Often motor carriers will lease on owner operators. In some cases the owner operators may have bought their own insurance would not want to be paying for the insurance provided by the motor carrier.
Well this is simply wrong. You can’t allow your owner operators to display your MC number and not be covered under your primary liability policy. This is the FMCSA rule as well as almost certainly disclosed in your insurance contract. You have to insure all trucks owned or operated by the motor carrier or is owners.
You may be asking yourself, well what would happen if I don’t list the owner operators under my insurance policy. The consequences are severe. If the owner operator is in an accident where he / she was found at fault, then the owner operator’s insurance may not pay for the damages.
Ultimately it is the motor carriers’ responsibility to include the owner operators on to their Primary Auto Liability policy. Also, if the motor carrier’s insurance company finds out that owner operators are being used and not listed, more than likely the insurance policy will be canceled.
Recently, we have seen an increased tendency for a motor carrier to close their MC / DOT number and open a new one. In most cases the reason for such is the motor carrier’s safety record. However, insurance companies are becoming more and more vigilant in their research. They are using services which match old and new MC / DOT numbers. If such match is found, more than likely either the insurance company will not offer a quote or if the policy has been bound they will cancel it.