Insights Truckers Need to Know About Commercial Auto Liability

Every trucker know that they need Insurance. However, what insurance they need to be compliant with Federal and State regulations might not be common knowledge. So, what coverage do all trucking companies need to be legal to drive on the road? Commercial Auto Liability for truckers is the coverage most think about when they think about getting insurance quotes for their company. But, what is this coverage and what do you need to know before purchasing?

What is Commercial Auto Liability?


In general, Commercial Auto Liability for Truckers is coverage that provides protection for your motor carrier in the event of you, or your employee, is found responsible for damages to other’s property or bodily injury to another person (outside of your company) arising from an accident involving your truck.

Who requires Commercial Auto Liability?


To ensure they are compliant with federal and state laws, all commercial truck owners are required to obtain this coverage in some form.

Minimum Limit Required for Commercial Auto Liability?

Truck size and commodity type are the determining factors for the minimum limit required for Commercial Auto Liability for Truckers. Generally, the federal government requires interstate trucking companies to purchase a minimum limit $750,000 of Auto Liability coverage to be legally allowed to drive on the road. Although, more and more shippers these days will require a minimum limit of $1 Million before any freight can be hauled for them.

  • Additional Federal Requirements
    • Property (Non-Hazardous) Under 10,000 lbs: $300,000
    • Property (Non-Hazardous) Over 10,000 lbs: $750,000
    • Property (Hazardous): $1,000,000 – $5,000,000

Commercial Auto Liability Includes What Coverages?

Main coverages included:

  • Bodily Injury Liability (BI)
    • Coverage for at-fault accidents that cause bodily injury to another person
      • Can Include
        • Medical Cost
        • Lost Wages
        • Sickness
        • Dealth
        • Pain & Suffering
  • Property Damage Liability (PD)
    • Coverage for at-fault accidents that cause damages to other’s property

Additional coverages included (depending on state requirements and carrier):

  • Uninsured Motorist (UM)
    • Coverage for the insured when the at-fault party they were involved with either:
      • Didn’t have insurance
      • Didn’t meet the state requirement of insurance
      • Current insurance Carrier can no longer pay claims
      • Cannot be identified due to Hit and Run
  • Underinsured Motorist (UIM)
    • Coverage when the at-fault party’s policy is unable to provide adequate coverage for the actual amount of bodily injury damage occurred during the accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
    • Coverage regardless of fault. It includes coverages for insured’s accident caused medical expenses, lost wages, or even funeral cost. (Required in certain states.)
  • Medical Payments
    • Optional coverage: Like Personal Injury Protection, it can pay for insured’s accident caused medical expense and funeral cost. However, it doesn’t include lost wages.

Please note that the coverages, limits, and explanations of coverages listed here can differ with every commercial auto liability policy depending on the certain state and carrier requirements. Please discuss what is included and what can be added on, or endorsed, to your policy or quote with your current agent.

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About the Author

Maranda Heaverin

Maranda Heaverin

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