In Texas, trucking companies are obviously required to have insurance coverage. Insurance policies for commercial vehicles tend to be more complicated due to the requirement to follow both state and/or federal insurance laws. While these policies are inherently more robust than individual driver policies, the term “full coverage” does not exist in either individual or commercial policies. Often people will use the term “full coverage” when they may not actually know whether they have every available combination of policies (such as PIP, UM, UIM).
How Much Insurance Coverage is Required for Texas Trucking Companies?
The amount of insurance coverage required for a truck depends on the following:
- Weight of the commercial truck when fully loaded
- Type of Cargo – different insurance coverage applies to hazardous and non-hazardous materials transported as cargo on commercial vehicles
- Operation – if the truck operates intrastate (within Texas) or interstate (across state lines), and the former requires adherence to state insurance laws, whereas the latter requires adherence both to state and federal laws
Texas Intrastate Trucking
The policy amount required for trucks intrastate (vehicles that operate only within the confines of one state) is set by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) within the State of Texas. The MINIMUM amount of commercial insurance coverage in Texas is set at $500,000 by the TDI.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the guidelines regarding how much coverage is needed by Texas trucking companies with vehicles that cross the borders of the state of Texas into other states. The amount of coverage needed depends on the weight and type of materials that the commercial truck transports. For example, federal commercial insurance requirements include:
|Type and Weight of Freight Carried||Minimum Insurance Policy Limits|
|Commercial vehicles under 10,001 lbs. carrying non-hazardous freight||$300,000|
|Commercial vehicles over 10,001 lbs. carrying non-hazardous freight||$750,000|
|For-hire and private commercial vehicles carrying oil||$1,000,000|
|For-hire and private commercial vehicles carrying other hazardous materials||$5,000,000|
Types of Insurance Coverage of Trucking Companies
In addition to the minimum insurance trucking companies are required to have, they may choose to obtain additional insurance coverage. The 4 types of commercial coverage include:
1. General Liability Insurance – this is the minimum commercial insurance coverage requirement and is similar to auto liability insurance on passenger vehicles for individuals. Commercial general liability insurance protects trucking companies against lawsuits where their driver is responsible for a collision with another vehicle.
2. Extended Liability Insurance – offers greater protection for trucking companies and is more than the minimum coverage above.
3. Eroding Policy – allows trucking companies to subtract the cost of its defense from the coverage.
4. Self-Insured Retention Policy – allows trucking companies to add $250,000 to their insurance policy (e.g., If Texas requires only $750,000, the policy can be increased to $1 million; however, the trucking company is responsible for the first $250,000 of damage to an injured party and their motor vehicle).
Types of Commercial Truck Insurance
Commercial trucks involve several types of large vehicles, including:
- Tank Trucks
- Semi–Trucks (also known as eighteen-wheelers, big rigs, or semi-trailer trucks)
- Dump Trucks
- Tow Trucks
- Auto Trailers
- Flatbed Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Cement Trucks or Cement Mixer Truck
Recovery for Dallas/Fort Worth Trucking Accidents
In Texas, trucking companies provide liability insurance for their employees. They are required to take on the risks that are associated with owning and operating a trucking business. However, this assumption of risk only applies if the truck driver’s actions are unintentional or negligent and within the scope of employment. Intentional or criminal acts are not typically covered. If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is best to seek funds from the trucking company’s insurance provider. However, you may also sue the trucking company directly for amounts in excess of the insurance policy limits.
Truck Accident Injuries
The power and size of these vehicles can result in some of the most devastating and impactful damage that occurs in a roadway accident. Larger size vehicles can cause more damaging, catastrophic collisions, and involve multiple vehicles. Common injuries from truck wrecks may be:
- Cuts and Bruises
- Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Injuries and Paralysis
- Neck and Disk Injuries
- Joint Trauma and Sprains
- Muscle, Ligament and Tendon Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Internal Injuries and Internal Bleeding
- Amputations and Dismemberment
The most important thing you can do following a serious truck accident is to take care of yourself. This means seeking immediate medical attention and then contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you. At Lion Law, our wish is for every client to recover physically and to receive the highest possible level of compensation for their injuries.
GEICO Truck Accidents
Big trucks mean bigger accidents and larger insurance policies. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA), there were 4,761 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2017. GEICO is one of the biggest players in the commercial auto insurance industry. GEICO allows claimants to report a claim online, through their app, or by calling 1-866–509–9444 for commercial vehicle (auto) claims. While insurance companies may want all the details about the crash immediately, you should proceed with caution. Commercial vehicle insurance companies are notorious for shortchanging policyholders, and anything that you say to them may be used against you in your case. Before discussing the accident with GEICO or any other insurance company, it would be in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury attorney to guide you through the claims process.
As with any insurance claim, you NEVER want to go into a claim with GEICO on your own without proper legal guidance. Do not buy into the false assumption that GEICO and other other commercial insurance companies are consumer-friendly. They may put out entertaining commercials with their extensive advertising budget, but GEICO didn’t accumulate $27 billion in assets through open-handedly paying valid claims. GEICO has the largest advertising budget in the auto insurance industry. Having a large enough bottom line to sustain executive salary levels and to feed into its mammoth advertising budget REQUIRES reducing the payouts to deserving claimants. Considering GEICO’s $1.18 billion advertising budget, if you have a policy with GEICO, approximately 6.5% of your monthly premium is going toward GEICO’s advertising.
Call Thompson Law 24/7/365
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, the time to call Lion Law is right now at 844-308-8180! Your dedicated team of personal injury lawyers will guide you through the process of seeking treatment, protecting your interests in negotiations with the at-fault parties, and will go to battle for the compensation you deserve. Your experienced Thompson Law team is fully prepared to take a case as far as necessary to obtain your rightful compensation. After suffering a truck wreck injury, you need an expert advocate and a tenacious attorney to have your back. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson is the truck accident lawyer you need to be protected and empowered at the negotiation table, whether you were in a car crash in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, or anywhere in Texas. Texas law limits the time you have to file a claim, so reach out now to speak with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys about your truck accident.