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Owner Operator Fleets | 2 Tips to Lower Auto Liability Costs

The average trucker’s auto liability premiums are increasing by 9.6%. Why?  Several insurers are exiting the marketplace due to bad losses.  The insurers that remain are raising rates to outpace rising claim costs.  As a result, even good trucking companies’ costs are going up.  So what can owner-operator fleets do to keep their auto costs down?

  1. Take higher deductibles AND recover those deductibles from your owner-operators. Seems pretty simple, but the bigger deductible the cheaper your insurance.  Most fleets pass on all or a portion of those deductible costs to the owner-operator.  The challenge becomes getting the money from the owner-operator when the claim happens.  Fleets solve this problem by installing Deductible Buyback insurance.  Owner-operators pay a small premium in exchange for a deductible reimbursement.  For example, a $9 per week premium reimburses up to a $5,000 per occurrence auto deductible.

  2. Install a “Better Bobtail” policy. It is no secret that “off-the-shelf” Bobtail, which is really Non-Trucking Liability, pays very few claims.  Denied Non-Trucking Liability claims turn into your Auto Liability claims, increasing your premiums.  “Better” Non-Trucking Liability policies have broader coverage for commonly denied scenarios like trips for maintenance, commuting between terminal and garage, and while awaiting dispatch.  Consider the “Best” and broadest Non-Trucking Liability with an Unladen Liability policy.  This policy provides liability coverage while the truck is being operated with an attached empty trailer, or without any trailer at all, whether dispatched or not.   These policies have pricing that starts as low as only $5 more per month.

To learn more about how your owner-operator risk management strategies stack up against the best in the business, please complete our online risk assessment.


  • The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) in its second-quarter 2020 broker survey said premiums increased for the 11th consecutive quarter by an average of 9.6 percent.


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