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Home » Bobtail Coverage for Independent Contractors
February 27, 2023
Academy Insurance Agency

Bobtail Coverage for Independent Contractors

Truck drivers who are independent contractors must carry liability insurance coverage and provide proof of coverage to motor carriers. However, independent contractors also operate their trucks for personal use and may need liability insurance to help provide coverage when the driver operates without a trailer attached to the tractor.

The agents at Academy Insurance can help your Virginia trucking company get the coverage it needs to mitigate common risks.

Why Do Independent Contractors Need Liability Insurance?

There are two main reasons that independent contractors need liability coverage separate from the motor carrier, including:

  • Motor carriers require independent contractors to carry liability insurance and provide proof of coverage to remain in compliance with their contract terms.
  • Independent contractors operate units for personal use and must protect themselves from liability claims.


What Is Bobtail Coverage?

Bobtail is a type of liability coverage designed to protect the independent contractor under permanent lease to motor carriers from liability claims that happen when the truck is not attached to a trailer.

Three types of liability coverage may be available for independent contractors in the trucking industry, including:

  • Bobtail liability coverage helps pay third-party damages if an accident occurs when the driver is operating the truck without a trailer attached, whether they are under dispatch or not.
  • Unladen liability coverage helps pay third-party damages if an accident occurs when the driver is operating without cargo, when an empty trailer is attached to the tractor or no trailer is attached to the tractor. Is essentially the same thing as bobtail and non-trucking liability but a broader coverage because it covers both.
  • Non-trucking use liability coverage may help cover third-party damages when no cargo is being transported, and the tractor is being operated for business purposes. Since there’s no standard among insurers for this coverage, it’s crucial to examine the policy closely to understand when coverage may apply.


When bobtail coverage or unladen coverage is available, it may be wise to choose these well-defined coverages over a potentially less useful non-trucking use liability policy. Your agent can help evaluate your risks to determine which coverage may work best for your trucking business.

How to Get Trucking Insurance

Contact Academy Insurance in Leesburg, Virginia, to get commercial trucking insurance appropriate for your trucking company.

This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.

Categories: Trucking Insurance