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A Division of MTG Insurance

A Division of MTG Insurance

Non-Trucking Liability vs Primary Auto Liability

Mar 18, 2021 | Bobtail Insurance

While incredibly similar, primary auto liability and non-trucking liability are two noticeably different coverages you need to be properly insured as a truck driver. Whether you are an owner operator or a motor carrier, it is guaranteed you will need one, if not both of these coverages.

What is Primary Auto Liability?

Primary auto liability is a required coverage that allows drivers to haul merchandise and other goods as needed. Without the proper filings for primary liability, you cannot legally operate your truck(s). Typically, this coverage is purchased by the motor carrier and provided to the owner operators who are driving for them.

In most situations, primary auto liability insurance will only cover a claim if the driver was under dispatch when the accident occurred. After said claim has been filed with your insurance agency, your primary liability will cover the cost of injury or damage, up to the limit stated in your policy. In addition to primary auto liability, many motor carriers elect to purchase an umbrella policy to cover any costs that exceed the limit stated. This protects the trucking company from financial disarray.

Types of coverages included with primary auto liability insurance:


Property damage


Bodily injury to others


Personal injury


Hospital bills, treatments, and funeral costs


Uninsured / Underinsured motorists

What is Non-Trucking Liability?

Non-trucking liability is much like primary auto liability except non-trucking is purchased by an owner operator, so the driver is covered while using the truck for personal use. Although not required federally, when an owner operator signs an agreement with a motor carrier, it is usually written in the contract that he/she must purchase non-trucking liability. This coverage protects the driver during an incident, but it also protects the motor carrier.

For instance, if you are driving your truck to the carwash and hit another vehicle on your way resulting in damage to your truck and the other vehicle, your primary auto liability insurance would not cover damages to the other vehicle. All expenses would fall on your non-trucking liability insurance.

With a team of experts to walk you through all policies and coverages, Bobtail Insurance Group will make sure that you, as an owner operator or a motor carrier, have the best coverage for you and your drivers. We’ll make sure you understand the importance of primary auto liability and non-trucking liability, so drivers remain covered while on dispatch as well as while driving for personal reasons. Call BIG at 1-833-4-RIG-INS to discuss your options.