Why Canadian Truckers Need General Liability Insurance

April 14, 2021


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As a trucker, you operate expensive machinery, haul valuable cargo, and you’re on the road next to drivers who you hope will be safe— but whose actions are ultimately out of your control. So, you already know that you need insurance that goes beyond what basic coverage can offer. But do you know what kind of insurance to get?

Keep reading to learn the benefits, the drawbacks, and the differences between general liability and commercial insurance for truckers, and find out which options are right for you.

The Importance Of General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects your trucking business in the wake of unforeseen at-fault events. It covers things like:

  • Customer or employee injuries;
  • Property damage;
  • Damage to products or cargo;
  • Driver mistakes and errors;
  • Legal fees; and
  • Payouts that result from lawsuits.

Of course, we hope events like these will never happen to you. But the truth is that they’re relatively common. By securing your general liability insurance, you’ll be saving your future self a lot of stress and a lot of money— especially when compared to the costs of lawsuits and payouts!

General Liability Insurance & Trucking

Commercial drivers like for-hire truckers and motor carriers should always have general liability insurance. Why? Because the nature of your work means that you have a bigger liability risk.

You transport expensive cargo, you operate heavy machinery, and you’re at the mercy of other drivers who you have to hope are driving safely alongside you. These considerations also make it extremely important for you to make sure you have enough liability insurance!

Your higher risk and higher coverage requirements mean you’ll likely pay a higher premium— but keep in mind that a monthly premium is negligible next to what can be the extremely high costs of legal action.

What are the risks of not having trucking general liability insurance?

As a trucker, it’s important to know that without general liability insurance you expose yourself to major occupational and financial risks:

  • You may not be in compliance with the Motor Carrier Division
  • You may be subject to fines
  • You’ll be at risk of being held liable for any claims that stem from the use and operation of your vehicle
  • You might not be able to register your vehicle at all

Commercial Auto Insurance vs. General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects your trucking business against relatively common at-fault errors. Once you’re insured, it will either cover certain costs you incur or it will pay out to the involved third-party, up to a predetermined maximum. It’s excellent and important coverage to have— but it doesn’t offer much in the way of accident coverage.

If one of your drivers is involved in an accident or one of your vehicles is totaled, commercial auto insurance provides the coverage you need, whether your company is at fault or not.

Commercial auto insurance offers extra coverage for things like legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage in case one of your vehicles is involved in an accident. It’s great insurance to have in addition to your general liability trucking insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance for Canadian Truckers

We recommend commercial auto insurance for all independent owner-operators and truck drivers, commercial transportation businesses, and any business with trucks, drivers, or transportation-related activity.

What does commercial auto insurance cover?

Depending on your business needs, you can work with your broker to customize a commercial auto insurance policy that covers things like:

  • Collision-related damages to involved vehicles— whether or not your company is at-fault
  • Other damages like fire, theft, and vandalism
  • Legal fees and court-ordered expenses
  • Medical injuries for drivers, passengers, or bystanders

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance

If you’re looking to secure commercial trucking insurance, you have the option to purchase Third-Party Liability and/or Truckmen’s General Liability Insurance. You can choose a limit of $1 Million, $2 Million, $5 Million, or higher.

You can also choose to extend your coverage by adding on All Perils, Motor Truck Cargo, Auto Loss Of Use, Non-Owned Trailer, and Reefer Endorsement coverage.

  • All-Perils Coverage gives you an additional $500, $1,000, $2,500 or $5000 in coverage
  • Motor Truck Cargo covers your freight up to a specified amount
  • Auto Loss Of Use provides funding for a rental in case of an accidental damage claim
  • Non-Owned Trailer provides coverage on any trailers not owned by you
  • Reefer Endorsement covers refrigeration unit breakdowns 

Do I need All Perils coverage?

Maybe! It all depends on the type of vehicle you drive commercially.

If your vehicle weighs between 4500 and 16330 kgs, your plates will provide you with a basic All-Perils deductible of $1200. (You also have the option of purchasing reduced deductibles!)

If your vehicle weighs 16330 kgs or more, you don’t have any built-in perils coverage, so you’ll want to purchase it separately. (Without an All Perils extension policy, you’re at risk of not being covered for any type of collision or comprehensive claims!)

Commercial Trucking Insurance Pricing & Costs

Quotes for general liability and commercial trucking insurance are individualized, based on your:

  • Trucking operations;
  • Insurance history;
  • Years in business; and
  • Claims experience.


Motor Truck Cargo premiums are based on the types of commodities you haul, as well as your experience and radius of operation.

Note: The radius of your operation can be within Manitoba, Outside Manitoba (IRP), Canada-wide, or USA/Canada.

Get A Trucking Insurance Quote

If you’re a Manitoba-based trucker looking for commercial auto insurance, contact us! One of our Insurance Consultants will be happy to help you complete your application.

And, if reading this post helped you realize that you only need general liability insurance, you can contact us for help with that, too.