What is Bobtail Insurance?

Driving your 18-wheeler without the trailer attached is known as bobtailing or, more commonly, deadheading. 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 insurance.

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

  • Bobtail insurance provides liability coverage when you are driving your semi without the trailer regardless whether or not you are under dispatch
  • Bobtail coverage would apply when you drive your big rig without its cargo trailer to and from the terminal
  • Bobtail insurance also would apply when you are traveling between loads without the trailer attached.

What is Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Bobtail liability insurance often is confused with non-trucking liability insurance, but there are a few important differences. They include:

  • 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.

Which One and How Much Will They Cost

Generally, trucking companies will require their independent big rig drivers to carry Bobtail insurance since it’s common for them to drive their 18 wheelers without their trailers but under dispatch.

Non-trucking liability insurance is not as common but still usually required by most commercial motor carriers since independent semi operators often drive their big rigs without trailers on personal trips.

Overall, Bobtail provides wider coverage than non-trucking liability and usually is more costly. The most requested coverage is the $1 million limit, but higher limits are available. Your cost will depend on the amount of coverage you carry for each but plan on spending more for bobtail coverage than non-trucking liability.

What Now and Where To Buy Coverage

Remember: Before you buy either coverage, check with your motor carrier on which coverage is required and how much it costs. Then contact a professional trucking insurance agent with extensive knowledge of the trucking industry for a quote. You can save a lot of time and money working with a pro.

Roemer-Insurance.com has experienced bobtail and non-trucking liability insurance experts who can provide coverage to individual big rig drivers or to a group-leased operator plan. Give us a call today or fill out a quote online.

Here are 3 easy ways to get a semi truck quote from Roemer Insurance:

1. Call [419] 475 - 5151

2. Owner/operators: Fill out the online quote form here or email:

  • Kim Astelk: kastelk@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 292
  • Alexis McNally: mcnallya@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 248
  • Jessica Shuman: shumanj@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 218

3. Have own authority? Fill out the online quote form here or email:

  • Lisa Louk: loukl@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 302
  • Brittany Murray: murrayb@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 230
  • Wendy Sallows: sallowsw@roemer-insurance.com Ext. 223

p.: 419-475-5151 • fax: 419-475-8750 • 3912 Sunforest Court, PO Box 8730, Toledo, OH 43612

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