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General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, often abbreviated as GL insurance, is a critical component of a well-rounded insurance portfolio

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, often abbreviated as GL insurance, is a critical component of a well-rounded insurance portfolio, providing protection against various liability-related risks. Business owners typically get general liability insurance to address a wide range of scenarios, from accidents to personal and advertising injury. In the commercial trucking industry, a general liability insurance policy provides protection against third-party liabilities arising from non-trucking operations. While general liability insurance coverage is not the primary insurance for the trucks themselves, it is essential for addressing liabilities that may arise outside of the direct operation of commercial vehicles.

General Liability Insurance for Commercial Trucking

General liability insurance coverage is a type of business insurance that protects against claims of property damage, third-party bodily injury, reputational harm, advertising injury, and other untoward incidents. It covers medical costs, legal defense costs, and repairs. General liability insurance protects you financially if you’re ever held responsible for damaging someone else’s property or causing an injury. Even low-risk businesses can benefit from this kind of business insurance policy because it can help pay for repairs to the other person’s property, medical bills, and even legal fees if you’re sued.

The Importance of General Liability Policies for Commercial Trucking

General liability insurance policies play a crucial role in providing protection against third-party liabilities arising from the operation of commercial trucks. This form of business insurance is essential for small business owners and large companies involved in the transportation of goods, as it helps mitigate financial risks.

The Role of General Liability Insurance in Commercial Trucking

Third-Party Liability Coverage

General liability insurance for commercial trucking provides coverage for liabilities that a business may be legally responsible for as a result of its trucking operations, such as:

  • Legal defense costs: The insurance helps cover legal defense costs in the event of a lawsuit. This includes attorney fees, court costs, and other legal expenses incurred in defending against third-party claims.

  • Bodily injury coverage: If a commercial truck is involved in an accident that causes bodily injury to individuals who are not employees of the business, general liability insurance policies help cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and potential liability for pain and suffering.

  • Property damage coverage: In the event of an accident where the commercial truck causes damage to third-party property, such as other vehicles or structures, general liability insurance provides coverage for the cost of repairs or replacement

  • Loading and unloading liability: GL insurance may include coverage for liabilities related to the loading and unloading of cargo. This can be important for businesses involved in the transportation and logistics industry.

  • Contractual requirements: Many contracts and agreements in the commercial trucking industry require proof of general liability insurance. Having this coverage helps businesses meet contractual obligations and maintain positive relationships with clients, shippers, and other stakeholders.

  • Limits and deductibles: Policies have coverage limits that indicate the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for covered claims. Deductibles may also apply, representing the amount the business must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage takes effect.

  • Complementary coverage: General liability insurance for commercial trucking is often complemented by other types of insurance, such as commercial auto insurance, cargo insurance, and other specialized coverages. Insurance agents offer additional insurance to provide a comprehensive risk management strategy for businesses in the trucking industry.

Given the unique risks associated with the operation of commercial trucks, businesses engaged in trucking and transportation are often required to carry a combination of insurance coverages to adequately protect against various liabilities. Compliance with state and federal regulations regarding insurance requirements for commercial trucking is also a critical consideration for businesses in this industry.

What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?

GL insurance is a foundational component of business insurance and addresses a wide range of potential risks.

The Main Areas of General Liability Insurance Coverage

  • Bodily injury: This aspect of general liability insurance coverage comes into play when someone sustains physical harm on your business premises or as a result of your business operations. For instance, if a customer slips and falls in your store, injuring themselves, your general liability insurance can help cover medical payments.
  • Damage to property: If your business causes damage to someone else’s property, such as a customer’s property, your general liability insurance coverage can step in to cover the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged property.
  • Damage to rented premises: If you rent a facility for your business and it gets damaged, GL insurance can cover the costs of repairs and replacements. Most landlords require this type of business owners’ policy as part of the lease.
  • Personal Injury: A general liability claim may arise from non-physical harm, such as defamation, libel, slander, or invasion of privacy. A GL insurance policy can cover legal costs and damages related to these types of claims.Advertising injury is a coverage component under GL insurance that protects businesses from certain liabilities related to their advertising and promotional activities. Specifically, advertising injury coverage is designed to provide coverage for claims arising from specific offenses committed in the course of advertising, marketing, or promoting the business.
  • Medical Payments: This aspect of GL insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses incurred by someone who is injured on your business premises, regardless of fault. It can help avoid lawsuits by addressing medical bills promptly.

It’s important to note that general liability insurance has policy limits, which are the maximum amounts the insurer will pay for covered claims. Additionally, deductibles may apply, which are the amounts a business must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. It would also cover any legal fees that might come up as a result of the accident, which can be quite expensive. 

Is General Liability Insurance Required for Commercial Truckers?

While general liability insurance is not generally required under federal law, it’s important to note that the trucking industry is highly regulated, and insurance requirements can vary based on the type of trucking operation and commodities being transported. However, certain types of insurance may be mandatory for commercial truckers under state laws and federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires cargo insurance, public liability, and other endorsements depending on the type of freight. There may be minimum insurance requirements for interstate trucking operations depending on cargo type and vehicle weight. It’s also worth noting that while the FMCSA has cargo insurance requirements for interstate carriers, certain states may also have their own specific requirements and regulations.

Key Insurance Requirements for Commercial Truckers

Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

Commercial truckers are typically required to have commercial auto liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage liabilities resulting from accidents involving their commercial vehicles.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Insurance

Coverage for bodily injury and property damage liabilities is a standard requirement for commercial truckers. It helps protect against claims arising from accidents involving the trucker’s operations.

State Regulations

State regulations may set minimum insurance requirements for intrastate trucking operations, which can vary.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In many states, commercial trucking companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits for employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. Worker’s compensation requirements vary by state, and exemptions may apply to certain small businesses or owner-operators.

Federal and State Filings

Truckers engaged in interstate commerce may be required to file certain forms to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility with the FMCSA. Some states also require specific insurance filings to operate within their jurisdictions.

Why Get General Liability Insurance for Commercial Trucking?

Every trucking company needs general liability insurance because it will protect the business financially when things don’t go according to plan. For example, if a trucker causes an accident, GL insurance will cover the legal fees associated with a potential lawsuit. It can also cover the costs of professional mistakes and any damage caused. While general liability insurance is not required under law, business owners know that many clients, brokers, lessors, and shippers require this type of policy.

The Benefits of General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance gives commercial truckers with peace of mind by offering enhanced protection and coverage for various liabilities that may arise during the course of their operations. Here’s how general liability insurance contributes to peace of mind for commercial truckers:

Financial protection

General liability is a form of business insurance that provides financial protection by covering the costs associated with legal liabilities. In the event of a covered claim, the insurance helps pay for legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments, reducing the financial burden on trucking companies and small business owners.

Third-Party Liability Coverage

Commercial truckers are exposed to various risks on the road, including accidents that may result in bodily injury or property damage to third parties. General liability insurance covers these liabilities, ensuring that the trucking business is financially equipped to address claims from individuals or other businesses affected by the trucking operations.

Legal Defense Costs

Facing a lawsuit can be a stressful experience for any business. General liability insurance helps ease this stress by covering legal defense costs. Truckers can rely on the insurance carrier to handle legal proceedings, including hiring attorneys and covering associated expenses.

Property Damage Coverage

Accidents involving commercial trucks can lead to property damage to other vehicles or structures. General liability insurance helps cover the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged property, offering peace of mind to truckers knowing that they have financial protection against property damage claims.

Loading and Unloading Liability

General liability insurance may extend coverage to liabilities related to the loading and unloading of cargo. This is particularly important for truckers involved in transporting goods, providing assurance that potential risks during these activities are addressed.

Contractual Assurance

Many contracts and agreements in the trucking industry require proof of insurance coverage. Having general liability insurance ensures that truckers can meet contractual obligations, enhancing their credibility and providing peace of mind when entering into business relationships.

Risk Management

By proactively managing and addressing potential liabilities, general liability insurance becomes a key component of an overall risk management strategy. This proactive approach helps truckers feel more confident about their ability to handle unforeseen events and liabilities.

Customer Confidence

Having general liability insurance can instill confidence in customers and clients. It signals that the trucking business is financially responsible and prepared to handle any liabilities that may arise during the course of its operations.

Compliance with Regulations

Trucking businesses are often subject to state and federal regulations that require a certain level of insurance coverage. Having general liability insurance ensures compliance with these regulations, eliminating concerns about legal penalties or fines. Overall, general liability insurance serves as a safety net for commercial truckers, providing a layer of financial protection and support that allows them to focus on their operations with greater peace of mind. This helps mitigate the potential financial and legal consequences of unforeseen events, offering reassurance in a highly regulated and risk-prone industry.

How Much Does General Liability Cost for a Commercial Trucking Company?

When purchasing a commercial general liability insurance policy, the amount of coverage will depend on business size and scope, as well as the types of products to be transported.  For example, of you transport hazardous materials, you may require a higher level of general liability coverage than another commercial trucking company that transports non-hazardous materials.  Likewise, if plan to cross borders and state lines, you may also need to invest in a higher level of coverage.  General liability insurance cost also varies with location, coverage limits, deductible, claims history, and other risk factors. It can be challenging to provide a specific cost for general inquiries because of these variables.

General Liability Insurance Cost for Truckers

Loss history refers to a record of incidents and claims related to damage, loss, or theft of cargo during transit. This history provides a comprehensive overview of cargo-related losses that a trucking company has experienced over a specified period. It is a critical factor considered by insurance underwriters when determining insurance premiums and coverage terms for cargo insurance policies. Key aspects include:

  • Size and Scale: Larger trucking companies with more vehicles, employees, and higher revenue may face higher premiums due to the increased exposure to liability risks.
  • Operations and Services: The specific services offered by the trucking company, such as long-haul transportation, local delivery, or specialized hauling, can impact insurance costs.
  • Coverage Limits: The limits of liability coverage chosen by the trucking company will affect the premium. Higher coverage limits generally result in higher premiums.
  • Claims History: A company’s claims history, including any past liability claims, can influence insurance premiums. A good claims history may lead to lower premiums.
  • Safety Measures: Implementing robust safety measures, driver training programs, and risk management practices can positively impact insurance costs.
  • Deductibles: The deductible chosen by the trucking company can affect the premium. Higher deductibles may lead to lower premiums but also mean higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.
  • Location: The location of the trucking company and the areas where it operates can influence insurance costs. Some regions may have higher insurance premiums due to factors such as traffic density, accident rates, and legal considerations.
  • Industry Regulations: Compliance with industry regulations, including those set by the FMCSA, can impact insurance costs.

You may request a general liability insurance quote to get a better idea of the costs. Get in touch with an insurance agent to get an estimate as well as information on general liability policy limits for your business. 

It’s important for trucking companies to work with an insurance agent who specializes in transportation insurance to obtain accurate quotes based on their specific circumstances.

Insurance agents may offer tailored packages that include a combination of general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, cargo insurance, and other coverages to address the diverse risks faced by trucking businesses.

How Else Can I Protect My Trucking Business?

Additional insurance can help provide comprehensive protection for commercial trucking companies:

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance covers cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles that are used for business. This typically covers vehicle damage due to collisions and weather conditions as well as theft and vandalism. It also covers the medical expenses of any injured parties.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance covers goods that must be transported. It protects truckers against any potential loss or damage to the cargo as they transport it on behalf of clients. This policy will cover you if your cargo gets lost, stolen, or damaged while in transit. For instance, if your cargo gets stolen, your cargo insurance will cover the cost of replacing the lost goods. Cargo insurance costs may vary depending on the value of the goods. However, it typically costs a small percentage of the total value of your shipment. 

Bobtail insurance

Bobtail insurance provides coverage in instance where you must operate a trailer vehicle that isn’t fitted with the trailer. This policy provides protection in case of an accident that may cause property damage or bodily harm. It typically covers medical bills, legal fees, and settlement costs.

Non-Trucking Liability

This policy protects your business against incidents that take place when your business truck is used for personal errands and other non-business related activities. Since the truck is not being used for business purposes, you won’t be covered during an accident and other untoward events unless you have non-trucking liability insurance.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage protects your trucking company if your truck and trailer get damaged due to theft, fire, vandalism, or other physical losses that are unrelated to collisions.

General Liability Insurance Policy for Financial Protection

In a dynamic industry like commercial trucking, uncertainty is a constant companion. However, you can take proactive steps to mitigate risks and protect your interests. General liability insurance is a powerful tool in this regard, offering financial support and peace of mind when it’s needed most. With general liability insurance in place, you are better equipped to handle unexpected situations, from accidents on the premises to legal disputes. This coverage not only shields against property damage and bodily injury incidents but also extends its protective embrace to personal injury claims and medical payments.

How to Get General Liability Insurance

Choosing the right insurance company is a crucial step in making general liability insurance work effectively for commercial trucking. The selection of an insurance provider can significantly impact the coverage, support, and overall experience that a large or small business receives. The right insurance company understands that commercial truckers have unique risks and exposures. They work with clients to tailor business insurance coverage to specific needs, ensuring that the policy addresses the particular risks associated with the industry, operations, and size of the business. In addition to providing a general liability insurance quote, they will also discuss your policy coverage in detail, offering as much information as possible to help your determine which coverage limits are appropriate for your needs.


When it comes down to it, GL insurance is not just an optional add-on; it is a fundamental asset that every trucking company should consider. It’s a safety net that allows businesses to navigate the complexities of commercial trucking with confidence. Whether you’re a small business or a well-established corporation, general liability should be an integral part of your risk management strategy. To take the first step towards safeguarding your dreams, simply click the Request a Quote button to fill out our quick and easy quote form. Whether you’re seeking personalized advice and tailored solutions, or are ready to get general liability insurance, we’re here to help. Alternatively, you can reach out to our dedicated expert, Ashish, at ash@dreamassurancegroup.com via email and ask any questions you may have about general liability coverage. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back; embrace the assurance of tomorrow, today.