If operating your truck without a trailer is a part of your driving routine, then getting a bobtail insurance quote should certainly be on your list of to-dos. Both truckers and owner-operators alike often find themselves having a gap in coverage when they are bobtailing, which can end up being incredibly costly in the event of an accident.
The cost of bobtail insurance is next to nothing when you consider what an accident could cost you if you’re not covered. Bobtailing can be much trickier than driving with a trailer, so make sure you give yourself the coverage and the peace of mind that you deserve by getting the right bobtail insurance.
And when you’re finished, check out the other articles in our ‘Bobtail insurance’ series:
What is bobtail insurance?
Bobtailing is a term in trucking operations that refers to the tractor-trailer operating without the trailer being attached to the tractor. Bobtail insurance is coverage for when your tractor is not attached to a trailer.
The purpose of bobtail insurance is to keep you covered at all times, whether you’re hauling a load or not. If the first leg of your trip is complete and you’ve dropped off your load or trailer, you might be planning to bobtail to the next location and pick up a load.
Bobtail insurance is what keeps you protected during that in-between portion of your trip. While it doesn’t usually cover injuries or any physical damage caused to either you or your truck, it will cover damage caused to other people or their property.
Physical damage or any injuries to you or your truck will be covered by another portion of your insurance policy, likely comprehensive or collision.
How much does bobtail insurance cost?
Thankfully, adding bobtail insurance to your policy is usually a simple process and one that doesn’t cost a fortune. Bobtail insurance typically costs an average of $30 to $40 per month, which comes to anywhere from $360 to $480 annually.
The average cost of bobtail insurance will usually provide you with a limit of $1,000,000 in total, though you can always pay more for a higher coverage amount. Paying your policy annually versus monthly may lead to additional savings.
When is bobtail insurance required?
It’s important to know that when you are in between loads and without a trailer, you are often not covered under your trucking company’s insurance. Bobtail insurance is typically required by trucking companies.
That’s because it ensures both their drivers and their trailers are constantly covered during those in-between periods. Drivers that own their truck, drive without their trailer attached at any point, or lease with a trucking company should consider bobtail insurance.
Is bobtail insurance included in my normal policy?
Bobtail insurance is often an additional insurance coverage you will need to obtain. Generally, bobtail insurance is not included in normal policies as not all truck drivers will require it. If bobtailing is a part of your trips, then bobtail insurance is likely a requirement.
Does bobtail insurance cover theft?
Bobtail insurance does not cover the theft of your truck. Theft is usually included in your comprehensive insurance coverage, this will depend on your policy.
Is bobtail insurance expensive?
Because bobtail insurance is a liability-only policy, it can usually be added to your other policy quite inexpensively. Bundling multiple policies can often help you get a lower price as well.
Do bobtail tractors have to go through weigh stations?
States have varying rules and regulations regarding weigh stations, but generally, bobtail tractors are not exempt from going through weigh stations as they are commercial vehicle.
What you need to know about bobtail insurance
Bobtail insurance can be a great policy to keep those who need it protected, but it can be another way to overpay for those that don’t. Knowing the different commercial insurance requirements will help ensure you’re always properly covered.
The majority of trucking companies will require you to have bobtail insurance and this is largely in part for your own financial protection. This is because when you are bobtailing, your truck is typically not covered under your company’s insurance policy.
Bobtail insurance coverage is essentially your gap coverage and ensures your truck is covered in between your load hauls. While a higher deductible may create an appealing lower monthly payment, if the time comes that you need to utilize your bobtail insurance, this higher deductible may come back to hurt you.
Saving a few dollars each month could end up costing you thousands if an accident occurs. Bundling your insurance policies may help you see both affordable deductibles and monthly payments, so be sure to look at all your requirements and options.
Bobtail insurance is an affordable addition to your existing insurance policy. This is because it is liability only, meaning it is limited and only covers so much. When you bundle multiple policies under one company, you can generally get a lower price as well.
Packaging and piecing
While bundling multiple policies together under one company may be ideal for many, it’s not the best option for all drivers. There are often appealing discounts for those who are able to bundle multiple insurance policies together, but those policies may not be the best for your needs.
Not all drivers are eligible for the same policies and finding the best policy for your requirements can be done when you shop around. When looking at your insurance requirements, see if fleet insurance could be beneficial.
Only in effect by owner-operator on personal time
Bobtail insurance can be a crucial policy for many truck drivers to hold, but it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered. It’s imperative to know that bobtail insurance covers your truck without a trailer when you are not on dispatch.
Cannot be used to replace primary liability
Non-trucking liability insurance is another policy that covers you on personal time, but this policy covers your truck when it is attached to a trailer. It’s important to know that bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability differ greatly.
One type of insurance covers your truck without a trailer and the other does not. If you will be bobtailing without a trailer at any point, then bobtail insurance will likely be a requirement. If you’re looking for coverage options for your load, read about cargo insurance options here.
Advantages of bobtail insurance
The main advantage of bobtail insurance is financial security, as bobtailing can be dangerous and ensuring that your truck is always covered is critical. Not only can bobtail insurance cover property damage, but it can account for medical costs and legal fees for any third parties as well.
Bobtail insurance can keep you protected against uninsured or underinsured motorists as well. Bobtail insurance can be an affordable addition that delivers the coverage and peace of mind you need.
Disadvantages of bobtail insurance
The main disadvantage of bobtail insurance is that it comes with some limitations, but this is intentional and part of the way it was designed. As a liability-only policy, it is meant to be an inclusive policy addition, keeping it affordable.
Bobtail insurance can be a fantastic addition to your insurance policy if you want to keep yourself protected financially, but it may not be a policy that you actually need. To make sure you aren’t overpaying for insurance, take the time to research the exact type of insurance coverage that you need. Keep reading to learn more about commercial insurance requirements here.
Bobtail insurance vs non-trucking insurance
The major difference between bobtail insurance and non-trucking insurance is simply the trailer. Bobtail insurance covers your truck when there is no trailer attached. Non-trucking liability insurance covers your truck with a trailer attached.
The similarity between these policies is that they provide coverage on your personal time, meaning when you aren’t on dispatch. People often confuse these as the same policies and think they can get away with having just one.
Unfortunately, due to this misinformation, you could end up in a position where you don’t have the coverage you thought you did. This can result in a situation where you owe a lot of money. If bobtailing or deadheading are involved in any of your drivers’ hauls, then both bobtail insurance and non-trucking insurance are policies you should look into.
Don’t let a coverage gap cost you thousands
There are many things to consider when proper insurance coverage comes into question, so be sure to consider the types of driving and hauling you will be doing. A gap in insurance coverage could cost you thousands and you may not even realize this gap existed until it’s too late.
Bobtail insurance is there to bridge the gap where trucking companies can’t provide coverage for their drivers. Thankfully, there are affordable options for bobtail insurance as well as additional policy requirements for commercial truck drivers.
All you need to do is shop around and find the best one for you as well as your company’s demands. If bobtailing is a part of your routine, don’t wait!
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