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Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

When it comes to commercial auto insurance, it may seem obvious to consider protection against liability, damages to your vehicles, and injuries to you and your employees. One need that may not be immediately obvious in transportation is protection for your cargo.

If your business is involved in for-hire trucking for transporting clients’ property, you will need to look into motor truck cargo insurance.

Who Needs Cargo Insurance?

If you are in the business of transporting the property of others, cargo insurance is essential protection against unforeseen events.

Remember, commercial transportation typically carries higher financial risk than personal transportation, meaning your company could stand to lose quite a bit in the event of an accident.

While having cargo insurance makes sound business sense, you may also be required by federal or state laws to have cargo insurance as part of your commercial auto insurance policy. For example, motor carriers and freight forwarders who transport household goods across state lines are federally mandated to have cargo insurance.

Speak with your commercial auto insurance agent to learn more about any legal requirements you must meet.

What Does Cargo Insurance Cover?

Motor truck cargo insurance covers the loss or damage of your client-owned cargo due to:

  • Fire.
  • Collision.
  • Hitting or running over cargo.

Several companies also include removal expenses coverage as part of their cargo insurance plans. This helps cover the costs to remove debris that is accidentally dumped on public roads.

Typically, cargo insurance can be added to commercial auto insurance policies for the following types of vehicles*:

  • Dump trucks.
  • Tractors.
  • Trailers.
  • Box trucks.
  • Cargo vans.
  • Cement mixers.

* This is not an exhaustive list. Ask your commercial auto insurance agent about coverage for your vehicle type.


Cargo insurance is not available for passenger transportation.

Additionally, most commercial auto insurance companies will not provide cargo insurance for the following:

  • Art.
  • Jewelry.
  • Money.
  • Paper.
  • Animals.
  • Contraband.
  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Tobacco.
  • Alcohol.
  • Your own cargo (as opposed to client-owned cargo).
  • Explosives.

The restrictions may vary from company to company. Consult with your agent and learn the details of your motor truck cargo insurance policy to understand what is covered under your cargo insurance.

Interstate and Intrastate Filings

As stated above, you may be subject to state and federal laws that require you to have cargo insurance. Included in these requirements are filings that must be submitted to state or federal agencies certifying that you meet any applicable cargo insurance requirements.

Your commercial auto insurance provider is responsible for submitting these filings. Speak with your agent to learn more.

You can also visit our Interstate Transportation Filings page, and our Intrastate Truck Filings page for more information.

Purchasing Cargo Insurance

Because cargo insurance is often a legal requirement, it is readily available, meaning you shouldn’t have a problem finding a commercial auto insurance company that offers cargo insurance.

As you are shopping for a commercial auto insurance policy, remember to include cargo insurance into your quotes. For the best policy at the best price, it is recommended that you compare at least 3 commercial auto insurance quotes.

Remember, your commercial auto insurance policy is integral to your business. Be diligent as you comparison-shop to find a policy that is just right for you.

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