North Dakota Truck Insurance
Bismarck | Fargo | Grand Forks | Minot
North Dakota Commercial Truck Insurance
Trucking plays a vital role in North Dakota's economy. With its central location and abundance of natural resources, North Dakota relies heavily on trucking to transport goods in and out of the state. In fact, trucking accounts for over 60% of transported goods by weight in North Dakota.
Being home to such major trucking routes as I-94 and I-29, North Dakota sees a high volume of both intrastate and interstate truck traffic. The state's largely rural landscape and low population density outside of few major cities means most communities depend on reliable trucking services for essential commercial goods. Major industries in North Dakota requiring heavy trucking activity include agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing, and wholesale trade.
No matter where in this great country your trucking route takes you, insurance is necessary, although specifics may vary from state to state. Let’s review why you need North Dakota truck insurance and why you should use an independent insurance agent when searching for the best protection for your assets.
Understanding North Dakota Trucking Insurance Coverages
Auto liability insurance is required for commercial trucking companies operating in North Dakota. This type of insurance helps pay for damages if one of your trucks is involved in an at-fault accident that injures others or damages their property. For example, if one of your semi trucks rear-ends a passenger car on the highway, causing injuries to the driver, your auto liability coverage would pay for their medical bills and car repairs up to the limits of your policy. North Dakota requires minimum auto liability limits of $250,000 per person injured in an accident, $500,000 total per incident, and $100,000 for property damage. However, many trucking companies opt for higher limits of $1 million or more to better protect their assets in the event of a major accident. No matter the limits, having proper auto liability coverage is essential for legally and responsibly operating a trucking company in North Dakota.
Physical damage coverage, also known as comprehensive and collision coverage, helps pay to repair or replace commercial trucks damaged in incidents like accidents or severe weather. For example, if your semi truck trailer overturns due to high winds and sustains body damage, your physical damage coverage would pay for repairing dented trailer panels or other equipment after you pay the policy deductible. While North Dakota does not require physical damage coverage, most trucking companies consider it essential protection given the high value of their vehicles and cargo. Repairing or replacing commercial trucks, trailers, or cargo can easily cost $50,000 and upwards. Paying exorbitant costs out of pocket may prove difficult or impossible for many operators. The right physical damage policy ensures your business keeps running if your expensive vehicles sustain damage. Considering the investment you have in your equipment and ability to generate revenue, physical damage coverage is usually a smart option for truckers in North Dakota to strongly consider carrying.
Motor Truck Cargo
Motor truck cargo insurance protects trucking companies transporting cargo for others against loss or damage to the cargo. For example, if you are carrying a load of new computers from a distributor in Bismarck to retailers in Minot and Dickinson, and some of those computers are damaged or stolen along the route, motor truck cargo coverage would pay to replace the lost or damaged cargo. This protects you from having to pay substantial costs to the cargo owner out of your own pocket. While North Dakota does not mandate motor truck cargo coverage, it is considered indispensable protection for most for-hire and private trucking companies hauling loads belonging to other parties. Without this coverage, you bear full responsibility for the cargo you transport. Replacing something as basic as a pallet of canned goods or as valuable as electronics equipment could heavily strain or bankrupt your small trucking business if compelled to pay without insurance assistance. Consider your routes, the cargo you transport, your vehicle security protocols, and associated risks as you weigh options for proper limits on a motor truck cargo policy in North Dakota.
Reefer breakdown coverage, also known as refrigeration breakdown coverage, pays to repair or replace refrigeration equipment on trucks or trailers when mechanical failure or an accident causes damage. For example, if the refrigeration unit on your trailer malfunctions halfway through a haul of frozen meat from a packing plant in Fargo to grocery stores in Grand Forks, reefer breakdown coverage would pay for any spoiled cargo as well as repairing or replacing the broken refrigeration equipment. While reefer breakdown coverage is not mandated under North Dakota laws, it is critical protection for truckers hauling perishable loads. Repairing or replacing complex reefer systems can rapidly exceed $10,000 in expenses, and ruined refrigerated products could amount to thousands more in cargo claims. Given the high frequency of mechanical issues with refrigerated units subjected to heavy use and North Dakota's extreme climate swings, reefer breakdown insurance is inexpensive peace of mind for truckers transporting time-and temperature-sensitive freight. Make sure to understand exclusions as well as equipment age limitations on older systems when considering a policy to complement your auto liability and cargo coverage.
Non-Owned and Trailer Interchange
Non-owned trailer and trailer interchange coverage insure third-party trailers used in the course of business activities by trucking companies. For instance, if you hire another company's refrigerated trailer to transport frozen vegetables from the Minot area to supermarkets across Montana and the trailer incurs damage in an accident in Billings, non-owned trailer coverage protects your company from high trailer repair costs. Similarly, trailer interchange coverage applies when multiple parties share trailers in trucking cooperatives or state/federal trailer pools for efficiency's sake. If your driver hitches to a state-owned flatbed trailer carrying hay bales between ranches near Williston and Dickenson, interchange insurance covers any damage to the non-owned asset. While North Dakota does not mandate non-owned trailer/interchange insurance, most truckers hauling loads on leased, borrowed, rented, or publicly-shared trailers consider it vital protection given high trailer replacement costs. When determining appropriate coverage limits, assess risks like accident frequency in operating terrain as well as value of third-party equipment you utilize. Although it requires careful underwriting, this specialized coverage significantly limits liability exposures for truckers dispatching on equipment not their own.
Non-trucking liability insurance provides coverage when drivers operate company trucks for personal or business uses unrelated to transporting cargo. For instance, your driver takes a company semi truck without a trailer attached to go pick up a part from the repair shop outside of normal working hours and is involved in an at-fault accident, injuring another motorist. Your non-trucking liability would pay for the bodily injury and vehicle damage claims from the accident. Most commercial auto liability policies only provide coverage while cargo is actively being hauled or tasks directly related to a delivery are being performed. That’s why non-trucking liability fills an essential coverage gap for trucking firms in North Dakota. Without it, you would be personally responsible for all crash-related payments out of pocket whenever company vehicles are used off the clock. While non-trucking liability coverage is not mandated, most truck insurance agents strongly advise carrying higher non-trucking policy limits equaling your liability limits when hauling cargo. This ensures you have complete asset protection around the clock.
Excess liability insurance provides vital extra protection for trucking companies by adding a second layer of coverage above primary liability limits. For instance, if one of your semi trucks badly damages a bridge, causing expenses of $2 million, your primary liability would cover the first $1 million. Then your excess liability policy would pay the remaining $1 million needed to fully cover repairs. Truck accidents often result in much higher financial losses. A collision causing a hazmat spill, multiple vehicle pile-up, or a crash in a construction zone can easily rack up multi-million dollar price tags. Having excess liability coverage ensures your transportation business has ample backup funds when at-fault accidents produce expenses surpassing your primary liability maximums. Industry experts typically recommend buying excess liability insurance to match your underlying liability limits. So if you carry $1 million primary, getting $1 million excess liability ensures you have $2 million total coverage to dramatically limit risk.
North Dakota requires all trucking companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries, disability, lost wages, and death benefits for employee truck drivers injured on the job. For instance, if one of your company drivers slips on ice while strapping down a load, breaking their leg, workers’ comp would pay for their hospital bills, physical therapy costs, and provide partial wage reimbursement while out of work. Carrying proper workers' compensation limits ensures your transportation business does not directly shoulder the burden of medical, disability, and lost income expenses when employees sustain work-related injuries. Based on driver wages and the inherent hazards of the job like unloading cargo, North Dakota sets minimum premiums truckers must meet to be in compliance. Review premium calculations annually and report payroll accurately to maintain compliance and proper claim limit availability.
Additionally, occupational accident insurance functions as a "workers' comp equivalent" for truck owner-operators, sole proprietors, and partners not legally eligible for workers’ compensation. It covers medical costs and disability income stemming from injuries suffered while working. For example, if an owner-operator driver is injured securing cargo and misses weeks of revenue hauling freight, occupational accident insurance helps pay for doctor bills and provides injury income benefits during recovery. It's essentially personal workers' comp protection when traditional policies only cover employees.
General liability insurance provides coverage for trucking businesses when third parties claim non-auto related bodily injury or property damage occurring on company property or due to business operations. For instance, if a vendor slips and falls in your North Dakota terminal's icy parking lot and breaks their wrist, the vendor's medical bills would be covered under your commercial general liability policy up to the specified limits. While North Dakota does not mandate general liability coverage, most trucking risk managers recommend carrying it to manage hazards like cargo loading/unloading incidents, dock accidents, fires, crane/hoist malfunctions, employee injuries, and other mishaps causing harm to people on premises or damage to their property. It covers gaps left by statutory workers compensation and commercial auto insurance. Without adequate general liability limits, trucking owners must pay costly claims out-of-pocket rather than having an insurance policy fund payouts. Consult with an independent agent to discuss protection levels fitting your property footprint and operational exposures.
Why Choose The Insurance Store for Truck Insurance in North Dakota?
With five decades in the business, The Insurance Store stands as a beacon of trust in the trucking insurance sector. Our family-driven ethos means we view every trucker as part of our extended family. Our strong alliances with A+ rated insurance carriers mean you get the best protection out there. Plus, with our nifty TIS24 app, be it a certificate of insurance, ID card, or any policy document – everything's just a tap away, wherever your journey takes you in North Dakota.
Insurance for Your Operations in the Dakotas
From flatbeds and tankers to box trucks and reefer units, TIS crafts insurance solutions for every type of truck and cargo. Each route, each load, and each truck is unique, and so should be the protection.
Our truck insurance programs cover rigs of all sizes and specialties:
- Auto Haulers
- Box Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Commercial Vans
- Dry Van
- Dump Trucks
- Garbage Trucks
- General Freight
- Heavy Haul
- Hot Shots
- Long Haul
- LTL Trucking
- New Ventures
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