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Is Your Freight Covered? Information to Know Before Purchasing Cargo Insurance

All truckers carry freight from point A to point B. But, what coverage is needed to insure that the freight is covered in the event of a loss or accident? Motor Truck Cargo for truckers is the coverage needed for their freight.

What is Motor Truck Cargo?

Motor Truck Cargo, simply put, is the coverage for the freight being hauled in the event of damage or loss. The loss could be from the result of a collision accident with another object, fire, or even damage by spoilage. The trucker, or motor carrier, is responsible for any damages to the cargo until it has been signed by the receiver at its destination.

What limits are you required to carry?

There are many factors that determine the cargo limit a motor carrier should carry. Unlike Commercial Auto Liability, generally the shipper who owns the freight will provide you with a minimum limit required to haul a load for them, not the federal government. The standard limit of Cargo insurance for general freight is $100,000 but this limit can differ. For example, if a carrier is an Auto Hauler, his cargo limit could be anywhere from $150,000 – $1,000,000 depending on the number of autos being hauled and the autos conditions.

How is cargo premium determined?

Motor Truck Cargo rate is determined by the type of cargo being hauled. The classifications can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Dry Van Freight
  • Flatbed Freight
  • Refrigerated Freight (Reefer)
  • Autos
  • Household Goods Mover
  • Hazmat

As there are many different cargo classifications for a motor carrier, discuss with your agent the types of freight you intend on hauling. Insurance carriers generally classify motor carriers with the highest commodities being hauled. So even if you only intend to haul autos 5% of the time and 95% of the time flatbed freight, your premium will be based on being an auto hauler. This is why it is so important to talk with your agent about everything you will be hauling. This ensures that the policy is written the correct way and nothing is excluded that you intend to haul. Nobody wants to be stuck with a cargo claim on a commodity that is not covered under their policy.

Please note that the coverages, limits, and explanations of coverages listed here can differ with every motor truck cargo policy depending on the type of cargo being hauled 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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Maranda Heaverin

Maranda Heaverin

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