlisted vehicle that is leased, rented, hired, or borrowed by the insured for incidental operation of the business.
Owned Auto Coverage
Provides Liability coverage for vehicles owned by the named insured and any owned vehicles acquired during the policy period.
Non Owned Auto
Extends Liability coverage to any non-owned vehicle that is used by an employee in the operations of the business.
Any Auto Coverage
Extends Liability coverage to any vehicles acquired or bought during the policy term until the end of the policy term.
Covers bodily injury or property damage coverage due to the discharge of pollutants that are being transported or towed.
Trucker’s General Liability
This coverage gives bodily injury or property damage coverage sustained in the course of business while using products or services on premises.
Drive Other Car Coverage
Excess coverage for an executive of a corporation or partnership when driving a non-owned vehicle.
Step Down Liability Coverage
This coverage reduces the liability limits to state minimum requirements for drivers not listed on the policy.
Non-Trucking Liability or Bobtail Liability
This is liability coverage for policyholders who are under lease to a motor carrier which provides the primary liability coverage.
Provides coverage for the vehicle or vehicles being towed or hauled.
Provides Physical Damage coverage for a customer’s vehicle left in the care, custody, and control of the insured while at a covered location or in transit between covered locations.
Provides Liability coverage for the covered property in the care and control of the insured and being transported by the insured’s covered vehicle.
Trailer Interchange covers physical damage to any non-owned trailer while in the care, custody, or control of the insured.
These are just some of the various coverage options for commercial auto insurance. Some of these may or not be available for your business type and some may or may not be required. It is important that you speak with your agent on what would be suitable for you. You can also call us at 704-494-9495 with any questions.
The wait is over. Uber insurance is available in NC! Uber and Lyft drivers in Charlotte and other surrounding cities in NC have waited patiently for a solution to the coverage gap for ridesharing insurance, also referred to as transportation network insurance.
As of 12/19/2016, we can now offer a personal insurance policy with an endorsement that can be added to it that will cover drivers who sometimes use their own personal vehicles to drive for Uber or Lyft. Insurance carriers on all personal lines auto insurance policies exclude coverage while driving for a transportation network. If you were driving for one of these companies up to this point, you were likely driving around without insurance for part of your trip.
Uber has taken the stance where they would cover a claim only while you had a passenger that you were transporting or when the Uber app matched you with your passenger you were to pick up. Your personal lines insurance policy would cover you only while you were using the vehicle for personal use. This left a gap in coverage while you were sitting with the app on waiting for a fare.
*The app is turned on and you are waiting to be matched with a passenger.
*Match is made and you are on the way to pick up the passenger.
*Passenger is in your vehicle.
No coverage Gaps on endorsed policies. Uber still covers you during the times stated above. Your endorsed policy will cover you while the app is on and you are waiting to be matched with the passenger.
Transportation networks are brand new, and we will without a doubt see changes in the future as the industry grows and changes. This sort of hybrid policy is a step in the right direction. Up to this point, drivers only had 2 choices.
- Purchase a true livery or taxi cab policy that was rated much higher than a personal auto policy due to a much higher exposure. You would also need to find a company that would allow you to add an endorsement to your policy that would allow you to use the policy for personal use as well.
- Take a chance and drive uninsured.
With a more affordable policy available in NC, there is no excuse for transportation network drivers driving for Uber, Lyft, or various other companies to drive without the proper coverage.
Anyone who has ridden in a vehicle for one of these ridesourcing companies cannot deny the ease of use of the app and, in most cases, the low fare cost. With so many users opting for Uber and Lyft over taxi cabs these days, we know that this form of transportation is here to stay.
If you have any questions or would like a quote on Uber insurance or Lyft insurance, please give us a call at 704-494-9495. There is no reason to have a gap in insurance coverage any longer. YOU MUST PURCHASE A POLICY WITH THIS ENDORSEMENT ADDED TO BE COVERED.
We will continue to update you on this exciting change with future articles regarding this subject.