Running a trucking company is not an easy task. At Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), we want our clients to focus on running their business while we handle all things insurance, so they can handle the more pressing issues at hand. In order to be a trusted transportation insurance broker, it is important to understand all possible exposures and help educate our clients to make sure they are properly covered. Two coverages that typically get overlooked but are important for trucking companies to know, understand, and have in place are Non-Trucking Liability and Bobtail coverage.
Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) – What is it?
NTL is insurance coverage for when an owner-operator uses their truck for non-business purposes. It is essentially liability coverage for the truck owner operator when they are off the job (off dispatch/contract). These instances could include when the driver drives his truck to the grocery store, movies, or visiting friends on weekends/off days. NTL provides liability coverage for property damage or bodily injury to third parties during these times.
It is also very important for the motor carrier company the owner-operator works for to confirm coverage is in place as well. With the lease agreement in place between both, it leaves a potential open exposure that might not be covered by the primary liability coverage for the truck if a claim comes back to the motor carrier. At MMA, we assist motor carriers in setting up NTL programs that they can offer owner-operators coverage on once hired. It is common that many motor carriers even require drivers in their lease agreement to be on their NTL program in order to start working for them. This will accomplish two things; the motor carrier will know they are protected, and that coverage is in place throughout their employment with them. The benefit to the driver would be that the cost through the company would more likely be more affordable than purchasing coverage on their own.
Bobtail Coverage – What is it? What is the difference?
Often NTL and Bobtail coverage are confused to be the same, which is not the case. Bobtail coverage responds when an owner operator or company driver drops the Motor Carrier’s load in one city/town and “deadheads” (no load) back to another city/town while still under dispatch. An important part to note is that the law most likely will say the driver is still under dispatch when deadheading home even after their last drop because the trucking company technically “owes” the driver that ride home. Bobtail coverage would respond in these situations if there was a liability incident instead of NTL.
Whether it is Bobtail or NTL that responds, it is important to have both coverages in place in the event a claim made is not covered by the Motor Carrier’s primary liability insurance in one of these situations.
Contact an MMA advisor to learn more about adding these important coverages and safety practices to your risk management portfolio.