What do YOU really need? This has always been a concern for an Owner/Operator. All Owner/Operators leased to a Motor Carrier need to review their lease (contract) with an attorney or other legal professional to fully understand what exposures (risks) you need to ensure you have insurance coverage for. We are finding many leases containing ‘Hold-Harmless” or Indemnity clauses in favor of the motor carrier; NOT, you, the Owner/Operator.
The insurance section(s) may denote the need for Non-Trucking Liability (NTL)/Bobtail Insurance, but further in the lease/contract there maybe language that makes you the Owner/ Operator responsible for MORE than just the NTL/Bobtail exposures. This could include the ‘deductible’ for cargo or property damage you cause or even much more.
Without the proper coverages in place, we caution you that should a large loss occur, you could be personally included in a lawsuit. If this happens, your NTL/Bobtail Insurance would not be able to protect or defend you beyond the scope of the policy.
Should you have such a “Hold Harmless” clause or language in your lease/contract, we do recommend you obtain primary/truckers auto liability and possibly cargo too. With proper endorsements, this coverage would go beyond the NTL-Bobtail limitations.
You will not need the NTL/Bobtail policy in addition to the Primary Trucking (truckers auto) policy, (1) if “you”, the insured, are an individual or a corporation and (2) you, the corporate officer, are the driver for your corporation which owns the vehicle(s). The need to add-on cargo coverage will depend on the lease/contract terms.
Remember to re-review these items if and when you have a lease or contract revision.