Most truckers have or think they have Bobtail Insurance. The coverage provides a unique form of commercial auto liability coverage. Owner Operators are leased to Motor Carriers. Leasing with a Motor Carrier requires executing a contract where both parties commit to an ongoing relationship.
As long as the driver is under dispatch, the primary liability coverage will be provided by the Motor Carriers Trucking Liability Policy. This will be the case during the period that the contract is in effect.
Bobtail Insurance provides coverage when the truck is being operated without a trailer attached. Bobtail Insurance Does Not Provide Coverage While Pulling A Trailer. Examples of when your truck would be covered by a Bobtail Policy include:
- Driving between your final terminal and your home
- Driving truck to a location for maintenance or repairs
- Driving back and forth to work
If you are one of the many truckers that pull trailers while not under dispatch, please read on before panicking. There is a good chance that you don’t have Bobtail coverage. Instead, you should have a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Policy. Also referred to as NTL and as we have seen, confused with Bobtail Insurance, the coverage provides liability protection to owner/operators while not under dispatch.
Deadheading, or pulling an empty trailer adds a significant amount of risk. Experienced truck drivers are aware of this added risk and make adjustments. They must be aware of the impact wind will have on an empty trailer. They must also alter their approach to braking with systems which are designed to be effective while under a load.
The biggest difference between Bobtail and Non-Trucking Liability is the trailer. Bobtail specifically excludes all liability coverage while a trailer is attached. A Non-Trucking Liability Policy will provide coverage while hauling a trailer if the driver is not dispatched. The bottom line is that NTL provides coverage while Bobtailing or Deadheading.
If you still unclear and would like additional input, feel free to give us a call at (502) 410-5089.