If you are going into business as an owner-operator, you need to make sure that you have protected yourself with the right insurance. You should never start work as an owner-operator without the right type of insurance to protect both you and your truck.
#1 You're Required to Carry Primary Liability
Just like with regular car insurance, there are minimum insurance requirements that you must meet. To start with, you are required to carry primary liability insurance. Primary liability insurance is designed to protect the public. For example, if you get into an accident, primary liability insurance will take care of the parties that you injure. You are required to carry primary insurance to obtain the permits needed to be an owner-operator. YOU are going to need primary liability coverage to get the necessary tags for your vehicle. This is the very basic level of insurance that you need to carry. Make sure that the policy is in your name.
#2 Physical Damage Protects Your Truck
Next, you are going to want to make sure that you have physical damage on your insurance policy. Physical damage is necessary to have regardless of if your truck is on the road. Even if you fully own your truck, and you are not paying a lease on it, you should still get physical damage adding to your insurance policy.
Physical damage covers damaged that can happen to your vehicle outside of a collision. For example, if someone were to break into your cab and damage it, that would be covered under your physical damage coverage. Or if your truck were to get into a hail storm and suffer hail damage, the repairs would be covered by the physical damage clause in your insurance.
#3 Remember to Protect Your Cargo
You want to make sure that you protect your cargo as well. You don't want to be held responsible for damage or theft of your cargo. Since semi-trucks can carry a lot of cargo, you are hauling around thousands of dollars on your vehicle, and you don't want to be responsible for replacing that cargo should anything happen to it. You can ensure that you and your cargo is protected by carrying liability insurance on your cargo. Make sure that your cargo insurance will carry the value of the loads you are carrying. If you ever get a job that exceeds the limits of your cargo liability insurance, be sure to increase the limits of your insurance before you start the job.
Talk to your insurance agent, and let them know the details of your owner-operator business, to determine if there is any additional coverage that you need to have to protect yourself, your vehicle, your cargo and the public. Always make sure that you have the right insurance in place before you do any business or get on the road with your vehicle. Contact a company like Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants for more information and assistance.