Frequently asked questions about trucking insurance.
The FAQ’s of Truck Writers
We provide the answers to those questions we get asked most.
Truck Writers is licensed to write insurance in 38 states. The states in which we do not have authority are Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number.
Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul types and quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number.
Still not sure? The FMCSA offers an interactive questionnaire to help motor carriers determine whether or not they are required to have a US DOT number.
The FMCSA requires companies that do the following to have an MC number in addition to a DOT number:
- Transport passengers in interstate commerce (for a fee or other compensation, whether direct or indirect)
- Transport federally-regulated commodities owned by others or arranging for their transport, (for a fee or other compensation, in interstate commerce)
Unlike the USDOT Number application process, a company may need to obtain multiple operating authorities to support its planned business operations.
Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000+ pounds:
- $750,000 (BI & PD) for general commodities (non-hazardous)
- $1 Million (BI & PD) hazardous except class A & B explosives
- $5 Million (BI & PD) Class A & B explosives, hazardous materials transported in specified capacities in tanks or hoppers and/or any quantity of hazardous materials as specified in 49 CFR 173.403 of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.
Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 10,000 pounds:
- $300,000 (BI & PD) for general commodities except any materials listed below.
- $5 Million (BI & PD) for any quantity of Class A or B explosives, for any quantity of Poison Gas (Poison A) or highway route-controlled quantity of radioactive materials.
- At a minimum, Brokers must maintain a surety bond or trust fund in the amount of $75,000.
The basic coverages for a motor carrier include primary auto liability, general liability, cargo coverage and physical damage. As for limits, that will depend on which shippers you plan on hauling for. Generally, a motor carrier will carry $1,000,000 in auto liability, $1,000,000 in general liability and $100,000 in cargo coverage.
This is the basic set up for a motor carrier, but depending on your specific operation you may want to consider further coverage options (i.e., workers’ compensation).
What kind of insurance do I need? I am an independent contractor that is leased onto a motor carrier.
As an independent contractor, the insurance coverages you need depend on your lease agreement. Typically, you will want to carry non-trucking liability (bobtail) insurance and physical damage coverage.
Since you will not be covered by your motor carrier’s workers’ compensation policy, you will want to invest in occupational accident coverage.