Whether you work as a semi-truck driver or own a business that utilizes one or more commercial transport vehicles, it's a good idea to get commercial truck insurance to protect yourself and your fleet in the event of a collision. Each state has different requirements for commercial truck insurance, so it's a good idea to read the guidelines for your state and familiarize yourself with them. |
In addition to the state guidelines, there are also federal requirements that apply to all drivers, regardless of their location. These guidelines govern issues such as physical fitness, minimum age limits, written testing, practical driving tests, licenses, transportation of hazardous materials, and traffic violations. They also set forth requirements for how much the deductible will be. There are some specific factors that will trigger a requirement for a higher amount of liability coverage.
Regarding the transportation of hazardous materials, the federal rules require higher deductibles and premiums for such drivers. This is done to establish financial responsibility and insure that the driver or company will have the means to pay their deductible or court costs in the event of an accident. For vehicles that carry hazardous materials, $5 million worth of liability coverage is required, as opposed to only $75,000 for vehicles that transport non-hazardous materials.
Similarly, additional liability coverage may also be required for drivers or companies who travel interstate, as opposed to those who only drive within one particular state. Semi trucks that cross state lines to transport goods must be insured at a higher amount than those who do not. This is true regardless of whether or not the materials are hazardous.
Although the amounts discussed above may sound astronomical, it is important to get the appropriate commercial truck insurance, either in the form of liability coverage or a surety bond. Additionally, proof of insurance must be kept in two places. First, proof must be kept within the vehicle itself. It will be needed if the vehicle is pulled over or involved in an accident. Additionally, proof must be kept at the main business office of the company or corporation utilizing the vehicle.
If the authorities discover that you are not keeping proof of your commercial truck insurance in these two places, it could have severe consequences. It might trigger an investigation of the vehicle and all of its contents, as well as record keeping by the federal government. If the vehicle is stopped in Mexico or Canada, the driver may also be barred from reentering the United States. Other potential penalties include state and federal fines, loss of the operator's driver's license, and civil or criminal liability.
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