Non-Trucking Liability, or NTL, is insurance coverage for when you use your truck for non-business purposes. NTL offers you liability coverage for property damage or bodily injury to a third party. Any personal use between your return and next dispatch points will be covered under NTL.
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 carriers' primary liability policy.
Non-Trucking is not the same as bobtail insurance, so please verify with your motor carrier which coverage they require; in almost all cases, NTL will be the requirement.
It is often hard to determine when Non-Trucking Liability coverage is in play. Most insurance carriers say it revolves around dispatch, but dispatch can sometimes be hard to define. Usually the law will prevail that if an owner operator drops a load in Atlanta and deadheads back to Ohio, where he lives, that he is still under dispatch because the trucking company owes him a ride home, however slight variables and circumstances can change this:
- Did the owner operator defer to a route that took him way out of the normal route home?
- Did he make any non business stops along the way?
- Did he visit anyone and how long did it take him to return back to his home base? (was it hours, days, or weeks)
- Was the owner operator pulling his own trailer or one that belonged to the Motor Carrier?
All of the above could have a bearing as to whether the Non-Trucking Liability coverage would apply or not.
One thing to keep in mind is that the window of exposure for Non-Trucking is usually very small in comparison to the Primary Auto Liability policy that is in effect while the driver is leased to a motor carrier and under dispatch for. This is the reason why the Non Trucking Liability insurance is comparatively inexpensive, when compared to the primary auto liability coverage that the Motor Carrier provides.