5 Best Bobtail & Physical Damage Insurance for 2023

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Are bobtail and physical damage coverages necessary? It depends on who you ask, but if you want to protect your interests in your truck in the case of an accident, the coverages are worth considering. You are required to carry liability insurance that protects others if they are in an accident with you. But what will you do if you have an accident and need to repair or replace your truck?

That’s where coverages like physical damage and bobtail come into play. Physical damage covers your truck even when hooked to a trailer, while bobtail insurance covers your liability when driving the tractor without the trailer. Read on to determine if these coverages are for you. 

5 best bobtail and physical damage insurance companies

Now that you know a little about what bobtail and physical damage insurance cover, let’s look at our five choices for the best bobtail and physical damage insurance companies. 

Progressive: Best Overall & the only carrier offering quotes online

Progressive is one of the top commercial trucking insurance providers in the country. Bobtail insurance is an optional coverage with them. Progressive is known for providing a wide range of coverage to people in the commercial trucking industry. They insure truckers at every level, from individual owner-operators to large national companies. 

Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes

Simply Business is a national insurance broker that focuses on small business insurance. As a broker, they make it easy to compare more than one quote at a time. After completing their online application, they provide you with 3-5 quotes via phone or online. If you have questions, they have agents available to help you understand the quotes and choose the best one for your company. 

Allstate: Best for excellent customer satisfaction ratings

We’ve all seen the Allstate commercials telling us we’re in good hands or that we can avoid mayhem by choosing Allstate for our personal insurance. What you may not know is that Allstate also provides commercial auto coverage. They offer an online form for requesting quotes. Bobtail insurance is additional coverage to their other commercial truck offerings, so they prefer you contact an agent to discuss quotes related to add-on coverages.

Allstate ranks the first in the prestigious annual JD Power Business Insurance Customer Satisfaction study in 2020.

The Hartford: Best for fleets

The Hartford is a well-known name in the insurance industry. They’ve been writing policies for more than 200 years. Regarding commercial trucking insurance, the Hartford prefers to write policies for fleets. They have limited offerings for owner-operators, but they are better suited for policies including multiple vehicles. 

Smart Financial: Best for small trucking businesses

If you run a trucking business with annual revenue of less than $10M, you may want to consider working with Smart Financial. They are a national insurance broker specializing in serving small businesses. Small trucking businesses are nimble and fast-growing. Each of them is unique and special in its own operations, which requires the agents to have a good understanding and expertise to find the right coverages at the most affordable prices. Smart Financial agents are knowledgeable and experienced in working with these small trucking businesses and are in a great position to help them.

What are bobtail and physical damage insurance?

Bobtail and physical damage insurance are not the same, but the coverages work well together. Physical damage insurance is the collision and comprehensive coverages that will protect your interests in your truck should you have an accident. Bobtail insurance is an add-on coverage that takes physical damage coverage a step further by protecting you when you are using the tractor without a trailer. 

You may think you never travel bobtail, but you likely do if you think about it. If you ever drop a trailer at one location and then travel to another to pick up another trailer, you traveled bobtail to do so. If you don’t have bobtail insurance, you are at best in a gray area as to whether your insurance will cover if you have an accident in this situation. Many motor carriers require that truckers leasing with them maintain bobtail insurance. 

Do I need both bobtail and physical damage insurance?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were over 2,000 accidents involving bobtail trucks in 2020. So, whether you think you need it or not, bobtail insurance is a worthwhile consideration. Bobtail insurance covers when you operate your tractor without your trailer. In conjunction with physical damage insurance, it can help you repair or replace your truck if you’re involved in an accident. 

If you’re wondering if you need physical damage insurance, it isn’t usually a requirement by law, but you need protection for your truck. You are required to have the coverage if you are purchasing your truck with financing or if you are leasing it. The coverage protects the lien holder’s interest in the vehicle as it includes collision and comprehensive coverages. 

How much do bobtail and physical damage insurance cost? 

Bobtail insurance is an add-on coverage, and the coverage price may vary by the insurance company. On average, it’s a $30 to $50 a month coverage, or $360 to $600 a year, depending on the risk factors you bring to the table. Comparing quotes or bundling with other coverages might help you save on bobtail insurance costs. Learn more about the cost of bobtail insurance

Physical damage insurance costs vary depending on a few factors. For example, your truck’s value factors into the price of physical damage insurance. Other factors include where you park your truck when you aren’t on the road and your driving record. The average trucking physical damage cost is from $1,000 to $3,000 a year. It is usually calculated as a % of the truck value at the time of purchasing insurance. Learn more about the cost of trucking physical damage insurance.

These are just the averages. Your quotes and rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few carriers or work with a top broker like Simply Business, Commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to have them get several quotes for you to compare and choose the cheapest one. Try to get quotes online if they are available. Unfortunately, at the moment, Progressive is the only carrier offering truck insurance quote online. You may want to start there. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get a quote on Progressive website.

Final thoughts

Bobtail and physical damage insurances are not necessarily required coverages, but they are both worth consideration. Bobtail policies cover when you are traveling without a trailer attached to your truck. Physical damage coverage is the collision and comprehensive coverage that will help to repair or replace your actual truck in the case of an accident. 

Some motor carriers require that you carry either physical damage, bobtail coverage, or both. So, while it may not be required by law, it’s wise to check with the companies you routinely do business with before determining if you think you need these coverages. If you want to protect your interest in your truck, both coverages are beneficial to have. 

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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