If you operate as a private carrier, then you haul goods in your own truck for an employer or for your own company. Private carriers commonly operate in manufacturing, construction or excavation, but they can also operate in other fields.
Regardless of which capacity you operate in, it’s important to have the right coverage for your needs. Without adequate insurance, private carriers can find themselves facing serious financial consequences if hit with liability claims.
A private motor carrier is a carrier that transports its own cargo, typically as part of a commercial operation that uses, produces, sells or buys the cargo that’s being transported.
Private motor carriers must have a USDOT number in order to transport their own goods, but they do not need operating authority, or an MC number.
Motor Carrier vs. Motor Private Carrier
If private carriers haul their own goods, then how are they different from a regular motor carrier?
Here’s the difference between motor and private motor carriers.
- Private motor carriers: These carriers transport their own goods, so they are wholly responsible for ensuring that the shipment arrives at its destination intact. Like any other carrier, they face a number of risks while moving from point to point. For this reason, private motor carriers must have adequate truck insurance.
- Motor carriers: These carriers are known as common carriers. They must have appropriate permits and comprehensive insurance coverage before transporting goods. Rather than transporting their own goods, these carriers transport items for other businesses.
Both private motor carriers and traditional motor carriers need insurance, but private carriers have unique risks that must be covered through their insurance policies.
Private carrier insurance can include a number of coverages, but the most common ones include:
Liability is arguably the most important coverage for private motor carriers. It includes two essential coverages:
- Bodily Injury: If you are at fault for an accident that causes bodily injury, this insurance will cover the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, lost income and more.
- Property Damage: If you are at fault for an accident that damages another part’s property, this insurance will cover the cost of repair or replacement.
These two coverages are essential because they cover two of the biggest risks that private motor carriers face: injuries or damage from an accident that was your fault.
Another important coverage to have as a private motor carrier is physical damage. A physical damage policy will ensure that your vehicle is repaired if it’s in an accident with another vehicle or an object, or if an act of nature damages your vehicle.
- Collision: Covers your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision with another object (including other vehicles) or if it overturns or rolls.
- Comprehensive: Covers damage to your vehicle caused by something other than an accident, such as fire, theft, vandalism, collision with an animal, a windstorm, etc.
Physical damage coverage may also include or provide the option to include additional coverage for:
These are known as Fire and Theft with CAC insurance policies, and they are designed for larger trucks. This coverage serves as a complement to the conventional collision and comprehensive included in a physical damage policy.
Medical payment coverage may or may not be available in your state. If you have access to this type of coverage, it will pay the medical bills for:
- Passengers in the truck at the time of the accident
Auto-related injuries can keep you off of the road for weeks, months or longer. As a business owner, you do not want to take the chance that you’ll need to choose between paying your medical bills or running your private carrier business.
Medical payments coverage will cover all of your necessary medical expenses without massive overhead expenses to worry about.
Determining Private Carrier Costs
Insurers will use multiple variables to determine the cost of your insurance premiums. If you can obtain medical payment coverage, this will also add to the cost, but it’s well worth the expense.
However, additional factors that will be considered when providing you with an insurance quote include:
- Average age of your trucks
- Business location
- Legal requirements on the federal and state levels
- Driving record of yourself (if you operate a rig) and any drivers you have
- Location where the truck(s) will be parked
Requesting quotes from multiple insurers is the best way to ensure that you’re not overpaying on your premiums.
What are Private Trucking Insurance Filings?
Private trucking insurance filings may be necessary if you plan to cross state lines. In fact, you may be required to make:
- Federal truck insurance filings
- State truck insurance filings
These filings, also called “Financial Proof of Responsibilities,” guarantee the government that you have adequate insurance protection. Depending on the provider, they may or may not do all of the filing on your behalf.
If the insurer does the filing for you, you’ll be able to get on the road faster.
Why Do You Need Private Carrier Coverage?
Private carrier insurance is a must-have because it helps your business today while ensuring that your operations remain running in the future. A few of the many reasons that you need to have this form of insurance include:
- Business operations can continue to run smoothly even in times of uncertainty
- Financial strain due to accidents remains minimal
- Losses are hassle-free, allowing you to get back on the road and earn money
- Entire coverage for your truck
In addition, you’ll also save your business’s reputation because insurance will ensure that your operations are able to continue uninterrupted. If your truck is in for repairs or is deemed “totaled,” private carrier insurance will pay for the loss.
Private carriers must protect their business at all costs. If you want to minimize risks and continue your operations even when the unexpected occurs, private carrier insurance is a must-have.