Reefer Truck Insurance

Reefer Truck Insurance

Refrigerated truck insurance can present a challenge for motor carriers as many insurance companies do not like the exposure that comes with transporting perishables. The recent passing of the Food Safety Modernization Act by the FDA has presented new challenges to shippers, trucking companies, and brokers. The protocol takes the onus on when cargo was actually damaged and expands that to also include when it may have been adulterated. Shippers no longer have to prove damage and this has wide-ranging implications when you are purchasing reefer cargo insurance.

Reefer Breakdown Coverage

Refrigerated motor carriers must carefully vet their coverage based on the new FDA regulations and the commodity-based exposures. Reefer breakdown insurance protected against refrigerated cargo spoilage due to a mechanical or equipment failure or accident. This is not only a requirement to haul for most shippers or brokers, but provides the motor carrier with protection as equipment does fail.

FDA Regulations

  • Temperature control/tracking – The trailer must be pre-cooled and the temperature must be continuously monitored.
  • Cleanliness – Vehicles must be maintained in a sanitary condition and can be inspected.
  • Temperature certification – A log of temperature setting during the duration of transportation must be supplied to the shipper and/or receiver.
  • Training – Motor carriers must now provide basic sanitary training to their drivers and other personnel.
  • Data retention – Records must be kept for 12 months


It is very common to find reefer cargo policies that can exclude a number of different commodities. The most common exclusions are meats, fresh seafood, and pharmaceuticals. In addition, it is common that policies may also exclude driver negligence and delay. Delay is typically never covered, but can result in your cargo being rejected.

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