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Florida Commercial Truck or Owner Operator Insurance Requirements

Commercial truck insurance is required for all operators in Florida and can serve as a safety net in the event of an accident. Minimum requirements for commercial truck insurance are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and each commercial truck driver will have insurance requirements based on the following:

  • The type of vehicle operated
  • The weight of the vehicle
  • The type of cargo that will be transported regularly

The above factors, and more, can have an impact on the minimum required coverage. When Florida truckers understand what is required of them before hitting the road, in addition to special provisions that can be added, drivers will be equipped with the proper trucking insurance coverage. 

In addition to federal regulationstrucking insurance can have distinct requirements for different industries. Florida truck drivers who are employed by a federal carrier, contracted independently, or constantly transport cargo from Point A to Point B will all need to have some form of truck or owner-operator insurance. 

Florida Commercial Vehicle Crash Statistics

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tracks vehicle accidents. According to the findings:

  • There are nearly 400,000 vehicle accidents in Florida on a yearly basis
  • Commercial vehicles account for over 10 percent of all traffic fatalities
  • Commercial vehicle accidents are responsible for over 10,000 cases of significant injuries yearly

How Much Is Commercial Truck Insurance In Florida?

There are various types of commercial trucks, and the rates for insurance will be calculated according to a number of factors, including:

  • The number of vehicles that need to be insured
  • The types of vehicles you need to insure
  • The number of miles will be driven per year
  • The driving records of your employees who will be responsible for operating the vehicles
  • Previous claims history

Each business is different; the best way to get an adequate idea of what a commercial truck insurance policy will cost you is to obtain a quote from a commercial truck insurance provider. 

What Liability Insurance Is Required For Commercial Trucks In Florida?

State laws in Florida will require a different level of liability insurance for commercial trucks. While automobile drivers are required to have at least $10,000 in a personal injury policy, the minimum liability requirements for commercial vehicle owners will be determined by what is being hauled and where it is going.

Commercial truck owners will need to carry Primary Liability Insurance as a form of protection from accidents where the truck driver is at fault. Bodily injury liability insurance will pay for medical bills for the injured parties. Property damage will pay for repairs to property that was damaged during the accident caused by the truck driver. 

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability coverage will pay for serious injuries, permanent injuries, or death to others that the truck driver caused. The insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of the bodily injury liability policy. Generally, this coverage can also provide legal representation for the truck driver or the company. 

Personal Injury Protection

A type of insurance that will help pay for injury-related costs for anyone who is involved in the accident is referred to as Personal Injury Protection. Personal injury protection coverage can include medical bills, household services, and loss of income.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is a form of insurance that will cover items hauled in the truck or a trailer. While cargo insurance is not required by FMCSA, many companies will only prefer to do business with commercial trucks or owner-operators that do not carry cargo insurance. It will be a wise choice to include a cargo insurance policy with primary liability insurance so your chances of finding shipping partners will increase. 

Bobtail Insurance

A form of insurance that is not widely known is bobtail insurance. In many cases, a trucker will be covered by the motor carrier’s insurance while under dispatch. However, once a driver is no longer working, there will not be any coverage. In order to lessen the gap between coverage, many independent contractors will make the decision to purchase bobtail insurance. Bobtail insurance will cover the driver and the vehicle when there is no trailer or load attached 

Additional Types of Coverage

As mentioned previously, trucking companies will carry more insurance than the basic amounts. Additional types of insurance coverage will include:

  • Collision coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Towing and labor

Do You Need Authority to Operate?

In general, companies that transport federally-regulated commodities owned by others or have to arrange for their transport will need to have the Authority to Operate. 

In order to obtain the Authority to Operate, each motor carrier will need to show proof of a primary liability insurance policy before trucks can be sent out on the road. Any truck driver in the United States cannot be employed without carrying primary liability insurance. Trucking companies that carry primary liability insurance will also be covered for common operating risks that small businesses and large businesses face, including the following:

  • Accidental customer injuries
  • Damage to customer property

As with most insurance policies, primary liability insurance for commercial truck operators has minimum limits that will contrast by state and will be heavily regulated to avoid any misconduct or misuse. The minimums are based on all the potential risks associated with trucking. 

Commercial trucking and cargo transport are essential pieces of the global supply chain. Commercial truck drivers and owner-operators will need to have the appropriate coverage to operate in a safe and legal manner. The right insurance will also offer protection if an accident does occur. Do not hesitate to contact J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC and inquire about how we can help you. 

Our team of insurance specialists is ready to discuss insurance requirements with you. Whether you have concerns or you need guidance on how to navigate the complexities of commercial insurance policies, call us today at 888-225-2258 or 904-352-1803.We provide a free, no-obligation quote. We will work diligently to secure the best insurance policy for your trucking needs.  

David Ott

David Ott