What is Bobtail Insurance?
A term coined to apply to auto liability coverage for an owner/operator after a load has been delivered and while the truck is not being used in the business of the motor carrier. This usually occurs when an owner/operator is operating his or her vehicle for personal use only (e.g., on the way home), and not in the course of transporting property for the motor carrier under whose operating authority they haul, and on whose liability policy they depend while they are engaged in trucking. The method of providing what is known as bobtail liability is a business auto policy with the Truckers—Insurance for Non-Trucking Use endorsement attached.
This type of liability insurance pertains to the trucking industry. It covers a tractor traveling without a trailer.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
If you're under permanent lease to a motor carrier that provides your primary liability coverage, you could benefit from our Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) coverage while using your truck for a non-business purpose.
NTL kicks in when you use your truck on your days off for things like going to the movies, picking up groceries, attending sporting events or visiting friends. It can pay for medical and other expenses associated with injuries to others or damage to other peoples' property that you cause. This endorsement only modifies the liability portion of your policy.
NTL doesn't provide liability coverage for business use or when hauling any type of cargo. Driving to and from the terminal, fueling up, traveling for maintenance or vehicle servicing, driving during layovers, dead-heading (driving without a load), and washing your truck all might be considered using the vehicle for a business purpose. These activities typically would be covered by the motor carrier's primary liability insurance.
NTL doesn't apply when you're pulling a loaded trailer, operating on behalf of a trucking company or using a vehicle for any revenue generating purpose. These types of activities are covered by primary trucking liability insurance.
If you're an owner-operator driving on lease to a motor carrier who provides your primary liability, you might need to carry your own physical damage coverage to protect your truck.