Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

  1. I'm a new owner-operator and recently leased to a motor carrier. They told me they supply the Primary Liability and Cargo insurance whenever I'm hauling a load for them. My lease agreement says I need Bobtail. What's the purpose of this coverage and do I really need it?
  2. I've been ill, so my truck is currently parked. I have a physical damage policy on the truck, but money is tight since i've been unable to work Do I have to keep this coverage, or can I cancel it since the truck is not moving?
  3. I have a Non-trucking Liability policy through truck insurance department where I am leased. Recently I've had a few situations where I'm not sure I've got the right coverage. If I deliver a load to a terminal in a small town near Chicago, and then drive on into Chicago to pick up a load there, will my NTL cover me for the distance between those two loads?
  4. 3. What is the minimum insurance coverage required to obtain an MC #/ICC Authority?
  5. 6. Who must Apply for DOT numbers?
  6. . Can I get my own primary liability and cargo when I am leased to a motor carrier?
  7. Can I use bobtail liability to get my tags?
  8. What is my truck valued at and what is the difference between actual cash value and stated limit?
  9. Am I required to have higher limits of auto liability and cargo insurance if I am a car hauler with my own authority?
  10. What coverages do I need if I lease on to a motor carrier?
  11. Do I need bobtail liability if I haul under my own authority?
I'm a new owner-operator and recently leased to a motor carrier. They told me they supply the Primary Liability and Cargo insurance whenever I'm hauling a load for them. My lease agreement says I need Bobtail. What's the purpose of this coverage and do I really need it?
Bobtail Liability is protection for leased owner-operators that provides coverage while your truck is being operated without a trailer attached, whether dispatched or not. This coverage is not required by law since your motor carrier is legally responsible for maintaining liability protection for the public for all oft their owned and/or operated equipment. Leasing regulations require the motor carrier to specify within the contract who is responsible for providing any other insurance coverage ( such as Bobtail, Non-trucking, or Unladen Liability) for the operation of the leased equipment. Because the lease that you signed stipulates that you agree to cary Bobtail Liability, you'll need this coverage in order to fulfill your contractual obligation to the motor carrier.


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I've been ill, so my truck is currently parked. I have a physical damage policy on the truck, but money is tight since i've been unable to work Do I have to keep this coverage, or can I cancel it since the truck is not moving?
Physical Damage coverage is not legally required, and you may cancel it at any time by notifying an agent. However, if you have a lien holder on your truck, they'll probably require you to continue the coverage in order to protect their financial interests. Although the truck is currently parked, the possibility of theft, vandalism, or exposure to other damage, such as fire, wind, or hail, still exists, so you may want to keep the coverage in order to protect your own interests as well. If you are having trouble paying the premium on time, call our billing department.. they may be able to assist you with special payment arrangements while you're ill.


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I have a Non-trucking Liability policy through truck insurance department where I am leased. Recently I've had a few situations where I'm not sure I've got the right coverage. If I deliver a load to a terminal in a small town near Chicago, and then drive on into Chicago to pick up a load there, will my NTL cover me for the distance between those two loads?
The answer to your question is NO! Non- trucking Liability is a limited coverage that provides protection for leased owner-operators only while the truck is being operated for personal convenience, and only after you have reached your principle place of garaging before leaving again. NTL does not protect you in situations such as the one you've described, or while driving to and from work, or to the repair ship. If your motor carrier dispatched you to Chicago to pick up a load, their liability should cover you. However, it would be to your advantage to make sure they are actually "dispatching" you to Chicago, and not just advising you that there's a load there if you choose to take it. Some motor carriers have attempted to deny responsibility for claims that occur during these situations. If you're pulling your own trailer, either make sure your carrier is actually dispatching you for the load, or talk to your truck insurance agent about an Uladen Liability policy.

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3. What is the minimum insurance coverage required to obtain an MC #/ICC Authority?
For Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more:
$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.

For vehicles with a Gross Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 10,000 pounds:
$300,000 (BI & PD) for general commodities except any materials listed below.
$5 Million (BI & PD) Any quantity of Class A or B explosives, for any quantity of Poison Gas (Poison A) or highway route controlled quantity of radioactive materials.

Common Carriers: Must carry minimum liability as listed above plus $10,000 cargo insurance.

Broker Authority: Brokers must maintain a surety bond or trust fund in the amount of $10,000. We can arrange this for you

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6. Who must Apply for DOT numbers?
. All motor carriers operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce must be assigned & display a USDOT Number before interstate operations begin. This includes all interstate private, exempt, for hire and passenger motor carriers. Motor Carriers operating intrastate transporting any placarded hazardous materials must also comply

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. Can I get my own primary liability and cargo when I am leased to a motor carrier?

FMCSA requires the motor carrier whose authority you are running under to obtain the Primary Liability and Cargo coverage.  However, the motor carrier can charge you for this coverage.  You need to review any lease agreements carefully prior to signing them to determine what fees the motor carrier is charging you for.



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Can I use bobtail liability to get my tags?
NO!   Must be primary liability insurance to get a tag.

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What is my truck valued at and what is the difference between actual cash value and stated limit?

There is no value set on equipment as actual cash value is the cost of your equipment at the time of a loss minus depreciation.  A Stated Limit Policy is when the insured places a value on their equipment.  In the event of a loss, a Stated Limit Policy will pay either the actual cash value or the stated limit, whichever is less.  Insured’s with stated limit policies can risk over insuring or under insuring their equipment.



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Am I required to have higher limits of auto liability and cargo insurance if I am a car hauler with my own authority?

Yes, FMCSCA requires all car hauling operations to carry $1,000,000.00 in Liability, regardless of the fact that the minimum requirements set by FMCSA for general operations are only $750,000.00.  Cargo limits are typically higher than the usual $100,000.00 and would need to be determined based on several factors including your broker and shipper requirements, what type of automobiles are being hauled and how many automobiles can be hauled at one time.



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What coverages do I need if I lease on to a motor carrier?

Any requirements for secondary liability; i.e. bobtail/non trucking or unladen liability, coverage’s should be specified in your lease agreement with the motor carrier. The lease should also list any additional coverage’s the motor carrier requires. Then you will always have the option to purchase additional coverage on your own to protect your equipment. 



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Do I need bobtail liability if I haul under my own authority?

No.  If the primary auto liability is in your name or your corporation and you are the owner of the truck, you would not be required to carry bobtail liability.



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Southern Truck Insurance Services, Inc.
9901 Running Cedar Ln
Indian Trail, NC 28079
704-226-0728

Truck, Auto, & RV Insurance
Call today for a great deal!
Serving Maryland,
North Carolina,
South Carolina,
& Tennessee.