Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

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Truckers need Primary Commercial Auto Liability Insurance to legally haul freight for hire.    

If you cause an accident while driving your truck, this coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage to others.

Commercial Auto Liability coverage you need depends on your...

So while Commercial Auto Liability protects other people, your benefit is that in most truck accidents the limits you purchase covers the cost of a typical claim against you.

This is because the FMCSA required insurance limits are higher than typical auto insurance.

While there are certainly catastrophic truck insurance claims out there, most claims are settled within your insurance policy limits so that you aren’t personally sued

Think About It...

You're in the right hand lane driving in heavy traffic when a speeding car weaves in front of you and out again to pass the slow car in the left lane.

The driver of the slow car panics and pulls into your lane, causing your front left bumper to spin him out of control back into his lane with other oncoming traffic.

Highway patrol writes up the accident as everyone’s fault.

Think of Liability as "you're liable to get sued".

Primary Commercial Auto Liability pays 24/7 for bodily injury and property to others.


General Liability is not a required insurance coverage by FMCSA or your state.

However, your customers might request that you carry General Liability because it covers delivery accidents that can happen during loading and unloading or other claims outside of actual driving.

Even if your customer does not require it, are there other reasons for you to pick up a General Liability policy?

In our Think About It trucking accident example above, the personal injury and property damage you may have caused while driving would fall under your Primary Commercial Auto Liability policy.

But let’s take the storyline further.  Let’s say that after the accident you get out of your truck in the attempt to give aid to someone who was injured, but cause further injury in the process?

Perhaps you’re exhausted after the accident, drink and smoke more than you should have and fall asleep in your motel room causing a fire?

What if it’s not you driving the truck at all, but a driver you’ve hired with a less than sterling driving record or other questionable history?

Attorneys can be far more creative in launching lawsuits against truckers.

In these cases and more, a General Liability policy would defend you for lawsuits for things that can happen while NOT operating your truck.


Watch this video to learn more about the difference between commercial auto liability vs general liability 

With larger trucks, the answer is No because your Motor Carrier will provide the Primary Commercial Auto Liability and you will provide your own NonTrucking Liability policy.  However, there is a grey area with smaller units and types of contracts which require you to carry your own Primary Commercial Auto Liability and list the Motor Carrier as Additional Insured.


We’ve been with CIS since March of 2012.  They’ve saved us tons of stress over Commercial Auto Liability coverage and rates.  Very competitive and they certainly take the extra steps to make sure we are well informed, covered, legal & safe.  I stopped even shopping years ago.  It doesn’t take long, talking to other brokers to tell that all other brokers have no interest in doing the extra work that CIS does.  Thanks a ton Shelly, John, Christina, Kelly & Rachel!  FIVE STARS!!!