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Owner-Operator Insurance

Owner-operators and small fleets are the backbone of the American trucking industry. It is estimated that there are over 1.2 million trucking companies registered in the United States. 90% of them operate fleets of 6 or fewer trucks. Insure Big Rig understands their unique needs. Our job is not only to find you the best owner-operator insurance rates but also to find you the best all-around insurance protection to fit your company’s needs. If you are an owner-operator operating under your own operating authority you will need to carry your own insurance, including:

Primary Auto Liability Insurance for Owner Operators

This coverage pays for damages that you cause to other people and their property. This includes bodily injury liability and property damage. Most auto liability policies are written on a combined single limit basis (CSL). Most vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight require a minimum of $750,000 coverage; however $1,000,000 is the industry standard. We recommend that, whenever possible, your owner-operator insurance policy contains broadened pollution coverage – Endorsement CA-9948. This endorsement takes care of pollution cleanup expenses resulting from an accident (example: cargo load of spilled Coca Cola concentrate causes a pollution to a stream or lake, resulting in a $100,000 pollution cleanup bill).

MCS-90 Endoresement

To be legal on the road, every motor carrier is required to show proof that it carries enough insurance to cover claims that they are liable to pay. MCS-90 is an endorsement that can be added to the truckers policy to satisfy this legal requirement. MCS-90 is nothing more than a guarantee that motor carrier could fulfill its financial responsibility to the public. The MCS-90 is not an insurance policy and it is not filed with FMCSA. BMC-91X liability filing is submitted to the FMCSA as proof that the MCS-90 endorsement has been issued.

Owner Operator Insurance

Insure Big Rig Insurance will shop all of the available markets to insure that we give you the best owner-operator insurance quote and policy terms available. In addition, we will do the Federal MCS-90, BMC91X filings for you as well as any state liability filings that you may need. We will also handle all cargo, hazmat and oversize load filings. However, some trucking operations are subject to different rules with regards to the minimum required liability limits:

  • Exempt commodities are motor carriers that are not required to have an operating authority such as livestock, grain, fruits and vegetables, rock, sand, gravel haulers.
  • Gasoline haulers, batteries haulers, paint haulers, fertilizer haulers and car haulers are required to carry a liability limit of $1,000,000.
  • Some hazardous material haulers and bus operations are required to carry a liability limit of $5,000,000.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Insurance for Owner Operators

This coverage offers payments for bodily injury to a driver or property damage to your vehicle caused by another vehicle that does not have any any liability insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover all of the damages. Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in many states. Most “hit and run” accidents are paid under Uninsured Motorist coverage. Please note that some states have more complex Uninsured Motorist laws that require the insured to choose stacked, non-stacked, added-on or reduced uninsured/under-insured motorist limits.

Uninsured Motorist is a good coverage to have because 13.5% of drivers in the US do not carry any liability insurance. That’s 1 in 7 drivers. Most trucking companies have never been involved in an uninsured motorist accident, and it may be hard to see the need to carry this type of coverage. Another concern for the motor carriers will be an accident involving a driver that carries minimum limits of liability. These underinsured drivers only buy insurance up to the minimum limits required by their state. Depending on the severity of the accident, the other party’s insurance limits may not be sufficient to cover extensive damage to your truck or medical expenses due to injuries. Insure Big Rig Insurance always recommends that you carry Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage for truckers. The good news is that adding minimum limits uninsured/under-insured motorist to your trucking policy costs on average between $100 and $400 / truck per year.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Some states, such as Florida and Michigan, have a so-called “no fault” auto insurance. They require truckers to purchase insurance that provides first-party benefits to injured persons without regard to fault or negligence. Example of coverages included in the PIP are medical and rehabilitation expenses, income loss benefit and death / funeral benefits.

Physical Damage Insurance for Owner Operators

Physical Damage pays for damages to your truck and trailer, whether that damage is caused by a collision with another vehicle, fire, vandalism, flood or theft. Insure Big Rig Insurance  has very competitive physical damage options. We also offer low deductible policies so our customers do not have to struggle with high out-of-pocket costs when loss occurs. Available physical damage coverages are listed below:

  • Extended Towing – while accidents can occur anywhere in the country towing expenses may run into the thousands of dollars. It is not unheard of to see towing bills in excess of $5,000 – $10,000 for towing of a loaded tractor trailer. Towing coverage pays to move your vehicle from the scene of a covered loss to the nearest repair location. Most of our carriers offer a specific towing limit (such as $5,000) in addition to the limits of liability, while some carriers allow for an unlimited towing expenses (subject to limits on your physical damage policy).
  • Downtime – you can add downtime coverage to your physical damage policy to give you added protection against lost income if you have a covered loss. Downtime coverage can help you keep your truck payment and other bills current if a covered loss renders your vehicle inoperable for an extended period of time. Most of our carriers offer downtime limits of $100 per day up to 35 days, subject to policy limitations.
  • Loan or Lease Gap – sometimes trucks and trailers depreciate faster than the equipment financed value. Loan or lease gap coverage can help assure that a total vehicle loss does not leave you “upside down” on your loan or lease.
  • Emergency Expense Reimbursement – this coverage reimburses you for any hotel, transportation and other expenses you might incur as a result of a covered physical damage loss.
  • Truck Rental Reimbursement – having a collision or comprehensive loss doesn’t mean you have to stop working. When you add truck rental reimbursement coverage to your physical damage policy you can rent a replacement truck and trailer and receive reimbursement for a large part of the rental cost.
  • Personal Contents – this coverage extends your truck physical damage protection to scheduled personal items that you keep in your truck.
  • Tarps, Chains and Binders – this is an essential coverage for anyone who operates a flatbed operation. When you add Tarps, Chains and Binders coverage to your physical damage policy you will have important protection for these expensive components.

Owner-Operator Insurance Quotes

Need a quote on owner-operator insurance? Give us a call at
(844) 235-9449
or complete our instant quote form for a quick premium indication.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance for Owner Operators

In general, cargo coverage pays for damages to the load that you’re hauling. Unfortunately, cargo is one of the most overlooked coverages in the insurance market today. At Insure Big Rig, we encourage you to never ever base your decision to buy this coverage based on price alone. Have you read your cargo policy lately? If you’re like the majority, you tell your insurance agent the limit you need at renewal and forget about it for the remainder of the year unless you have the misfortune of having a cargo loss. In most cases the cargo claim is handled without any problem, however, in some cases the claims don’t go as smoothly as planned. Below are some of the most frequently encountered cargo coverage issues:

  • Loading and Unloading – most cargo policies contains provisions that extend coverage to Unloading and loading only if the cargo is loaded or unloaded onto a sidewalk, street or a loading dock adjacent to a vehicle.
  • Coverage limitations or exclusions – be aware of your cargo policy exclusions. Most cargo policies, unless specifically endorsed, exclude coverage for electronics, clothing, shellfish, copper, liquor, pharmaceuticals, live animals, jewelry, stones and other commodities.
  • Co-insurance clause – this is a policy condition which states all cargo must be insured for its total value at the time of the loss, or you will incur a penalty. Basically all this means is that if you are hauling a $100,000 load, it should be insured for $100,000 when you get in an accident.
  • Refrigeration breakdown – this coverage is available for truckers who transport perishable commodities such as fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood or frozen foods. Most reefer breakdown cargo policy provisions require that the refrigerated unit is regularly inspected. Motor carrier must present evidence that the reefer trailer and its cooling unit have been regularly serviced and maintained in accordance to manufacturer’s specifications. Otherwise a cargo loss involving reefer breakdown will not be paid. Also, driver errors that cause damage to a refrigerated loads are never covered.
  • Wetness exclusion – many cargo policies exclude cargo damages caused by wetness of load.
  • Coverage extensions and supplemental coverages – no cargo policy is the same. Some policies provide coverage for debris removal, defense costs, fraud and deceit, freight charges, pollutant cleanup and removal. Please speak to your agent about having the right limits of liability that will protect you in an event of a cargo loss.

At Insure Big Rig Insurance we ask questions, evaluate your needs, and read shippers and brokers contracts with the motor carrier. We will do our best to provide the best coverages for you at the best rates. We need your help in knowing exactly what you are hauling, how you are hauling it and under what contracts. The lowest premium doesn’t always provide the best coverages; please read your policies. We are here to help you decide which policy is best for you.

Occupational Accident Insurance for Owner Operators

Occupational Accident provides coverage for medical expenses, loss of wages, & accidental death for injuries sustained during your work as a owner-operator. Occupational Accident coverage provides compensation when owner-operators are injured on the job. It is a very cost-effective way to protect yourself in an event of a work-related injury. It pays your medical bills, loss of wages for up to 2 years and provides accidental death or dismemberment benefits!

Occupational Accident is available to owner-operators and contract drivers with accidental medical limits up to $1 million, accident disability income replacement for up to 104 weeks and guest passenger coverage rider. Occupational accident typically costs about $35 / week per driver. If you are a small fleet motor carrier, your injured driver can sue you for all of his medical bills and loss of income. Such costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a motor carrier, you have no defense as courts always side with the injured driver and make the motor carrier liable for all of the damages.

Truckers General Liability Insurance for Owner Operators

Truckers General Liability pays for damage caused as a result of business activities not directly related to operating your truck. An increasing number of brokers and shippers require motor carriers to carry General Liability. Here are some examples where a motor carrier will need Truckers General Liability Coverage:

  • Client slips and falls on insured’s premises .
  • Loading and unloading using a forklift, front end loader, crane and damaging client’s premises.
  • Products and completed operations coverage, excluded by the auto policy.
  • Erroneous delivery of products, including misdelivery of liquids. Delivery of products damaged in shipment that cause damages after delivery. The trucker delivered the product, then left, the auto policy does not cover products/completed operations claims.
  • Libel and slander exposures. Writing or saying something injurious. For coverage to apply to the person originating the comments, the information cannot knowingly be false or in willful violation of the law.
  • Trucker takes in outside repair or performs owner-operator repair (not leased to the trucker).
  • Trucker helps a disabled trucker fix his brakes and they fail later.
  • Sells an extra tire or parts to another trucker.
  • Bodily injury resulting from using self-defense to protect persons or property.
  • “Guard dog”, any size, used to protect business property.
  • Motor carrier provides free alcohol at the Christmas party. Employee drives home drunk and hits another vehicle causing bodily injury and property damage.
  • Contractual liability – Leases, key stop agreement, intermodal, etc.
  • Motor carrier employee rents a hotel room while traveling. Goes to sleep smoking (or leaves the battery charger on) and burns down room.
  • Insured gets a call about a previous employee and fails to tell about drug problems.
  • Insured did not properly screen driver (negligent hiring).
  • Insured gets sued because of someone else’s auto accident (vicariously).

Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) Insurance for Owner Operators

NTL provides liability protection for when you’re not operating under the motor carrier’s authority. Commonly referred to as “bobtail:, NTL is liability insurance for the owner-operator when he is operating his truck NOT under dispatch for a motor carrier. NTL is in most cases, required by the motor carrier with whom the owner-operator has signed a lease agreement. This insurance fills a potential gap for non-business use of the equipment, and helps to protect the motor carriers primary liability policy.

Owner-operators leased on to another Motor Carrier: as an owner-operator leased to a motor carrier, your insurance coverage needs are mainly determined by the lease agreement you have with your motor carrier. In most cases, a motor carrier provides primary auto liability and cargo insurance coverage when you are working under their dispatch. Most owner-operators do not realize that the coverage provided by their motor carrier typically ends when there are not under dispatch. As an owner-operator, you need to purchase other owner operator truck insurance coverage, including non-trucking liability, physical damage and occupational accident coverage.

We encourage you to NEVER base insurance decision solely on price. Normally, when we buy a product we look for the lowest price — if all other things are equal, we take it. If you insure for lower rates, but that company can’t provide good timely service, the lower premiums will not help you out at all when you can’t get loaded due to problems with your insurance. The same is valid when your claim is not covered because your insurance agent sold you a “subprime” policy. Please note that your actual proposal may vary based on underwriting factors such as location, age of driver, MVR and more. Coverages, payment plans, policy terms and conditions vary state by state. No two policies are the same. No two insurance needs are the same either.


Top notch organization to deal with for commercial truck insurance. When I thought I had a serious issue aquiring truck insurance, John @ Big Rig expedited things and came thru with top rated insurer for a premuim price almost half of what I was being quoted. Give him a call and let him work his magic. He got my 100% approval!

Jan – Singleton Trucking Inc.

Featured Testimonial

I have been in the trucking business for about 5 years. I have had 2 other insurance agency’s. I switched to Insure Big Rig about a year ago and hands down this is the best service I have ever received. The products that they offer are over the top. No one else can offer the products that Insure Big Rig provides. Very happy customer.

Jesse - Dreamers Transport LLC

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