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Bobtail Liability

What is Bobtail Liability Coverage?

Bobtail Liability refers to a type of insurance coverage for commercial truck drivers. It provides protection when a truck is being operated without a trailer attached, typically while the truck is off-duty or not actively engaged in hauling goods for a motor carrier.

When a trucker is under dispatch and hauling a load, the motor carrier's insurance typically covers the driver. However, when the driver is operating the truck without a trailer (known as "Bobtailing"), such as when returning from a delivery or driving to pick up a new load, the motor carrier's insurance may not cover certain liabilities during this period.

Bobtail Liability Insurance fills this gap by providing coverage for property damage or bodily injury that may occur during these bobtail situations, protecting the owner-operator or driver in case of an accident or liability claims while the truck is not under dispatch and doesn't have a trailer attached.

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How much does Bobtail Insurance cost?

The cost of Bobtail Insurance can vary significantly based on several factors, including:

  • Driving history: A driver with a clean record may pay less than someone with previous accidents or violations.
  • Type of coverage: The coverage limits and types of coverage selected can impact the cost.
  • Vehicle type: The value of the truck, its age, and model can influence the insurance premium.
  • Usage: How frequently the truck is used and whether it's for personal or commercial purposes affects the cost.
  • Location: Insurance rates can vary by state due to different regulations and risks associated with specific areas.

What is the difference between Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability?

Bobtail Insurance and Non-Trucking Liability Insurance are both types of insurance coverage for commercial truck drivers, but they provide different forms of protection during specific situations. The main difference is that bobtail insurance protects the truck and driver during times when the truck is in use, but without a trailer attached. While Non-Trucking Liability Insurance covers the truck when it's being used for personal reasons, or during off-duty times when it's not engaged in commercial hauling.

Who needs Bobtail Insurance?

Bobtail Insurance is typically necessary for certain types of commercial truck drivers, including:

  • Owner-Operators: Independent truckers who own and operate their trucks and lease them to carriers or operate under their authority often need bobtail insurance. This coverage provides protection during times when they're driving the truck without a trailer attached.
  • Leased Operators: Truck drivers who lease their trucks to motor carriers might also require Bobtail Insurance. When the truck is not under dispatch or hauling a load, this coverage ensures protection during Bobtail situations.
  • Small Fleet Owners: Individuals or companies owning a small fleet of trucks that are used for commercial purposes may need Bobtail Insurance for their drivers. This coverage safeguards their trucks and drivers during off-duty times or when not actively engaged in hauling goods.

It's important to note that whether Bobtail Insurance is necessary can depend on various factors, including contractual agreements with carriers, state regulations, and individual risk assessments. Some motor carriers might require owner-operators or leased drivers to carry Bobtail Insurance as part of their lease agreements.

Whether you're an owner-operator functioning independently in the trucking industry or partnered with a motor carrier, safeguarding yourself from liability is crucial. Our aim is to assist you in securing the necessary liability coverage while also saving you money. We offer the opportunity to obtain complimentary quotes from numerous insurance providers. Give us a call at 909-291-6479 or email us at

Crossroads Insurance Services

License No. 6004461