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Non-Trucking Liability Insurance (NTL) provides coverage in case you cause an accident while using your vehicle for non-business or personal use other than transporting goods or merchandise. Non-Trucking Liability coverage does not apply when you are pulling a loaded trailer, operating on behalf of a motor carrier/leasing company, or using a vehicle for any revenue generating purpose. These types of activities are covered by primary liability coverage.

If your primary liability coverage is provided by a motor carrier, their coverage will not apply when you are not under dispatch and you’ll need Non-Trucking Liability coverage.

NTL is in most cases, required by the motor carrier with whom the owner/operator has signed a lease agreement. This insurance fills a potential gap for non-business use of the equipment and helps to protect the motor carrier’s primary liability policy.

When does Non-Trucking Liability coverage kick in?

Non-Trucking Liability comes into effect when you use your truck on your days off for any personal use, between your return and the next dispatch, for things like:

Going to the movies
Visiting friends
Picking up groceries
Attending sporting events

It is often incorrectly referred to as bobtail insurance, however, non-trucking liability is not the same as bobtail insurance.
Verify with your motor carrier which coverage they require.

Non-Trucking Liability or Bobtail, which one do I need?

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

NTL is often times used interchangeably with bobtail liability, but they are not truly the same. Non-trucking liability coverage is designed to protect leased owner operators against liability claims that occur when you are operating your truck for non-business use/not under dispatch. This type of insurance covers you if, for example, you take your truck to the mechanic for an oil change or to the truck wash shop. Coverage is excluded if you are driving under the direction of your carrier. It is also not applicable until you have returned to your principle garage location.


On the other hand, Bobtail Liability coverage is protection for leased owner operators that provides insurance coverage when your truck is being operated without its trailer attached, whether or not you have been dispatched by your carrier. This type of insurance would cover you, for example, if you deliver a load to a terminal and then drive into another town to pick up a different load there. You would also be covered while you were traveling in your truck to and from work or to and from the repair shop. As noted previously, this coverage is excluded if you are pulling a trailer.