Whether you just started working for a small trucking company or a huge fleet operator, keeping your truck safe when you're off-duty is essential. Your trucking company's insurance covers you during business hours, but it may not cover you when the truck is on your private property, or when you use it for personal use. In this case, you need to obtain non-trucking liability insurance and physical damage coverage for your personal protection. Here's what every new truck driver should know.

Cover Accidents in Your Driveway With Physical Damage Insurance

Traditional trucking insurance covers you when you make company deliveries around town or out of state. The coverage provides payments and medical care to other drivers and their passengers if you cause accidents on the road, in parking lots or waiting at traffic lights. In addition, the company's insurance coverage protects you and the truck when other drivers hit you with their vehicles. However, it doesn't extend coverage to you or the truck if you take the vehicle home and park it in your driveway.

Physical damage insurance offers protection against falling tree limbs, hail and other dangerous conditions that occur in and on your property. Additionally, the insurance provides coverage when someone vandalizes your truck with paint, rocks and other things that require auto body services to repair. You need to come out of pocket to repair the truck's damages if you don't have non-trucking coverage. Your employer may also sue you for the damages in court, as well as remove you from your trucking position.

If you choose to leave your property and take the truck out for personal use, physical damage insurance won't cover you. In this case, you need non-trucking liability insurance.

Protect Your Truck With Non-Liability Insurance for Personal Use

A number of trucking businesses allow employees to use their trucks for evening and weekend use, such as going to the theater or visiting relatives in another city. Although the free usage of your truck can be a good thing for you, it can also be disastrous if you get into an accident. By choosing non-trucking insurance coverage, you protect yourself from any potential lawsuits that may hit your pocket and ability to work.

However, you must choose your insurance coverage carefully. Avoid insurers that don't offer you full protection against accidents, such as these below:

  • Full protection in and out of town, especially when you use the truck to travel for the holidays and other busy seasons
  • Full repair services, which may include auto body work and engine maintenance
  • Full towing services, which includes local and out-of-area coverage

The benefits above help you save money in the future if problems do arise. 

Other Things to Consider

One of the most important benefits of obtaining non-trucking liability insurance is medical coverage when you're injured in an off-duty accident. Keep in mind that your trucking company's insurer will only cover you if you get into an accident and receive injuries while on duty. This is where your non-trucking liability coverage comes in. It alleviates the stress of not knowing how you'll pay your medical bills when you're hurt.

Additionally, you can combine the premiums for your non-trucking liability coverage and physical damage coverage together each month. Your monthly payments may be higher because of this, but it may eliminate the problem of forgetting to pay your insurance premiums on time.

Also, consider obtaining a higher premium and lower deductible for both insurances. Although this may seem expensive, it can actually help you in the long run. For example, if you do get into an accident while using the truck for personal use, the policy may kick in faster than it would if you had to pay your deductible first.

If you have questions about protecting you or your truck with personal coverage, contact your insurer today or visit http://www.truckwriters.com/.