Charlotte Commercial Truck Insurance for Owner Operators

Written By Charlotte Insurance on April 15, 2015. It has 0 comments.

The open road, independence on the job, and a second home on 18 wheels – the life of a trucking owner operator isn’t always easy, but for many, it’s worth it. You are your own business, and if something happens to you or your truck, you’re out of work and out of money. Protect yourself, your family, and your business by making sure that you have the right kind of insurance for your truck, your trailer, and you.


All commercial truck drivers are required to carry liability insurance, which covers you when you’re at fault in an accident. To adequately protect you, your truck, and your livelihood, other forms of insurance are recommended.

  • Medical payments coverage pays for the medical expenses of you and any passengers.
  • Physical damage insurance protects the truck itself. Good coverage to have, especially if you’re still paying for your truck.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you when the other driver is at fault but has no coverage or very little coverage.

Those are the basics of insurance coverage that are recommended for nearly every type of commercial truck driver. For owner/operators, you have other coverage options to consider.

  • Rental coverage pays for the cost of renting a replacement truck while yours is out of commission due to damage.
  • Towing insurance covers the cost of towing your rig away from an accident. Note: it does not cover the towing expenses if you break down somewhere.
  • Trailer insurance pays for the losses from any damage or destruction to your trailer.
  • Trailer interchange insurance is good if you participate in a trailer exchange service. It covers you from possible losses of trailers that don’t belong to you.
  • Cargo insurance pays for the cost of replacing or repairing any cargo you were carrying in an accident.
  • Unattended truck coverage protects you against losses due to vandalization or theft when you’re not with your truck.
  • Accessories coverage repairs or replaces the expensive accessories like GPS and weigh station automation equipment when it’s damaged or destroyed.
  • Occupational accident insurance covers you in the event of a work-related accident or illness, especially useful if you don’t have your own health insurance coverage (but, you really should have your own health insurance).
  • Bobtail insurance pays for damages or injuries caused by you while the trailer is detached from your truck, whether or not you’re on the job. It’s often required if you’re under a lease to another motor carrier.
  • Non-trucking insurance is similar to bobtail but not the same. It covers damages or injuries you cause while the truck isn’t on the job – driving to and from home, taking the truck to be cleaned, and other instances when you’re driving but not working.


Good insurance coverage, while necessary and good for business, is not cheap. There are ways to save on your premiums so that you’re protected without paying too much.

  • Monitor your credit score. Lower credit scores mean higher insurance premiums.
  • Watch out for logbook violations. The more violations you have, the higher your premiums.
  • Make sure you have the correct cargo insurance for the loads you carry.
  • Consider a higher deductible.
  • Ask about available discounts for things like fog lamps, deer guards, and even completed defensive driving courses.
  • Make sure you have the right signage on your truck.

A good insurance agent will be able to tell you how to save the most on your premiums.

You’ve worked hard to build your trucking business, even if you are a one-person operation. Don’t let it all go to ruin because of the wrong commercial truck insurance. At Charlotte Insurance, we want to make sure you’re completely protected with the right insurance for your business.

Contact us today. We’re here to help.

Common Types of Insurance Fraud

Written By Charlotte Insurance on April 10, 2015. It has 0 comments.

While average people are often perfectly honest and would never think to commit fraud against anyone, there are plenty of people who are not. Insurance fraud may seem harmless enough, but when schemers are paid money they’re not due, the result is higher premiums for everyone. Insurance fraud is expensive and illegal. Honest, law-abiding citizens are encouraged to report insurance fraud when you see it. Take a look at these common types of insurance fraud so you know what it looks like.


There are many ways to commit fraud against your automobile insurance. Some ways require help and others don’t.

  • Vehicle Damage: The car owner files a claim for damage to a vehicle. Once they receive payment for the damage, they pocket the money without repairing the damage.
  • Accidents: Sometimes the driver and the victim are the only parties involved and sometimes the investigators and witnesses are a part of the fraud. Either way, the value of both vehicles is inflated and both parties receive more than they should for an accident that was planned – and not an accident at all.
  • Stolen Vehicle: This can happen one of two ways. The owner may sell the vehicle to a body shop who cuts it up for parts or they may sell it and ship it overseas. The end result is that the vehicle is reported stolen and the owner receives a payout.


Homes are a major financial investment and with the right policy, can payout big time for damage or destruction. Some of the most common insurance fraud happens at home.


Fraudulent fires can happen in a few ways:

  • Staged home fire with valuables in the home and the insurance company has been given the value of each.
  • Staged home fire with valuables removed so no damage incurs.
  • Abandoned home fires with nothing inside.

Regardless of the type, the owners of the home aren’t there and can account for their actions and whereabouts – giving them an alibi.


Owners might take existing storm damage and make it worse in order to have a larger claim. Worse, they may have no damage at all and take advantage of the chaos after a big storm to make a claim that doesn’t exist.


Workers comp fraud may be the most well-known type of fraud. It comes in a variety of forms.

  • Employees may fake an injury or report an injury at work that occurred in their off-time.
  • Employees might have a real injury that happened on-the-job but they let the injury linger – or appear to linger – in order to obtain additional benefits.

Employees are not the only perpetrators of workers comp fraud. Employers may take out ghost policies for their employees to save money, even though their company doesn’t truly qualify for a ghost policy. Worst of all, ghost policies don’t offer true coverage for employees, leaving everyone unprotected in the event of an accident or injury while at work.

Those who commit insurance fraud are no different than thieves. Instead of stealing goods and valuables, they’re stealing money – your money because insurance companies pass on the costs of paying out fraudulent claims in the form of higher premiums. Be on the lookout for fraud and report it when you see it.

Workers Compensation Ghost Policies

Written By Charlotte Insurance on April 7, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Inexpensive Charlotte workers compensation insurance coverage sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? For small business owners with no employees, who are typically exempt from workers compensation, it can be a lifesaver – or at the very least, a business-saver.

Ghost policies are a type of workers comp coverage that satisfies mandated requirements for single proprietors or self-employed business owners. When a job requires coverage but you are exempt from needing workers compensation, ghost policies step in to fill the gap at a lower cost. The only thing ghost policies do is fill a requirement for a company or government entity that might be hiring contractors. They don’t provide any actual coverage.


A ghost policy should only be used for self-employed business owners meeting specific criteria:

  • No employees or subcontractors – or plans to hire any.
  • No payments to subcontractors.
  • No payroll except for yourself as the owner.

Ghost policies are often less expensive than the typical workers compensation coverage and are written to meet the minimum requirements of insurance coverage for the company hiring you to complete a job. Your policy should be written to include automatic coverage for any employees or uninsured subcontractors you may need to hire during the coverage period of your policy.

Be aware that ghost policies are often audited and if you hire employees or subcontractors under the policy, you’ll be charged higher premium rates because of the higher payroll at the conclusion of the audit. If there’s a possibility you’ll need to hire subcontractors or additional employees for a job, you’ll be better off with a standard workers compensation plan.


Ghost policies are often used to cover short term laborers. Because of this, some larger companies will attempt to make all of the employees on their payroll appear to be seasonal. They do this to purchase ghost policies as a cost-saver. This is a type of fraud and will backfire in the end.

Companies who purchase ghost policies experience more audits and will pay higher premiums at the conclusion of an audit. Employees who are injured on the job and are covered by a ghost policy may still have the ability to hold the employer liable for the cost of their injuries or illness as well. Without proper coverage, a company will pay much more in the end than if they’d simply purchased the right workers comp policy.

If you’re the owner of a small business with no other employees, and you simply need to show coverage in order to be considered for a bigger job, a ghost policy may be for you. But if you have subcontractors working for you or you anticipate the need to hire employees, discuss other workers comp options with your insurance agent. It may cost you more up front, but it’s better to have the right coverage for you and your business than deal with the surprise total at the end of an audit.