When you are on the road of Texas with a commercial or personal vehicle. You need to meet certain responsibilities to operate in the state lawfully. Commercial truck insurance is one of the requirements that you have to carry if you want to move around the state without stoppage.
Trucks are prone to accidents and damaging other vehicles as well. Being heavier than other vehicles on the road, a potential collision can cause grave damage to the people and their property. When such incidents occur you not only have to experience an inordinate loss of money that need to patch things up but are also likely to get into a lawsuit.
You cannot avoid these unexpected incidents but you can opt for financial support that helps you in meeting such huge costs. Commercial truck insurance offers great support when such unforeseen events put a barrier to your business operations.
What is commercial truck insurance? What is its requirement in Texas?
Commercial truck insurance covers heavy trucks and other commercial vehicles from collision, damages, liability, and medical bills. The type of coverage and the minimum requirement vary from state to state.
The insurance policy pays for the damages to your vehicle after a collision with another object (poles or trees) or other truck. If you have a truck insurance policy that offers coverage for such incidents then you can claim it and get the payment from your insurance company at the earliest.
When we talk about Texas, you are well aware that it has a couple of rules and regulations in the transportation industry. You need to understand what sort of requirement you need to meet when you look for commercial truck insurance.
Amount of your vehicle coverage
The first thing you need to understand is the requirement of your state. Some areas require a trucker to have $30000 of liability coverage. This cover includes all sorts of property damage and physical injury.
If you have injured more than one person in an accident then your insurer will pay you more amount to cover the cost incurred.
Type of truck/vehicle
A commercial vehicle in Texas is used for many purposes and it can exceed 10,000 pounds of GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). In case large vans, pickup trucks, motorhomes, buses, and heavy vehicles are converted into cargo or service trucks for hire then this also comes under commercial.
All profit making vehicles in Texas need to carry a particular type of insurance that highly depends on their usage or the purpose they are used for. All such vehicles in Texas should be registered with the DMV (department of motor vehicles) before operating on the road.
Penalty and fine
Having commercial truck insurance is a mandate in Texas. If you don’t carry it then you can be fined $5000 or even more. This amount will depend on the level of violation you do. The severe violation will result in hefty fines.
If your commercial truck met with an accident without an appropriate or lapsed insurance policy. Then you will be convicted in jail for up to 6 months or get $2000 fined. If you will be found guilty of driving a commercial vehicle without the minimum insurance coverage. Then you can be confined for up to two years or fined $10,000. Additionally, you will have to pay $250 each day until you get proper truck insurance. This can put a heavy financial strain on your monetary health.
Purpose of insurance
The main purpose of carrying insurance is to protect innocent people and the public from the likely damages and liability that result from your commercial vehicle.
Liability coverage is a must
The requirement for commercial truck insurance in the state of Texas is pretty simple. You must have got a rough idea about it till now. All the trucks that are operated for commercial purposes must carry liability coverage and this is the minimum requirement of the state law. When you buy liability coverage, consider including the following as well:
- Collision should cover all the potential damages to your truck.
- Comprehensive coverage should protect from vandalism or theft.
- Medical payments should include bodily injury of own passengers or third-party after an accident.
If you don’t have adequate coverage then you will be held liable to pay for all the damages that occurred from an accident.
Accident fatality rate
Accidents caused by trucks and other heavy vehicles are one of the severe problems in Texas. According to the latest statistics, trucking accidents in the state of Texas exceeded 20,000 in the year 2021. These accidents resulted in 17000 injuries and 1700 fatalities. In addition to this, these mishaps caused $1 billion of property damage.
The common cause of truck accidents is distracted driving or driver lethargy. When a trucker drives for longer hours without break or doesn’t take enough sleep they tend to feel fatigued and get unfocussed from the driving resulting in severe accidents.
Of course, you should follow the predetermined rules of your employer but getting needed rest is as important as reaching your destination on time. Not getting rest can cause grave problems.
Whether you are driving your personal vehicle for commercial purposes or hired to move the shipment on behalf of a business in a truck. You should carry the required commercial truck insurance with you to operate without any interruption on the road.
Not every trucker must carry the same policy coverage because every vehicle has a different sort of insurance need. For example, if you are operating a commercial vehicle for profit then you have to carry minimum liability insurance. Whereas if you are driving your personal car to move to another city or location then you don’t need to have liability insurance.
Furthermore, if you are running a shop for making profits as a contract hauler then you will surely need insurance coverage that should meet the least requirement in the state of Texas.
If you are unsure about what applies to you then contact your insurer who can help you decide what fits you the best.