Understanding Owner Operator Truck General Liability

by | Apr 9, 2018 | Articles, Risky Business Truck Insurance Advice, Shelly's CIS Truck Insurance 101

So Picture This:  You’ve advertised for a driver (using a logo your creative nephew designed) and as the new driver is making his delivery to your customer he’s also gossiping dirt about a competitor.  He’s in a hurry because he wants to catch another load that day so he “helps out” the customer by using their company forklift.   (Later that day the load he placed ends up tipping over and injuring a company employee.)  As he drives away he gets pulled over for speeding and then DUI because it turns out he was using illegal drugs for some chronic back pain that keeps cropping up.  In despair, he rents a room at the Motel 8, lights a cigarette and falls asleep…catching the room on fire.

Now not all of your drivers have dark clouds over their heads.  You also have a super good driver  – YOU:)   What’s weird, though, is you ran into a truck stop for a few minutes and came out to an unfortunate altercation with some crazy guy trying to graffiti your truck.   That took an hour for the police to arrive, so during that time you helped out a local trucker by selling him a spare tire and even adjusting his brakes for free just so he could make it home.  (Later that day the spare tire blew and the brakes couldn’t compensate causing a serious accident.)   To top it off, when you get back to your place you find out someone stopped in looking for a job and promptly slipped and fell…then called paramedics, of course.

Well here’s what Owner Operator Truck General Liability would do for you:

  1. That great logo your Nephew “thought of” actually came to him because he apparently saw it somewhere on the internet and now that company is suing you for pirating their logo…but you’re covered under Advertising Liability.
  2. When your driver trash talked your competitor there were a lot of people around, and well, that company is now suing you…but you’re covered for Libel and Slander.
  3. Loading and Unloading with that company forklift caused incorrect delivery of the product and then injury…you’re covered under Products/Completed Operations and Bodily Injury/Property Damage.
  4. You thought you did your due diligence in drug testing your driver, but now you’re being sued for negligent hiring.  Cases certainly differ, but you should have some protection with a Truck General Liability policy.
  5. The Motel 8 is not happy about the little fire your driver started, but you have coverage under Damage to Premises Rented to You.
  6. Thankfully now that your driver has been fired:) you can concentrate on YOU! Well, it turns out the crazy guy who attempted to mark up your truck with graffiti has a brother who is a starving attorney and figured out you have a little money set aside.  He is now suing you for giving his bro a well-deserved black eye.  Your Truck General Liability policy covers you for Bodily Injury that results from using self-defense to protect people OR your property.
  7. In today’s world no good deed goes unpunished because no one seems to care that you were trying to help out the poor local driver with his tire and brakes.   Attorneys are now trolling for compensation from any source for the serious accident that occurred. Your Truck General Liability policy insures you in these vicarious cases that can occur because of someone else’s auto accident.
  8. The Slip and Fall job seeker? Ah, Medical Payments.  This is the typically “$5,000” you see on all kinds of policies including Truck General Liability and Homeowner’s Insurance.  It’s “No Fault” insurance for minor injuries that can occur to others while on your property. (IMO this is the loose change insurance companies throw around to make lawsuits go away:)

Well Congratulations!  You’ve just mastered the key elements in Understanding Owner Operator Truck General Liability!

Here’s how you typically may see it on an “Acord” Certificate of Liability form:

Owner Operator Eddie Munster Truck General Liability Certificate

Shelly Benisch, CIC, TRS

Commercial Insurance Solutions Inc. (CIS)

Shelly’s CIS Truck Insurance 101 is a blog series designed for simple explanations of basic truck insurance coverage for Owner Operators and small Motor Carriers.

Today’s blog “Understanding Owner Operator Truck General Liability Insurance” is third in the series. 

The first blog in the series is “Understanding Owner Operator Phys Dam Insurance.”

The second blog in the series is “Understanding Owner Operator Commercial Auto Liability Insurance.”

Please contact me directly at Shelly@myCISagent.com with any questions or suggestions for future topics.

….And Thanks for sharing this educational chain because I’ve found that sometimes people are  embarrassed to ask questions about their insurance…kind of like I am about driving a truck:)


Hey!  Also be sure to check out Sean Lyden’s awesome trucking educational series on E.O. “What You Need to Know.”


Murray Freeman
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Best insurance agents we have ever used, been in the business over 15 years and never had agents as attentive and helpful as these. Recommended 100%.

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As a new owner operator I had a ton of questions and the Team at CIS were super helpful getting them answered and setting me up with the appropriate coverage for my business. As...

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