Trucking Insurance 101 - Motor Truck General Liability Insurance

Trucking Insurance 101: Motor Truck General Liability Insurance

As a part of this trucking insurance series, we thought it appropriate to include one of the most popular (but no less necessary) forms of trucking insurance – Motor Truck General Liability Insurance. This type of insurance is meant for truck owners/operators and is a growing requirement by many different employers and carriers. Make sure you understand exactly what incidences are covered under this insurance to figure out whether or not it’s right for you and your business.

Motor Truck General Liability Insurance: Definition

There are so many risks you encounter in the trucking industry. Accidents, failing machinery, and damaged cargo are a few among many instances which can land in you an unfortunate (and costly) situation. This is the obvious reason as to why trucking insurance is necessary.

However, not all damages from a trucker’s contribution may be from his driving activities. What do you do when damages and injuries are caused by business activities not directly related to operating your truck? This is the precise reason the Motor Truck General Liability Insurance exists: to protect you from business activity inflicted damages not related to your truck operations.


It’s a little bit of a tricky topic to understand. How does a driver get held accountable for damages inflicted due to his business activities (as a trucker) that are not directly related to his trucking…? Well, here’s a possible scenario:

You’re a truck driver transporting blue colored pellets to a facility. Upon your arrival, you empty the pellets into (what you perceived to be) the correct pile. That pile of pellets gets run through a machine for processing and the wrong colored pellets destroy the product.

Turns out you emptied the blue pellets in the red pellets bin. The incident, therefore, was your fault. However, it was not directly related to the activity of operating the truck. This is one of many instances which general liability insurance covers.

Who is Responsible for Purchase?

While it may vary depending on who you are working for, it is almost always considered the responsibility of the truck operator to purchase general liability insurance.

Is Motor Truck General Liability Insurance Required?

Yes and no! Once again, it depends.

This type of insurance never used to be required. However, as more complicated situations and claims are arising, truckers are finding that more and more carriers/employers are requiring their truck owners/operators to have general liability insurance.

While it’s safest to just purchase the insurance and get on with life, have a conversation with your carrier(s) about whether or not they require it.


General liability insurance covers a wide range of incidences. In general, the insurance comes into effect when damages or injuries are caused by a trucker’s business activity, but it is not directly related to his driving or operating activities. This has a wide array of applicable situations, which is why it’s important to play it safe and purchase the insurance.

As always, please reach out to one of our team members if you have any questions on this or related topics! We’ve dealt extensively with cargo insurance in the past and are willing to help in any way we can!


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