What is Cargo Insurance?

Motor Truck Cargo insurance (Cargo) is insurance designed to cover the liability of the motor carrier for destruction, damage, or other loss of the customer’s property being shipped. There are many different types and coverages of cargo insurance available. It is important that motor carriers carefully vet the type of cargo coverage purchased from an insurance agent.

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Is Cargo Insurance required by law?

There is no longer a federal mandate of cargo insurance for motor carriers who do not transport household goods (BMC 34 or BMC 83). However, it is imperative that trucking companies purchase cargo insurance to adequately protect those goods transported. Many cargo insurance policies contain exclusions and deductibles which may limit insurance coverage. The typical coverage for a for-hire motor carrier is $100,000 but may increase based on commodities hauled and shipper or broker requirements.

Are there exceptions or restrictions?

Motor Truck Cargo insurance is only available for for-hire trucking risks on policies with one or more of the following body types: dump truck, tractor, most trailers, box trucks, cement mixers, cargo vans, dually pick-ups, flatbeds and car haulers.

Motor Truck Cargo insurance is not available on garbage trucks, limos, hearses, buses, passenger vans or ice cream trucks. The following cargo types are also excluded from coverage (other exclusions may apply) :

  • Art, jewelry, money, or paper
  • Contraband, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol
  • Live animals
  • Property while in custody of any other carrier
  • Property or goods owned by the insured
  • Property not under Bill of Lading
  • Storage greater than 72 hours
  • Shipping containers
  • Explosive or radioactive material