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What Do You Need to Know About Motor Truck Cargo Insurance?

Motor truck cargo insurance protects the products you haul for others. While primary liability and physical damage insurance protects your truck and other vehicles, motor truck cargo insurance makes sure that your load is covered too, regardless who may be at fault.

Stripped down to the absolute basics, motor truck cargo coverage is designed to compensate carriers for the losses that result from damaged, destroyed, or even undelivered cargo. You’ll be covered not only for damages incurred in an accident, but also damages that may occur during loading and unloading, mechanical failure, and theft.

Trucking accidents cost over $149,000 on average. Damaged or lost cargo just adds insult to injury on top of already expense accidents. Even if an accident isn’t your fault, you’ll be held financially liable for any damages to property or goods in your custody and care without motor truck cargo insurance. 

The Best Way to Be Prepared: Customize Your Policy

Motor truck cargo coverage is one of the most versatile types of trucking insurance out there. You can dress up your policy any way you like to meet your unique needs. The flexibility of this coverage makes it one of the best buys for any driver, regardless of how safely they operate or how much experience they have.

Most carriers these days require their drivers to maintain motor truck cargo insurance. By purchasing coverage before soliciting new loads, you make yourself a more marketable driver and open the door to more jobs when you invest in this coverage.

Purchasing a minimum limit motor truck cargo insurance policy is simple. But, with a little research and the help of an independent insurance agent, you can affordably broaden your coverage. While you’re looking at insurance companies, make sure you find one that offers a wide selection of optional add-ons and flexible limits.

Some of the best types of motor cargo insurance add-ons include: 

Trailer Interchange Insurance

This coverage pays for any damages to a trailer in your possession during a job. This is a common coverage since most for-hire drivers are operating leased trailers acquired from a carrier. When you sign a trailer interchange contract, you essentially agree to take liability for any damages to the trailer while it’s in your possession.

It is important to note that a physical damage insurance policy does not cover a non-owned trailer. Interchange insurance, also known as non-owned trailer coverage, is a great way to protect yourself from picking the cost of a damaged or destroyed trailer. 

Refrigeration Breakdown Coverage

If something goes wrong while you’re transporting refrigerated cargo, it’s possible for the entire shipment to be spoiled and lost. The wrong temperature can ruin food and render pharmaceuticals useless. If your refrigeration unit breaks down, then this coverage will kick in and cover the loss. 

Earned Freight Coverage

If you’re involved in an accident and cannot complete a job, who is held accountable? In some cases, the owner of the truck (the carrier) is the one who takes responsibility. But, in other cases, the driver may be expected to cover the lost income suffered by the customer.

When cargo loss prevents a shipment from being delivered, earned freight cargo insurance can pay for the customer’s financial loss beyond just the value of the cargo.

Motor Cargo Truck Insurance Isn’t Just About Your Haul

Cargo insurance can also cover lost wages to you and the customer. It picks up where primary liability leaves off, giving you peace of mind and financial security when you’re on the road. Lots of things can go wrong that render a shipment less than satisfactory.

Sometimes, you may not even be aware cargo is damaged until you arrive at your destination. Something could go wrong at the delivery terminal or during cross-docking. When this happens, the right motor truck cargo coverage can reimburse you if were contractually liable.

Cleanup Coverage Can Save You Thousands

Debris removal coverage was originally a type of property insurance in the 1940s, but it has evolved to become one of the most understated but beneficial forms of cargo insurance. The cost of cleaning up a dumped load can run into the thousands of dollars. Cleanup coverage will keep you from paying out of pocket. 

Owner-Operators Who Broker Freight Can Easily Extend Their Coverage

Despite the versatility of motor truck cargo coverage, there are exclusions. If a trucking company decides to start brokering freight as well, the owner might decide to invest in contingent cargo insurance. This coverage extends to cover the costs of damages incurred during storing, packaging, transport, and delivery.

Motor cargo insurance is an excellent form of risk management for drivers and carriers alike. After all, cargo is at the center of the transportation industry. Working with an independent insurance agent specializing in the trucking industry can recommend the right coverages and to accommodate various jobs and your changing needs.