Learning to interpret your commercial vehicle policy can be difficult, but it is an important set of terms to know. Here are some of the most common terms.

  • Bobtail Coverage: Insurance that protects a tractor when it’s operated without a trailer, regardless of whether it is dispatched for a job. Also called Deadhead coverage.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): A special license that is needed by those who will be operating a tractor, a vehicle over 26,000 GVW or a vehicle with eight or more passengers.
  • Commercial Vehicle: Any vehicle that is used for business purposes.
  • DBA Name: A name that a company is known by to the public, but is not the company’s legal name.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): When funds are automatically taken from a customer’s bank account to pay bills. This will be a set schedule selected by the customer ahead of time.
  • Employer’s Non-Owned Coverage: A type of liability coverage for when a vehicle owned by an employee has to be used for business. This cannot be a vehicle that is used regularly.
  • Filing: Issued by an insurer that provides proof of specific insurance coverage.
    • Federal filings: Submitted to the Federal Highway Administration. They often are required for interstate transportation of goods, people or hazardous materials.
    • State filings: Submitted to a specific state's Department of Transportation or other governing body. They often are required for intrastate transportation of goods, people or hazardous materials.
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): Part of the government that regulates transportation of people and goods on the interstate.
  • Garagekeepers Legal Liability Insurance: Coverage designed for towing businesses to protect a customer’s vehicle from vandalism, theft, fire, explosion or collision while the vehicle is parked in your garage for servicing or storing.
  • Garaging Location: The primary location where a car is parked when not in use. For a CV, this is usually the primary business address.  
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): A fully loaded vehicle’s total weight capacity. Calculate it by adding the weight of the vehicle plus the weight of the biggest load it can carry. The manufacturer of the vehicle will also have the information.   
  • Hired Auto Coverage: Provides liability coverage for a vehicle that you do not own and is not listed on your policy, but it is leased, rented, borrowed or hired.
  • Non-Trucking Liability: Pays for damage and injury caused by your CV while it is being used for personal use, such as using the truck on an off day to go to an event with friends.
  • Non-Owned Vehicle Insurance: Extends your coverage to vehicles that your employees own and use for business regularly
  • Occasional Driver: Anyone who is not the primary driver on the policy.
  • On-Hook Towing Coverage: Pays for any damages that happen while you are towing a vehicle.
  • Permanently Attached Equipment (PAE): Must be bolted or welded to an insured commercial vehicle. This could include carpet cleaning equipment, cranes, ladder racks, tool boxes and pressure washers.
  • Placard: Placed on a vehicle to let the public know something about the materials being carried. Could say things like “Flammable” or “Hazardous.”
  • Radius of Operation: The maximum distance between the garaging location and the point of delivery. Some insurance companies have limits on how far of a distance this can be for certain types of businesses.
  • Repair Plates: License plates given to commercial vehicles that are used to repair, alter, recondition, equip or tow motor vehicles or trailers for the public.Most insurance companies will not insure vehicles with these tags since they are not made for any specific vehicle.
  • Repossession: A type of work allowed for towing companies which entails the reclaiming of a vehicle or other item because payments have not been made on them.
  • Sole Proprietorship: A one-owner company that is not registered with the state as an LLC or corporation. The owner of a sole proprietorship is personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the company and reports the company's losses and profits on his or her personal taxes.
  • Trailer Interchange Agreement: A written contract between trucking companies or truckers to loan trailers to one another.
  • Trailer Interchange Coverage: Protects the trailers that you do not own when you are hauling them through a trailer interchange agreement.

Those are just some of the main terms you might hear when reading through your commercial policy or while conducting your small business.

Here is an article on how to file a commercial vehicle claim.

Still looking for commercial insurance? Get a quote over at Armstrong Insurance of Florida.