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Step by Step Guide to Getting Your Trucking Insurance

1. Contact Your Motor Carrier Insurance Agent

Trucking insurance isn’t cheap. Shop around and compare agents. Once you have settled on an agent, you will need to supply them with the following information:

  • Number and type of vehicles in your fleet
  • What you intend to haul (cargo/passengers)
  • Where you will be hauling

2. Determine What Coverage You Need

The following are the absolute minimums required by the FMCSA for various types of trucking insurance:

Motor Carrier Insurance:

  • Public liability (bodily injury/property damage/environmental restoration)
  • Freight: $75,000 to $5,000,000 depending on cargo
  • Non-hazardous materials hauled in vehicles under 10,001 ponds: $300,000
  • Passengers: $5,000,000
  • Passenger vehicles with less than 15 person capacity: $1,500,000

Household Goods Motor Carrier:

  • Cargo insurance: $5,000 per vehicle
  • Cargo insurance: $10,000 per occurrence

Hazardous Materials Motor Carrier:

  • Between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 depending on cargo

3. Get the Proper Trucking Insurance Forms

Your agent will supply the proper forms.

4. Make Sure Your Agent Sends Forms to FMCSA

Your Operating Authority will not be approved until your motor carrier insurance paperwork has been received and approved. You cannot send the paperwork yourself. Your agent must sign and send the appropriate paperwork.

Securing motor carrier insurance is required to getting your Operating Authority. Your Operating Authority will not be granted until both your insurance and your BOC-3 form have been submitted and approved.


Different Types of Motor Carrier Insurance

Public Liability

The FMCSA requires a minimum of $750,000 public liability insurance. This covers bodily injury, property damage and environmental restoration. Many shippers and freight forwarders require carriers to have at least $1,000,000 coverage or they will not conduct business with the carrier.


This insures damage to the cargo you haul. Minimum requirements differ depending on the cargo you haul. These limits are usually set by the shipper or freight forwarder.

Physical Damage

This covers damage done to your vehicles while under operation, such as fire, theft, vandalism, wind and hail.


This refers to insurance for damage done to your vehicles when they are not under operation, when they are parked, or when they are in the shop.

Workers Compensation and Medical Benefit

These cover you and your employees in the event of accident or injury that occurs on the job.