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Non-Trucking Liability

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Colonial Trucking Insurance

Insurance Programs for Trucking Fleets

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance (NTLI) provides coverage in case you cause an accident while you are using your vehicle for non-business or personal use other than transporting goods or merchandise. Non-Trucking Liability coverage does not apply when you are pulling a loaded trailer, operating on behalf of a motor carrier / leasing company, or using a vehicle for any revenue generating purpose. These types of activities are covered by primary liability coverage. If a motor carrier is providing your primary liability coverage, their coverage will not apply when you are not under dispatch and you’ll need non-trucking liability coverage.

Non-Trucking provides protection for:

  1. The owner-operator, for liability when driving the tractor while not in the business of trucking;
  2. The motor carrier, from liability when a permanently leased contract driver is not under dispatch.

What is Non-trucking Liability Insurance, or as we call it, NTLI?

Commonly referred to as bobtail insurance, NTL is liability insurance for the owner/operator when he is operating his commercial motor vehicle NOT under dispatch. NTL is in most cases, required by the motor carrier with whom the owner/operator has signed a lease agreement. This insurance fills a potential gap for non-business use of the equipment, and helps to protect the motor carrier’s primary liability policy. Non-trucking is not the same as bobtail insurance, so please verify with your motor carrier which coverage they require; in almost all cases, the requirement will be NTL.

Why do I need Non-Trucking Liability Insurance?

When an owner/operator leases on to a motor carrier, the commercial auto liability policy of that motor carrier will provide coverage while the owner/operator is under dispatch. However, since the leased operator owns the equipment, there are times when that vehicle may be operated not under dispatch; non-trucking liability provides coverage if you were to damage another person’s property or even injure them during personal use of your commercial vehicle.

When does non-trucking liability coverage kick in?

Generally speaking, non-trucking liability is coverage for non-business use and so, the motor carrier’s liability policy will cover you from the dispatch point, through pick-up and delivery and back to point of origin. Any personal use between your return, and the next dispatch should be covered under NTL.

Please complete our one page quick quote sheet for a quick premium indication or call us at (855) 265-9999 to speak to one of our licensed trucking agents.


Bobtail Liability – Operating your truck without a trailer is commonly referred to as “bobtailing” or “Deadheading.” Bobtail liability coverage is protection for leased owner operators that provides insurance coverage when your truck is being operated without its trailer attached, whether or not you have been dispatched by your carrier. This type of insurance would cover you, for example, if you deliver a load to a terminal and then driver into another town to pick up a different load there. You would also be covered while you were traveling in your truck to and from work or to and from the repair shop. As noted previously, this coverage is excluded if you are pulling a trailer.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance – This type of coverage is oftentimes used interchangeably with bobtail liability, but they are not truly the same. Non-trucking liability coverage is designed to protect leased owner operators against liability claims that occur when you are operating your tuck for personal or non-business use. This type of insurance covers you if, for example, you take your family for a leisure ride in your truck. Coverage is excluded if you are driving under the direction of your carrier. It is also not applicable until you have returned to your principle garage location.

Unladen Liability – This coverage is a newer type of insurance. It has become more popular because it provides you with increased flexibility of protection. While broader in scope with regard to coverage than either bobtail or non-trucking liability, it can be more expensive. Unladen insurance coverage provides you with liability insurance when your truck is being operated with the trailer attached. It will also cover you when you operate the truck without the trailer, regardless of whether or not you have been dispatched by your carrier. As you can probably tell from the definition, unladen liability insurance will cover your when you are bobtailing (deadheading) to and from the terminal or between loads.

Under the law, it is the responsibility of the authorized motor carrier to provide liability protection for the public. So, as an owner operator, you should not have to maintain your own liability insurance. The reality is that motor carriers typically look for ways to reduce their burden for the degree of liability that they are responsible for. They accomplish this by requiring the leased owner operator to release them of this burden in certain situations (bobtailing, personal use, or between loads, etc.). These situations are usually specified in the contracts or lease agreements. As you can see, this is another reason that you should read and understand your lease contract fully.

DISCLAIMER: Coverages may vary by state and by insured business. Consult your agent about coverages you may need for your unique situation. Coverage descriptions above are for general information only. Actual coverage is subject to all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

We can provide the following types of truck insurance:

primary liability
physical damage
motor truck cargo
occupational accident
workers compensation
general liability
broker bonds

Some coverage programs can include:

• Rates starting at $400/Month/Truck
• Mileage or Revenue Reporting Form
• 24/7 Access to Certificate of Insurance
• Profit sharing physical damage policies
• Complimentary DOT safety programs
• “A” Rated Insurance Companies

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