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One-stop guide for semitruck owner operators on insurance laws and maximizing downtime claims.

Owner Operator Truck Insurance Cheat Sheet


Truck insurance for Owner Operators doesn’t have to be confusing. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on what you need to know about your commercial truck insurance policy.


Primary Commercial Auto Liability

Primary Commercial Auto Liability is the type of liability insurance you need to drive your truck 24/7. 

It is also called BI/PD for Bodily Injury/Physical Damage.

It covers you when driving your truck and hitting someone or something.


Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is liability insurance you need if you are an owner-operator permanently leased on to one Motor Carrier.

It is also called NTL.

An NTL policy is designed to insure you when you are not hauling on behalf of a Motor Carrier.

The motor carrier you are leased on to insures you for the primary liability when you are hauling on their behalf.

NTL claims can be confusing because of the ambiguity of what you’re doing at the time of loss and where it occurs.


Trucking General Liability Insurance

This is extra liability insurance that covers the owner-operator when not driving the truck.

It covers all kinds of things like loading and unloading, libel and slander, slip & fall, negligent hiring, contractual liability & lease agreements, vicarious liability, damage to premises, and more.


Trucking Physical Damage Insurance

Trucking Physical Damage Insurance covers the Comprehensive and Collision portion of your vehicle itself.

It is also called Phys Dam.

The Phys Dam portion of your policy covers you 24/7.

Collision covers your truck for damages after hitting something or it overturns.

Comprehensive covers your truck for damages like theft, vandalism, fire, flood or animal hits.


Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance is insurance coverage for the freight you are hauling in your truck.

The cargo portion of your policy covers you 24/7.

Most cargo insurance policies include damages for theft, fire, collision and more.

There are a number of commodity exclusions on cargo policies, including tobacco, spirits, money or valuables, art, jewelry, mobile homes, and more.

Reefer coverage for refrigerated freight is usually endorsed onto a policy as needed.



A deductible is simply the portion you agree to pay out of pocket when a claim is paid by your truck insurance company. 

It usually applies to Comp, Collision, and Cargo, but not necessarily Liabilities.


Permanently Attached Equipment

Permanently Attached Equipment is extra coverage you can buy for the bells and whistles you’ve added to your truck.

It usually includes permanently secured items like your QualCom or heating unit.


Rental Reimbursement with Downtime

If your truck is your source of income and your unit is inoperable due to an accident, Rental Reimbursement with Downtime is designed to help you keep running and also make your truck payments and other bills for short periods of time.

Loss of Use describes what the at-fault party owes you and can extend well beyond the coverage you can purchase.

This valuation can be difficult to determine which is why it is important to work with an attorney experienced in Loss of Use claims.


This basic cheat sheet gives you a good start in understanding owner operator truck insurance


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