Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements
Texas Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements for Motor Carriers are based first on Federal Requirements set by FMCSA.
FMCSA is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which oversees the Department of Transportation.
In order to drive legally, commercial trucks hauling freight for hire across state lines must first register with FMCSA.
FMCSA then assigns you a DOT number.
Proof of minimum Commercial Auto Liability Insurance limits are then required.
Your insurance provider supplies that proof directly to FMCSA with a BMC-91X Filing.
An MCS-90 is the endorsement to your policy which guarantees the insurance.
Once that’s completed you are granted an MC, Motor Carrier operating authority and are legal to haul freight across state lines.
Commercial Auto Liability includes Bodily Injury and Property Damage to others:
Bodily Injury Liability is insurance if you cause an accident that injures or kills someone.
It will pay for their medical bills, rehab, long term care, funeral expenses, lost earnings as well as pain and suffering.
Property Damage Liability is insurance if you damage another person’s property.
It can pay for replacements, repairs on other vehicles, structures or even a pet.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage for commercial trucking is usually in “CSL” or Combined Single Limits.
A Liability claim will only pay up to the CSL limits purchases in your insurance policy.
Requirements for Across State Lines
Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements for Motor Carriers hauling freight for hire across state lines:
$750,000 minimum for Commercial Trucks hauling general freight
$300,000 minimum for Commercial Trucks hauling household goods
$300,000 minimum for Commercial Van and Sprinter Insurance
Additional Coverage Options
Texas Commercial Truck Insurance additional coverage options include:
Uninsured or Underinsured (UM/UIM) Protection covers you and passengers for injuries and damages if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you.
UM/UIM reminburses you for medical bills, lost wages and also pain and suffering resulting from bodily injuries from an accident.
This coverage only applies if the other driver is At Fault and has insufficent or no liability coverage of their own.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provides payments for appropriate benefits if you or anyone else covered under your policy are injured in an accident.
PIP has 3 components
- Medical Benefits for the cost of medical treatment from hospitals and doctors.
- Disability Benefits reimburse you for expenses like lost wages or obtaining services while disabled
- Funeral Benefits if you die as a result of bodily injury sustained in a truck accident.
Medical Payments (MedPay) Protection covers your medical and funeral expenses if you or your passengers are injured in a truck accident.
You will need to choose between PIP OR Med Pay, not both in Texas.
Your Professional Truck Insurance Broker can break down the individual insurance premium cost for each optional coverage.
She will also go over your requirements for Motor Truck Cargo insurance and what is and isn’t covered on your policy.
Taking the time to work with her will help you to understand and purchase the best commercial truck insurance package for you.
Physical Damage Coverage is offered on most Texas Commercial Truck Insurance Policies:
Physical Damage Insurance offers you Collision and Comprehensive (Comp) coverage for your truck.
Collision coverage protects your truck if it’s damaged in an accident.
It also pays to repair or replace the vehicle if it collides with another object, overturns, or rolls.
Comprehensive coverage protects your truck if it’s damaged by something other than a collision with a vehicle or object.
Examples of Comp include theft, damage from falling trees, wind, hail and animal hits.
Physical Damage insurance is based on either the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of the truck or the Stated Amount of your truck.
A Stated Amount valuation should include all permanently attached equipment in your truck.
This can include aftermarket parts, mounted equipment and other permanent modifications.
Remember to include all accessories that work as a part of permanent devices or load securing equipment.
Here’s some examples of permanently attached equipment to consider:
- Custom paint, decals and signage
- Electronics that have been bolted or mounted to your truck
- Coupling devices like 5th wheel receivers
- Equipment and accessories for vacuuming
- Mounted tool boxes, shelving and ladder racking
- Tarps, chains and binders
What makes a truck a commercial vehicle in Texas?
The Texas Administrative Code includes commercial vehicle designation to vehicles or combination of vehicle and trailer at GVW 26,001 lbs or more.
That includes 1 ton Duallys with Trailers commonly used for HotShot trucking when the combination of both exceeds 26,001 lbs.
HotShot Truck insurance usually falls under the $750,000 limit requirement.
[Related Story – What is the Definition of a Commercial Vehicle]
Be sure to remember your obligation to complete your UCR Filing.
Motor Carriers are required to submit annual fees to Unified Carrier Registration, or UCR.
Unified Carrier Registration supports funding for state highway motor carrier registration and safety programs.
The amount of your fee is based on how many trucks you have.
Up to 2 trucks is $37 each and 3-5 trucks is $111 each.
Note that UCR is clear that smaller units like HotShots, Cargo Vans and Sprinters are not necessarily exempt from this fee.
According to the UCR Handbook, page 30…
“Some motor carriers or freight forwarders may operate only vehicles that are not classified as commercial motor vehicles, typically because the vehicles are lighter or carry fewer passengers than vehicles included in the definition of the term commercial motor vehicle. Such a business must register for UCR because these entities have a federal MC number. Because the MC numbers are generated in the federal URS system, a USDOT number will also be issued, but it would ordinarily pay a UCR fee in the lowest bracket, because it operates no commercial motor vehicles.”
If these lightweight vehicles pull trailers in interstate commerce and the gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight is 10,001 or more, the entity will account for all of these commercial motor vehicles and pay the applicable fee.
Here is your UCR Registration Portal.
For more help, just give us a call at CIS.
We’d love to help get you on the road, and start earning money.