First, truckers, tractors, and trailers, are insured as commercial equipment and not automatically afforded the coverage extensions of a personal auto policy. Electronics, loading equipment, load securing equipment, rental reimbursement and personal property are insured differently and are not automatically covered.
Commercial Auto Liability is pretty straight forward. If a trucker has ICC Authority, a filing for proof of financial responsibility will be given to the Feds. Filings are what keeps a trucker compliant with federal (ICC) authority requirements. Uninsured / Under Insured Motorist is also helpful for a trucker that has been injured by a vehicle with out insurance. Medical payments are useful when some one is injured in and on your truck.
Cargo insurance covers the truckers’ responsibility for others goods he is hauling. There are 3 different forms or policies: Named Perils and Theft which is narrow in coverage, Broad Form which adds certain coverage to the basic form and All Risk coverage which offers tractor insurance coverage for all causes unless excluded by language in the policy. Regardless of the form, There are certain coverages a trucker would need. Truckers should buy cargo coverage equal to the highest value of goods they haul. Some policies have a co-insurance clause that can limit coverage limits if you are hauling a higher value load than the limit insured on your policy.
1) A refrigerated carrier would need Reefer Malfunction or Reefer Breakdown coverage to cover the damage from freezing or spoilage incurred if his reefer unit breaks down. Remember to find out if the policy covers a mistake in setting the temperature control device. Most reefer policies only cover in case of a unit breakdown or malfunction.
2) A flat bed carrier should have a wetness coverage or endorsement in the event his load is damaged from rain or snow. Most policies have a tarpaulin endorsement that limits coverage to loads that are properly covered. Sometimes a tarp can be damaged or blow loose due to no fault of the trucker resulting in damage to the load that may not be covered unless wetness coverage is added. Coverage for tarps, chains and binders is also desired to replace stolen or damaged binding equipment that are not other wise covered.
3) A dry van carrier would be advised to make sure that shifting of a load is covered. In this type of operation, larger and longer trailers are used and load securing equipment can fail. These instances are rare but do happen.
Every trucker should have earned freight coverage on his cargo policy. This coverage pays for lost revenue when he is not able to deliver his load due to a covered loss. Disposal and cleanup coverage for a loss should be at least $10, 000.