Non-trucking liability insurance covers independent semi drivers when they are outside the scope of their lease agreement with the motor carrier.

  • Generally, this coverage applies when semi operators are driving their big rigs without trailers on their own time.

  • This insurance does not provide coverage to semi drivers while they are under dispatch.

  • Non-trucking liability insurance is a more narrow coverage and does not cost as much as Bobtail insurance, another coverage you might consider but usually is not required by motor carriers. (For more information on this coverage, click here).

  • Non-Trucking Liability is in most cases required by the motor carrier when you have signed a lease agreement.

  • This insurance fills a potential gap for non-business use of the equipment, and helps to protect the motor carriers primary liability policy.

  • As part of a Non-Trucking Liability insurance policy there are additional coverages you might consider that can be included in your insurance portfolio

As an owner/operator, when you sign a lease with a motor carrier, the commercial auto liability policy of that motor carrier will provide coverage while you are under dispatch. Since you own the semi, there are times when your big rig will be operated while not under dispatch. Non-trucking liability provides coverage if you were to damage another person’s property or, worse, injure them during personal use of your truck. You need your own liability insurance to protect your equipment investment and your livelihood in case the unexpected happens.

Non-trucking liability is coverage for non-business use. The motor carrier’s liability policy will cover you from the dispatch point, through pick-up and delivery and back to point of origin. But any personal use between your return and the next dispatch should, in most cases, be covered under Non-Trucking Liability insurance. Keep in mind there will be exclusions in this policy, so you’ll want to discuss the policy in detail with your agent and carefully read your policy.


Semi owner operators who occasionally make deadhead trips with or without dispatch are usually required by their motor carrier to have special coverage, known as Bobtail Truck Insurance.

Here's what independent big rig drivers need to know about Bobtail truck insurance:

  • Provides liability coverage when you are driving your semi without the trailer- whether or not you are under dispatch

  • Applies when you drive your big rig without its cargo trailer to and from the terminal

  • Applies when you are traveling between loads without the trailer attached

  • Most truckers do NOT NEED bobtail insurance, they need non-trucking liability instead

  • Bobtail insurance, more accurately called non-trucking liability, only applies when a driver has an active lease agreement with a motor carrier

  • True bobtail insurance is coverage without a trailer attached; non-trucking liability is broadly defined as personal use of a commercial vehicle, and NTL is what most motor carriers require

  • Bobtail insurance is NOT the same as non-trucking liability- though the terms are often used interchangeably. Most motor carriers ONLY require a non-trucking liability policy.

  • Bobtail and non-trucking are liability policies, and provide for bodily injury and/or property damage that your truck causes while not operating under dispatch

  • Virtually every motor carrier will require an owner/operator to carry non-trucking; some motor carriers may provide group programs at a discount.



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