If you are a truck driver, you already know that you need a commercial trucking insurance policy to protect you and your business. If you work for a trucking company, you are usually covered by your company’s commercial trucking insurance policy. You might think that’s all you need. However, your company’s insurance policy doesn’t provide you with 100% coverage at all time as you drive your truck. And you might need bobtail insurance. We will explain the details of bobtail insurance in this article: from the coverage and cost to how you get the quotes, and who the best providers are.
- The 5 best bobtail insurance companies
- What is Bobtail Insurance?
- Why is Bobtail Insurance Important?
- How Much does Bobtail Insurance Cost?
The 5 best bobtail insurance companies
We tried to get bobtail insurance quotes online with 4 big national carriers: Progressive and AllState, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual; and another 3 digital brokerage firms: Simply Business, Commercialinsurance.net, and InsureMyRig. However, we are not able to get any quotes online since bobtail insurance is not an independent policy, it is an optional add-on or endorsement of commercial truck insurance.
If you already have your commercial truck insurance policy with a carrier, we suggest that you contact the carrier or the agent or broker that you work with to inquire to add bobtail insurance coverage or endorsement to your existing policy.
If you do not have your commercial truck insurance policy yet, below are the top 6 providers of commercial truck insurance for your consideration. If you want to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one, Simply Business or commercialinsurance.net is your best option:
- Progressive: Best Overall
- Smart Financial: Best for an intensive network of agents specializing in commercial truck insurance
- AllState: Best for excellent customer satisfaction rating
- InsureMyRig: Best for the specializing in truck insurance
- Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes
Progressive: Best Overall
Progressive offers commercial trucking insurance, with bobtail insurance as an optional coverage. We tried to get a quote, but got directed to call customer service at 1-888-892-5420 to get more details.
Progressive is probably the best option to start with. They are the market leader in commercial truck insurance. They provide a wide range of insurance coverages for trucking businesses, from an individual owner operator with one truck to several trucks to large national trucking companies.
Smart Financial: Best for an intensive network of agents specializing in commercial truck insurance
Smart Financial is a national agency focused on small business insurance. They work with a comprehensive network of agents who specialize in commercial truck insurance.
They can connect you with one or many agents in their network who are the most knowledgeable and experienced in situations like yours so that you can benefit from their decades of experience working with hundreds or even thousands of clients like you. Their rich experience will help you find the coverages that you need at the most affordable prices.
AllState: Best for excellent customer satisfaction rating
AllState offers bobtail insurance and there is an online form to get a quote. We attempted to get a sample quote for this article, However, since it is typically an add-on to a the main commercial truck insurance policy, they don’t offer online quote for this additional coverage. They suggest us contacting their agents to add on the coverage.
AllState achieved the #1 ranking in the prestigious JD Power consumer satisfaction survey among all commercial insurance providers in the country.
InsureMyRig: Best for the specializing in truck insurance
This company offers you four ways to get a quote for bobtail insurance coverage: calling an agent, chatting with an agent, or filling out an online form (with and without authority options available). To get a sample, we went through the online forms. These two quotes are for a driver who is 55 years old an owner/operator (who does not have authority), followed by one who does. In both instances, we were taken to a contact form and were notified that an agent would contact us.
Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes
Simply Business is another national broker focused on small business insurance. The biggest advantage of working with them is that they make it very easy for you to compare several quotes. They provide a comprehensive list of small business insurance coverages to a wide range of industries, including trucking.
After filling out a simple application on their website, you will receive 3-5 quotes either online or on the phone. Their knowledgeable agents can walk you through these quotes and help compare them. You can select the cheapest one for your business.
What is Bobtail Insurance?
Bobtail insurance is not discussed in most trucking businesses. Most truck drivers assume that their employer’s insurance policy covers them. That is not always the case. Bobtail insurance is an extra insurance option that protects drivers who are in between deliveries when you don’t carry any freight.
One other thing to keep in mind is that bobtail insurance only covers trucks without trailers. When you don’t carry any freight but you have the trailer attached to your truck, bobtail insurance doesn’t cover you in this case. To get protected in this situation, you’ll need something called non-trucking liability coverage.
Bobtail insurance vs. non-trucking liability insurance: How are they different?
The best way to illustrate the differences between bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance is through an example. For example, say you dropped off a freight of wood planks to a construction site in the morning. As noon rolls around, you need to pick up 20 cars from a Tesla manufacturing plant and deliver it to a local car show. Your employer’s insurance covers the time you have the freight for the construction site and car show on your trailer. It does not cover the time you have no freight on your trailer.
- When you are driving from the construction site to a Tesla manufacturing plant, you have the trailer on your truck, bobtail insurance doesn’t cover this period, non-trucking liability insurance does.
- After loading off the cars at the local car show and park the trailer there, you drive home on your truck without the trailer, bobtail insurance will cover you during this period.
- The question is does non-trucking liability insurance cover you in the period mentioned in #2. The answer is yes, it does. So in a way, non-trucking liability insurance includes bobtail insurance. If you have non-trucking liability coverage, you may not need bobtail coverage. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.
Why is Bobtail Insurance Important?
This extra insurance option is critical if you are an independent trucker making deliveries for large companies. It protects you in the chance that an accident happens when you’re:
- Driving to get the load for the construction site,
- Travelling to pick up the load for the car show, or
- Heading home after both deliveries have been made.
How Much does Bobtail Insurance Cost?
Buying this type of protection is not very expensive as it covers a small portion of your time on the road. The average cost of bobtail insurance is about $30 to $50 a month. Underwriters factor in your driving history and how often you drive any truck in your employer’s fleet without a trailer.
Different companies will offer you different rates. Be sure to shop around with a few or with a broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, or Commercialinsurance.net to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your business.
Or you can get quotes online from InsurePro, Progressive, biBERK, and THREE insurance. These are the only 4 providers offering truck insurance quotes online.
Bobtail and physical damage insurance
Bobtail insurance is a liability-only coverage. If you are involved in an accident while driving your truck without a trailer attached to it and are found at fault, bobtail insurance will cover you. It will pay for the bodily injury and property damages of the other car and the other driver. However, if you own truck is damaged in the accident, bobtail policy doesn’t cover it. You will need to have trucking physical damage insurance to pay for the reparation or replacement of your truck if it is damaged in the accident.
Learn more at the best bobtail and physical damage insurance companies.
Temporary bobtail insurance
In some scenario, you may need bobtail insurance coverage just for a day or up to 30 days. For example, you just bought a new truck and need to drive to the motor carrier’s garage to sign the lease and start the business relationship with the carrier. Or you are switching from one motor carrier to another. In the period between the two motor carriers, your bobtail coverage with the old motor carrier might have been cancelled but your lease with the new motor carrier hasn’t started. In these two scenarios, you may need need temporary bobtail insurance coverage.
Trucking business is risky. As a truck driver, you know you can run into a lot of risks on the road. Make sure you are fully covered. Get a good commercial truck insurance policy and remember to add bobtail coverage endorsement or rider. It isn’t too expensive, but will protect you and your family well.