5 Best Non-Trucking Liability Insurance for 2023

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Are you a trucker under permanent lease to a motor carrier? Does the carrier company provide your primary liability coverage? Do you use your truck for non-business purposes? If you answer YES to all three of these questions, you might benefit from getting non-trucking liability (NTL) coverage.

Non-trucking liability coverage kicks in when you use your truck for doing personal things like picking up supplies at the home improvement store, attending sporting events, or visiting friends. It pays for medical and other expenses associated with injuries to others or damage to other peoples’ property that you cause when driving your truck for personal reasons.

In this article, we’ll reveal the five best non-trucking liability insurance companies and explain everything you need to know about this coverage.

5 best non-trucking liability insurance companies

Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes from multiple providers

The surest way to get good non-trucking liability insurance while saving money on your coverage is to get quotes from multiple providers. The easiest way to do that is through Simply Business.

Simply Business is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its own state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it is able to connect truckers with the coverage they need at the most reasonable price. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare coverage and premium prices from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.

The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make sure you only have to input the information needed to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take less than ten minutes.

Once you get your quote, Simply Business makes it easy to purchase non-trucking liability insurance online or through an agent. When you get your policy through Simply Business, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading proof of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your coverage, and more. This is especially great for truckers who spend a lot of time out on the road.

Learn more about the best commercial truck insurance brokers.

Progressive: Best for discounted coverage

Progressive may seem like a less than serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo. You might feel concerned about entrusting your truck to the insurer.

The truth: It’s a reputable company that’s been offering vehicle insurance for more than 80 years and is the top commercial vehicle insurer in the United States, which means it’s doing something right. The company is known for its flexibility, great rates, and top-tier service.

Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could help you save on your non-trucking liability insurance. You can earn discounts for things like:

  • Paying your premium in full rather than monthly or quarterly 
  • Bundling your non-trucking liability insurance with other coverage
  • Allowing Progressive to electronically monitor your driving habits
  • Agreeing to autopay.

Progressive makes it easy to get a quote online or get coverage through a licensed insurance representative.

Learn more at where to get commercial truck insurance quotes.

Sentry: Best for personalized service 

Compared with the first two insurers on this list, Sentry is relatively small, which makes it possible for it to offer a more personalized level of service, especially when it comes time to make a claim. 

Sentry has been in business since 1904 and has a solid reputation.

If you choose Sentry as your truck insurance provider, you can expect:

  • Flexible coverage options
  • An experienced claims team that understands trucking
  • Certified safety directors with more than 20 years of industry experience.

Sentry is committed to the trucking industry. The company is an allied member of the American Trucking Association and several other industry groups. It currently insures more than 37,000 truckers.

Another plus: Sentry has received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, an insurance rating agency, 30 years in a row.

The Hartford: Best for trucking fleets

The Hartford is well known in the insurance industry. It’s been in business for well over 200 years. With centuries of experience, you can expect this company to be knowledgeable about insurance coverages. They offer a full selection of truck insurance coverages, including non-trucking liability.

They realize that some truckers own their trucks while others lease from a motor carrier, and they provide options to cover the truck and the business if you are the business owner. With their rich experience in insuring trucking businesses, they have developed their trucking coverages to be fully customized for trucking businesses of any sizes, with a competitive strength in fleets. If you run a trucking fleets of more than 20 trucks, you may want to consider the Hartford.

CommercialInsurance.net: Best for working with experienced agents

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC is a licensed insurance agency that is able to sell insurance in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, California, and New York. It offers insurance from top providers including The Hartford, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual. The agency allows you to fill out a form online to request a quote or you can speak to an agent over the phone.

One advantage of working with commercialinsurance.net is that they have the widest network of agents across the country and these agents represent a long list of carriers in small business insurance. Regardless which industries your business is in, however risky the industry is, and which coverage you are looking for, commercialinsurance.net will find an agent specializing in such industry and coverage to provide you with the best quotes.

What is non-trucking liability insurance?

It’s a type of liability insurance that covers truckers when they use their business truck for personal use. The trucker’s liability or business auto policy supplied by your motor carrier does not cover you when you’re not driving for business.

It is usually recommended when you buy commercial truck insurance, it is a necessary coverage to supplement to the main trucking liability insurance.

Who needs non-trucking liability insurance?

You need non-trucking liability insurance if:

  • You drive your truck for personal reasons
  • Your motor carrier requires that you get the insurance
  • You want to avoid high liability expenses if you have an accident.

As such, below are the three groups that need non-liability trucking insurance:

Independent owner-operators

Independent owner-operators are self-employed truck drivers who own their trucks and run their own trucking businesses. They need non-trucking liability insurance to protect them during non-business activities, such as when they use their trucks for personal errands or any other activities unrelated to their work.

For example, an owner-operator may use their truck to pick up groceries or transport personal items when not under dispatch. If an accident occurs during these personal activities, non-trucking liability insurance can provide coverage for any resulting bodily injury or property damage claims.

Contracted drivers

Contracted drivers are truck drivers who have entered into contracts with specific carriers to transport goods. Although these drivers may primarily use their trucks for business purposes, there are times when they may use their vehicles for non-business activities, such as commuting to and from work or running personal errands.

In these situations, non-trucking liability insurance is necessary to protect contracted drivers from the financial consequences of accidents that occur while they are not operating under a carrier’s authority. For instance, if a contracted driver causes an accident on their way home from work, non-trucking liability insurance can help cover the costs of bodily injuries, property damage, and legal fees associated with the incident.

Lease operators

Lease operators are truck drivers who lease their trucks to a carrier for a specified period, often working exclusively for that carrier during the lease term. Like independent owner-operators and contracted drivers, lease operators may also use their trucks for personal or non-business purposes when they are not under dispatch or operating on behalf of the carrier.

Most motor carriers require non-trucking liability for owner operators that sign a lease agreement with them. The agreement relieves the carrier of any financial responsibility while the trucker is off duty and driving the truck. 

Non-trucking liability insurance is essential for lease operators to protect them from potential liabilities during these non-business activities. For example, if a lease operator is involved in an accident while using their truck to move personal belongings, non-trucking liability insurance can provide coverage for any injuries or damages sustained by third parties in the accident.

Important note: Non-trucking liability insurance isn’t available on policies with an FHWA (federal/ICC), MCS-90, or state filing.

What does non-trucking liability insurance cover?

Non-trucking liability insurance covers expenses associated with injuries to other individuals or damage to property belonging to someone else while driving your truck for personal reasons. Below are the main coverage:

Bodily injury liability

Bodily injury liability coverage is an essential component of non-trucking liability insurance. It provides financial protection for truck drivers in case they cause an accident resulting in physical injuries to other people during non-business use of their vehicle. This coverage typically helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the injured parties.

For example, if a truck driver accidentally causes a collision while driving their truck for personal reasons, and the accident results in injuries to the occupants of another vehicle, bodily injury liability coverage would help cover the costs of their medical treatment, rehabilitation, and any other related expenses.

Property damage liability

Property damage liability coverage is another critical aspect of non-trucking liability insurance. It helps pay for damages to another person’s property, such as their vehicle, home, or other structures, resulting from an accident during non-business use of the truck.

For instance, if a truck driver accidentally backs into a parked car while using their truck for personal errands, property damage liability coverage would help cover the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle. Similarly, if a truck driver accidentally damages someone’s fence or other property during non-business activities, this coverage would help pay for the necessary repairs or replacement.

Defense costs and legal fees

In the event of an accident during non-business use of a truck, the driver may face legal claims or even a lawsuit. Defense costs and legal fees coverage within non-trucking liability insurance help cover the costs of defending against these claims, including hiring an attorney, court fees, and any settlements or judgments that may result from the legal proceedings.

For example, if a truck driver is sued by an injured party following an accident that occurred while using their truck for personal activities, defense costs and legal fees coverage would help cover the expenses of hiring a lawyer, preparing a legal defense, and any potential settlements or judgments resulting from the case.

What does non-trucking liability insurance not cover?

It’s important to understand that non-trucking liability insurance does not cover every situation or type of damage. It typically does not cover damage to the driver’s truck, cargo, or trailer, nor does it apply when a driver is operating under dispatch or engaged in business activities.

For example, if a truck driver causes an accident during non-business use that results in damage to their own truck, non-trucking liability insurance would not cover the costs of repairing or replacing the truck. Similarly, if a driver is involved in an accident while under dispatch or performing work for a carrier, non-trucking liability insurance would not apply, and the driver would need to rely on their primary liability insurance for coverage.

What’s the difference between bobtail and non-trucking liability coverage?

Non-trucking liability insurance is often mistaken for bobtail insurance. However, bobtail isn’t the same thing as non-trucking liability. Bobtail provides liability coverage when you’re driving your semi truck and you’re not hauling a trailer or a load. So after you drop off the cargo and the trailer at a warehouse, you drive back to your garage or home and get into an accident. Bobtail insurance will cover this accident; but non-trucking liability doesn’t cover you. As we’ve already gone over, non-trucking liability covers you only when you’re driving your truck for personal reasons.

Learn more about the difference between bobtail and non-trucking liability and if you need both here.

Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.

What other coverage should owner operators get besides non-trucking liability insurance?

If you’re an owner operator driving on lease to a motor carrier who provides your primary liability insurance, you might need to carry your own physical damage coverage to protect your truck.

That’s because motor carriers typically provide primary liability coverage for owner operators. Most don’t provide physical damage coverage. Physical damage coverage pays for harm to your truck caused by a collision, overturn, theft, weather event, or natural disaster. In most cases, this coverage isn’t bound by radius restrictions.

What are the limits on a non-trucking liability policy?

The coverage limits are the maximum amount paid out per claim or policy period by your insurance policy. In this case, the limits are the maximum amount an insurance carrier will pay for damage or injury you cause to someone else while driving your truck for personal reasons. This includes medical expenses, along with costs to repair or replace damaged property. 

How much does non-trucking liability insurance cost?

Since non trucking liability insurance offers more limited coverage than other trucking insurance policies, it tends to be less expensive. Insurance providers will review your lease agreement, driving history, how often you drive your truck for personal reasons, and policy limit to come up with your non-trucking liability insurance premium.

The average cost of non-trucking liability insurance is just around a few hundred dollars a year, some estimates in the range of $300-$700 a year. It is relatively cheap to have yourself protected. If you are involved in an accident with your semi-truck or your tow truck or your dump truck while you are not driving for work, the injuries and damages your heavy truck can cause to the third parties can be so significant that can bankrupt your business and yourself.

Different insurance companies will provide you with different quotes, be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes before making your final decision.

Learn more at how much non-trucking liability insurance costs and how much commercial truck insurance costs

How do I find cheap non-trucking liability insurance?

Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet. 
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your non-truck general liability coverage.

Learn more at the cheapest commercial truck insurance companies.

FAQs about non-trucking liability insurance

What is the difference between non-trucking liability insurance and primary liability insurance?

Primary liability insurance covers truck drivers during business operations, while non-trucking liability insurance provides coverage during non-business use. Both types of insurance are essential to ensure comprehensive protection for truck drivers throughout all aspects of their work.

Is non-trucking liability insurance required by law?

Non-trucking liability insurance is not typically mandated by law. However, some carriers may require it as a condition of their contracts with owner-operators or lease operators. It is essential for truck drivers to check their contractual obligations and ensure they have appropriate coverage.

Does non-trucking liability insurance cover damages to my truck or cargo?

No, non-trucking liability insurance does not cover damage to your truck, cargo, or trailer. This type of insurance focuses on providing coverage for bodily injury and property damage to third parties during non-business use of your truck.

Do I need both non-trucking liability insurance and bobtail insurance?

Whether you need both non-trucking liability and bobtail insurance depends on your specific needs and risks. Non-trucking liability insurance covers drivers during non-business use, while bobtail insurance covers drivers without a trailer, even if they are under dispatch. Assess your unique situation to determine which type of coverage, or both, is most appropriate for you.

Can I cancel or adjust my non-trucking liability insurance policy?

Yes, you can typically cancel or adjust your non-trucking liability insurance policy based on your needs. Contact your insurance provider to discuss any changes to your policy, such as adjusting coverage limits, adding or removing coverage options, or canceling the policy altogether.

How can I lower my non-trucking liability insurance premiums?

There are several ways to potentially lower your non-trucking liability insurance premiums, including maintaining a clean driving record, selecting appropriate coverage limits and deductibles, bundling insurance policies, and taking advantage of discounts and incentives offered by insurance providers.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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