All commercial trucks on Florida roads must have commercial trucking insurance; that is the law. Driving without commercial trucking insurance is a criminal offense associated with serious penalties for the truck driver and the truck owner. Like all other states, Florida commercial truck insurance requirements and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have specific insurance requirements for commercial trucks. Florida also has special insurance requirements for trucks that haul different types of cargo.
Minimum Liability Coverage
All drivers in Florida must carry the minimum liability of insurance of at least $10K, but the minimum liability insurance requirements are higher for commercial truck drivers. For truckers, the minimum liability coverage depends on the type of cargo and can range from $250K to $5 million. Below are listed the minimal trucker liability insurance coverage:
- For general freight with no hazardous material, the minimum liability insurance coverage should be at least $750K
- For household items, the minimum liability insurance coverage should be at least $300K
- Truckers transporting oil and related substances need minimum liability coverage for at least $1 million
- The transport of hazardous material requires minimum liability insurance of $5 million
In addition, if the transport goes across state lines, the trucker also has to meet the FMCSA federal liability limits, which usually vary between $750K to $1 million.
The liability insurance covers the following:
- Any property damage that may occur to another vehicle that is involved in the collision.
- It will cover the cost of any serious injury or death that occurs due to the accident. The insurance company pays for injuries up to the limits of the policy. Additionally, this coverage provides legal representation for the truck driver or company if sued.
Personal Injury Protection
It is highly recommended that one obtain personal injury protection as this policy covers the driver regardless of fault up to the policy limits. Personal injury protection insurance will help cover any injury-related expenses caused by the truck accident. It will pay all your medical bills, lost wages, home services if you are disabled and disability income.
In general, the truck owner or the trucking company will cover the liability and personal protection insurance. However, suppose you are an independent trucker or a freelancer, meaning you own the truck. In that case, it is your responsibility to obtain the minimum insurance policy as required by your state.
Additional Insurance Coverage
Besides the liability and personal protection insurance, most truckers also carry other types of insurance, which includes the following:
- Healthcare payments: This insurance is also offered by many trucking companies and usually pays up to $10K for the cost of medical injuries caused by the trucker. This insurance policy is often covered under the global commercial truck insurance policy.
- Collision coverage: This insurance policy will pay for the repair of the truck if it is damaged during a collision. Remember, liability insurance pays for the repair of damages to the other party unless you have no-fault insurance.
- Towing: Towing a truck from the scene of an accident is an expensive venture, and most truckers do have towing insurance, which will pay for the cost of towing and any service to the truck.
- Comprehensive coverage: This is insurance that covers any damage caused by fire, vandalism, theft, or damage caused by a collision with an animal. The policy coverage can include damage to the body, windows, doors, trunk, wheels, etc.
- Hired truck insurance: This insurance can help cover liability when a trucker is driving a truck that is not registered to him or does not belong to him.
- Personally owned truck: This type of insurance policy will cover liability protection for a trucker who sometimes uses his personal truck for commercial business.
- Uninsured motorist insurance coverage: T is highly recommended as it will cover any damage caused by another motorist driving without insurance or does not have adequate insurance to cover the cost of the injuries and damages.
Filing A Claim
Filing a claim following a truck accident is similar to an accident caused by another motor vehicle. If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of a truck driver, then it is best to let a personal injury attorney handle your case. Your attorney can gather the facts to help establish liability and submit your claims and medical bills to the insurer. In the majority of cases, lawyers will settle these matters by securing the maximum compensation for you without going to trial.
Florida commercial truck insurance requirements are fair, reasonable, and mandated by law. Just like every driver on the road should always have insurance to protect themselves and others from accidents, commercial trucking insurance is a must in that industry. If you have been involved in a trucking accident in Florida, contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and getting compensation for injuries or damages caused by the accident.