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    Own Authority - Commercial Trucking Insurance

    In the trucking industry, there is a progression for drivers. First, they start as a company driver, then, they become an owner/operator, until finally, acquiring own authority. Every step comes with larger needs and responsibilities. Therefore, they also come with additional regulation and larger scope of insurance.

    Own Authority - Commercial Trucking Insurance

    How Owner Operator Insurance Works with Owner Authority

    Owner operators require a special kind of commercial truck insurance depending on two things. They can be working under a permanent lease with a motor carrier, or they might work under own authority.

    For owner operators who work with a separate entity, the norm is that they will provide primary liability insurance while they are signed together under a lease. However, that is not enough for a trucking company. In these situations, additional insurance is required.

    Depending on the extent of the truck operating business, the owner operator must add non-trucking liability coverages, physical damage coverage, and trailer interchange insurance.

    For those who have own authority, their commercial truck insurance will usually have the following in their coverages:

    Liability

    Liability insurance pays for the damages that a truck under the company cause to other people and their property in case of an accident. The scope of trucking liability insurance extends to two main things: bodily injury and property damage.

    On one hand, bodily damage liability coverage will pay for expenses like medical bills, hospital bills, nursing care, compensation for work lost, rehabilitation, therapy, treatments, compensation for pain and suffering, and other similar expenses, depending on the extent of the limits.

    On the other hand, property damage liability insurance will cover the expenses for repairing or replacing damaged items like vehicles, houses, buildings, or even lamp posts, depending on the limitations declared.

    Physical Damage

    Physical damage is a segment of trucking insurance that deals with repair or replacement of a vehicle or its parts during accidents. The physical damage coverage usually extends to collisions with other objects or vehicles, as well as when the vehicle overturns.

    Depending on the extent of coverage or the state where the insurance is acquired, physical damage may also pay when the vehicle is stolen.

    Motor Truck Cargo

    Own Authority - Commercial Trucking Insurance

    Motor truck cargo insurance helps the owner operator make sure that the freight carried by the truck is protected. In any unfortunate instance that the freight gets lost or gets damaged by an accidents, fires, or flooding, the insurance policy covers the liability.

    There are insurance companies that provide coverage extending to cleaning up the freight if they get disposed in a waterway or roadway. Moreover, owner operators can request help through their agents to extend coverage to costs and labor, legal expenses for claims, settlement of claims, and freight charges during claims.

    Though this type of coverage is a good add-on to a commercial truck insurance policy, it has its limitations. Most of the time, items like art, jewelry, contraband, shipping containers, explosives, and other similar materials cannot be insured.

    Motor Truck General Liability

    To get the best coverage for their business, owner operators can also benefit from motor truck general liability in their policy. This will pay for any property damages or injury that might occur in an accident that is not directly related to operating a truck or trailer.

    For instance, the coverage of this type of commercial truck insurance includes libel or slander problems, actions of a driver employee while working, errors in delivery that led to loss or damage, and customers getting an injury while visiting the premises.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you get your own trucking authority?

    Own authority can be acquired from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is the permission to transport freight with your own authority as a carrier. An owner operator can accomplish this through these seven steps:

    1. Establish your business entity and decide on whether you are a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability corporation, or limited liability partnership.
    2. Get a US Department of Transportation (DOT) number through visiting the FMCSA website.
    3. Get a Motor Carrier (MC) number.
    4. Get a BOC-3 Process Agent, who will be your representative should there be legal proceedings from any US state.
    5. Get Commercial Truck Insurance, which you can accomplish by asking help from agents.
    6. Complete the Unified Carrier Registration or UCR and settle the fee.
    7. Put some decals on the trucks to show your authority. The signage must include the legal name of the business and the US DOT number assigned and must be highly visible.

    How much does it cost to have your own trucking authority?

    For one to get own authority, the cost for the actual authority from the FMCSA is $300. However, there are other expenses that need to be settled. Most of the time, an owner operator needs to prepare for these things:

    1. Baseplates - $1,500 to $2,000 depending on the state
    2. Insurance policy down payment - Total cost depending on the extent of the coverages
    3. Business registration - $250 to $800 annually, depending on the state
    4. Unified Carrier registration - $76
    5. Process Agent registration - $35
    6. International registration plan fees - $200 to $2,000, depending on the states you choose
    7. Heavy Use vehicle tax - $100 to $550 annually
    8. Vehicle Inspection - $50 to $100 depending on the state

    Additional Resources

    Get Authority to Operate (MC Number) | FMCSA (dot.gov)

    A list of all the requirements and the process of getting Authority to Operate from the FMCSA

    Insurance Filing Requirements | FMCSA (dot.gov)

    A list of all the requirements and the process of the commercial truck insurance to get, as guided by the FMCSA

    Get Your Owner Authority Today

    Your trucking business deserves the best insurance policy. Let Assured Standard help you find the best insurance policy today!

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