Bobtail Truck Insurance

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888-931-1934 or 419-475-8750 (fax)

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What is Bobtail Insurance?

Independent contractors, or owner-operators as they are known as in the trucking industry, are normally required by their motor carrier to carry non-trucking liability insurance, ie. bobtail insurance. non-trucking liability provides coverage for an owner-operator when they are not running under dispatch; when under dispatch, the auto liability coverage of the motor carrier usually is primary.

Non-trucking liability insurance is coverage for bodily injury and property damage that is caused by the operator of the equipment when the owner/operator is outside the scope of his lease agreement with the motor carrier.

Here are some other details about non-trucking liability insurance:

  • $1 million limit is the most requested coverage; higher limits are available
  • Not a replacement for primary liability; does NOT provide coverage while under dispatch
  • Generally speaking, NTL coverage applies only when the owner-operator is driving equipment on personal time

To protect their company’s primary auto liability policy, most motor carriers require that each leased operator purchase bobtail insurance.

InsureMyRig can provide excellent bobtail, or non-trucking liability, coverage to individuals, or as part of a group leased operator plan. For an individual quote online click HERE or for leased operator group plan information email our division manager Michael Lawrence

Before you purchase these coverages, check with your motor carrier on what they require you to have. And always deal with a professional insurance agent with extensive knowledge of the trucking industry, like the ones we have here at


What Are The Differences of liability coverages for commercial motor vehicles?

In the semi insurance marketplace, often times the terms non-trucking liability and bobtail insurance are used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same thing; both are liability coverages for commercial motor vehicles, and your motor carrier may require you as an owner/operator to have either one of these coverages. You absolutely need to verify the insurance requirements in the carrier’s lease agreement to determine your course of action.

Using your truck without the trailer attached is commonly referred to as “bobtailing” or “deadheading.” If you want to, or are required to have insurance coverage for when your truck is operated without the trailer, the type of insurance you should purchase is bobtail liability coverage. This type of liability protection will cover you when the truck is driven without the trailer, regardless of whether or not you are under dispatch and covers any damage that occurs to your truck. The coverage would apply, for example, when your drive your tractor without its trailer to and from the terminal. It would also apply when you are traveling between loads without the trailer attached. Again, bobtail liability coverage is applicable whether or not you were dispatched for these hauls; true bobtail liability insurance offers broader coverage than non-trucking liability insurance and it is usually more costly.

Non-trucking liability is what is required by most, but not all, motor carriers. Non-trucking is more narrow coverage, and therefore, less expensive than bobtail. To put it in the most general of terms, Non-trucking liability is coverage for operating your commercial motor vehicle for personal, non-business use. Commonly, non-trucking liability coverage applies when an owner/operator is not under dispatch.

Again, before you purchase either of these coverages, check with your motor carrier on what they require you to have. And always deal with a professional insurance agent with extensive knowledge of the trucking industry.

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The information contained in this website is offered only to provide the reader with a general understanding of the subject matter. Nothing contained herein should be regarded as legal advice or as a warranty of veracity or averment of any fact. Whether such information is drawn from a simple glossary of terms, or enumeration of definitions for industry jargon or else wise, it is published only for general information and should not be regarded as legally binding. No language contained herein is part of any contract or policy of insurance and is only given publicly to allow for a conceptual understanding of commonly used terms.

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