Primary Liability vs General Liability: What’s the Difference?

What is Primary Liability Insurance in Trucking?

With almost 51 million tons of freight handled by road every day, trucks are unquestionably important to the country’s economy. Due to the enormous area of our country and the great prevalence of road freight, owning and operating a truck carries a lot of risks, and reliable commercial truck insurance coverage from providers like SoCal Truck Insurance is what you’ll need.

Those who rely on their truck or fleet for a living benefit from having the appropriate insurance in place to ensure that they are protected in the event of an accident. When it comes to insurance, owning and operating a truck or fleet of vehicles is very similar to owning and operating a car.

Primary Liability Vs. General Liability

Now, the question is, what kind of insurance does an owner-operator need? General liability insurance is frequently mistaken for primary liability insurance, but there is a significant distinction. Accidents that occur off the road are covered by general liability.

Someone slipping and falling at your headquarters or office is an example of something general liability would cover. Primary liability insurance, on the other hand, would not. Primary liability protects you while you’re on the road.

Let’s take a closer look at these two below.

What is Primary Liability Insurance?

Any decent commercial vehicle insurance policy starts with primary liability insurance. Because this form of insurance is the very minimum required to operate a trucking and transportation business, you should think about other ways to protect your vehicle and cargo. Damage to your own vehicle or the goods being transported is not covered by primary liability insurance.

Remember that the damage caused by your equipment is covered by Primary Liability Insurance in the event of an accident. This includes paying for any damage to public property or injury to other drivers involved in the accident.

Fire, theft, vandalism, and other disasters are not covered by primary liability insurance. Without additional policies to safeguard your other valuable assets, your truck, trailer, and cargo are also at risk.

Primary Liability Requirements for Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) establishes the minimum amount of main liability insurance. The following minimums apply to trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds:

  • $750,000– Most trucks transporting most goods must have a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage.
  • Many load brokers will demand a deposit of at least $1,000,000.
  • $1,000,000 – Auto haulers must have a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance.
  • Coverage of one million dollars is becoming the industry standard for other transported commodities as well.
  • $5,000,000– You’ll require a minimum of $5,000,000 in coverage if you’re transporting certain hazardous chemicals.

What’s Not Included?

You and your truck aren’t covered by primary liability insurance. Theft, personal injury, or damage to your truck are not covered. Its sole purpose is to compensate you for any harm you may cause to others or their property.

General Liability Insurance is frequently mistaken for Primary Liability Insurance. There is a significant distinction. Accidents that occur off the road are covered by General Liability. Someone slipping and falling at your headquarters is an illustration of what general liability might cover.

That is something that your primary liability insurance will not cover. It protects you while you’re driving.

What is General Liability Insurance?

Customer injury, customer property damage, and advertising injury are all covered by general liability insurance. It helps you qualify for leases and contracts while also protecting your small business from the hefty expenses of lawsuits.

Small trucking companies suffer the same liabilities as any other small business, in addition to the dangers of running a truck. This includes unintentional customer injury and property damage.

The most prevalent sorts of third-party injuries and accidents are covered by general liability insurance.

This policy covers the following types of liabilities:

  • Injuries to customers
  • Property damage to customers
  • Infringement of copyright and other advertising injuries

General Liability Claims

The following are some types of claims that may be covered by General Liability Insurance:

  • A seller slips and falls in a terminal, injuring himself.
  • A driver uses a forklift to assist with unloading and damages another trailer
  • The company is being sued for slander for making false accusations against a competitor
  • The company uses the logo or slogan of another trademarked brand and is sued
  • The company is being sued for using the logo or slogan of another trademarked brand
  • The company is being sued for using the logo or slogan of another trademarked brand
  • The company is being sued for using the logo or slogan of another trademarked brand
  • The fuel was delivered to the wrong tanks by a fuel truck, causing engine damage to multiple vehicles.

General Liability and Customer Property Damage

Even a minor blunder can be costly in the trucking industry. When client property is harmed, general liability insurance covers your business. If a trucker, for example, drops big boxes onto flimsy shelving at a client’s business and smashes it, your general liability coverage may cover the expense of replacing it.

Limits of General Liability Insurance

Typical general liability insurance has a per-occurrence limit of $1 million and a total limit of $2 million. This implies you have a maximum of $1 million in coverage for each individual claim and a total of $2 million in potential coverage over the course of the policy year.

Most trucking businesses’ General Liability policies are significantly less expensive than their Auto Liability policies, but they cover a much wider risk than most people believe. As a result, General Liability should be a key component of every trucking company’s risk management strategy.

Protect Your Truck and Investments

Purchasing primary liability insurance and general liability insurance is essential and a good start. We cover more commercial vehicles in the trucking business at SoCal Truck Insurance, so you can focus on getting the job done.

Let’s discuss the best insurance options for your trucking business, email us at [email protected] or contact our team at 888-891-4304 at SoCal Truck Insurance today!