What does Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Cover?

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Motor Truck Cargo Coverage

Motor Truck Cargo Coverage is a type of inland marine insurance available to trucking owner-operators and other motor carriers. As the name suggests, it covers for-hire drivers for loss of or damage to the cargo they haul for others. It protects both you as the carrier and provides the owner with coverage of their product. Some insurance companies offer it as a separate policy and others include it as an endorsement with a primary liability policy.

Why Do You Need Motor Truck Cargo Insurance?

Whatever type of cargo you haul, it has value to your customer and you. As soon as you sign the Bill of Lading and the cargo is signed over to you as the carrier, you are responsible for the property. Some freight are more of a theft risk than others. Not many thieves want to take advantage of a load of dirt—but just might help themselves to your customer's load of river rock used in landscaping. You don't want to be faced with covering that loss out-of-pocket. Still other cargoes are considered a pollution risk. An unplanned discharge of such cargo along a public roadside as a result of operator error or accident will cost a small fortune to recover. Will your insurance policy cover that loss?

Who Needs Cargo Insurance?

As an addition to a basic dump truck insurance policy, motor truck cargo insurance is highly recommended for:

  • Dump truck drivers
  • Box trucks
  • Cargo Vans
  • Car haulers
  • Flatbeds

Any long-haul carrier needs to invest in this insurance to protect the product they're hauling. While it is not mandated by law (like liability insurance is) some dump truck operations will require contract for-hire drivers to carry their own motor truck cargo coverage.

What is Motor Truck Cargo Coverage?

So what does this insurance cover?

  • Removal Expenses: If you get into an accident or otherwise accidentally dump your freight on the road, the removal expenses endorsement can help pay for debris removal, pollutant cleanup, and more.
  • Legal Expenses and Settlements: If you are sued for the loss of the cargo, this insurance can cover legal expenses and the cost of the settlement.
  • Earned Freight Coverage: If your customer claims you are liable for the cargo that was lost, this can cover whatever their business is charged for not delivering the load.
  • Damage + Replacement Costs: This policy provides coverage if your truck and its cargo are damaged by a collision, fire, water damage, equipment failure, refrigeration breakdown, or is the object of theft.

Most insurance companies that provide cargo coverage for trucking companies will also cover your freight during the unloading process and up to 72 hours after it is delivered.

Exceptions + Restrictions

What isn't covered under a cargo insurance policy? An insurance carrier may not cover claims for these products (or it requires other specialized insurance):

  • Art, jewelry, money, or paper
  • Contraband (pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol)
  • Live animals/livestock
  • Property or goods owned by the insured
  • Explosive or radioactive material

Each insurance company may have its own list of exclusions, so be sure to check with an agent when obtaining quotes.

How Much Does Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Cost?

One of the most important variables affecting the cost of your motor truck cargo coverage will be the type of cargo you haul. As a trucker, you may be hauling aggregate, sand, gravel, dirt, or stone. Perhaps your loads consist of construction material, scrap metal, recycled products, or in the winter you haul snow and ice removed from airport runways or mall parking lots. Others may routinely transport materials such as contaminated soil from environmental clean-up sites.

Premiums for this form of dump truck insurance vary between insurance carriers, as do the available limits and deductibles from which you can choose. Not all insurance companies offer motor truck cargo insurance. Others that do may only cover certain types of cargo. Speak with an agent who understands the risks you face and will tailor a policy to adequately cover the specific cargo you haul.

Get a Free Cargo Insurance Quote

Let us help you find protection for your business and keep your mind at ease. Our goal at CommercialInsurance.Net to get you affordable commercial insurance quotes. To get a competitive insurance quote from an insurance company, complete the form at the top of the page and one of our team members will connect with you. Or to learn more, give us a call at 877-907-5267.


Related Articles: Dump Truck Insurance, Environmental Liability Insurance, Commercial Truck Insurance, Marine Cargo Insurance

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