Protect your company with California Commercial Truck Insurance
When you think “Commercial Truck Insurance,” your first thought may be of semi-trucks rolling along the highway. But commercial trucks come in many shapes and sizes. If you hire help on your farm or for another small business, you need to make sure they are covered by commercial truck insurance (CTI).
If it helps, imagine this: You’re not just hiring a person; you’re leasing their labor—and the vehicle they use to get that labor.
Commercial Truck Insurance California can insure many types of trucks under one policy. This is why it’s essential that anyone who drives a commercial truck in any capacity has this type of coverage.
What’s Not Covered under California Commercial Truck Insurance?
CTI does not cover private passenger vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), trailers, or “pickup” trucks.
A “pickup” truck is any light vehicle with an open or enclosed flatbed surface on the back. Trucks like this are sometimes used for commercial purposes, but CTI policies may not insure them. Every case is unique and requires a thorough evaluation to determine eligibility.
Commercial Truck Insurance Coverage Requirements
If you drive for work, you need commercial truck insurance in California. It’s the law—even if it’s just one day a week or month. CTI coverage requirements vary based on your cargo, whether you carry hazardous chemicals and more.
Typically, commercial trucks are insured for liability (property damage or bodily injury to others) with at least $750,000 per incident and $100,000 of property damage. Your policy should offer uninsured motorist coverage, too (in case you get hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance).
What is California commercial truck insurance, and why do I need it?
Truck insurance is a form of vehicle insurance used to cover any damage done to people and property due to negligence on the part of the truck owner.
Commercial truck insurance, or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) insurance, typically comes in two forms: comprehensive and third-party fire and theft. Comprehensive covers damages from collisions between your truck and any object, while third-party fire and theft only cover damage to other people or things.
Commercial truck insurance is vital if you operate a 30-tonne truck + trailer combination, as HGV use laws are stringent. If you are caught driving any vehicle that weighs more than 7.5 tonnes without valid insurance, you risk having your car impounded, hefty fines levied against you, and points on your license.
There are also penalties if you are involved in an accident with your truck (even if it was another driver’s fault) but don’t have the correct insurance to cover the cost of the damage you caused. If caught without the proper insurance, not only will you have to cover the cost of the damage, but your insurer may also penalize you financially. The penalties for lack of insurance vary between insurers and largely depend on where you are based.
If you want to take out insurance for your truck, note that there are many different policies available, all with varying levels of coverage depending on the specifics of your business. It’s essential to choose a policy not only suited to your needs but also be aware of any specific requirements laid down by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In addition, make sure you get a quote from multiple insurers to compare the rates available and choose a policy that meets your needs while not breaking the bank.
Finally, remember that a good commercial truck insurance policy isn’t only about providing cover for damage done by your vehicle – it’s also there to protect you against litigation costs if anyone sues you over damage caused by your truck.
What are some different types of coverage you can get with Commercial Truck Insurance?
Well, we’re glad you asked. Highway Insurance has some standard coverage options when it comes to commercial vehicle insurance:
Liability: This is similar to liability in a standard car policy and covers injuries or damage to your truck and other vehicles involved in an accident you cause.
Non-trucking use: If you want to use your truck for something other than business purposes, this coverage can protect your vehicle in that situation.
Uninsured motorists: Some companies offer uninsured motorists coverage on the commercial policy. This protects you if you get into an accident with another motorist who doesn’t have any form of auto liability insurance.
Lay-up/downtime: Most policies have a certain amount of time that your vehicle is considered to be parked, not being used. If an accident occurs during this lay-up/downtime, commercial vehicle insurance won’t cover it. For example, if you have a semi-truck and drive it from Sunday morning to Tuesday morning without using it for business purposes, the lay-up/downtime is three days. So, any accidents that occur from Tuesday morning through Thursday evening are not covered by your commercial truck insurance policy. However, suppose you have lay-up/downtime of 2 days on your commercial vehicle insurance policy and drive the same semi-truck Monday morning to Wednesday night without using it for business purposes. In that case, accidents on Thursday afternoon are also not covered by your commercial vehicle insurance policy.
Towing coverage: If you have a towing device or dolly attached to your truck, this type of coverage can help pay for damage caused by the towing equipment.
Two-wheeled trailers: Most commercial vehicle insurance companies limit certain types of equipment to only one unit. If you have two-wheeled trailers attached to your truck, the insurance company may limit them to just one unit, or it may not cover that equipment at all. So, double-check with the insurance company before attaching any additional equipment to your truck.
What kind of commercial truck insurance is the most common?
One of the most common types of commercial vehicle insurance is called “limited” or “general” liability, and this means that you are only liable for up to $1 million in damages. The next type of commercial truck insurance is called “unlimited” or “blanket” liability, meaning that you are liable for anything up to $5 million.
You’ll also see types of commercial vehicle insurance called “truckers cargo” and “co-insurance.” This means that the company ensures your cargo – the things you carry with your truck, like goods or furniture.