6 Best Commercial Truck Insurance in Alabama for 2023

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

If you drive a commercial truck of any kind, you need to have commercial truck insurance to protect yourself and your business. Each state has its own laws regarding commercial truck insurance, and there are federal mandates you must follow if you drive across state lines. You need to be aware of both federal and state requirements if you plan to work in the trucking industry. 

This article will focus on commercial truck insurance in Alabama. We’ll look at the minimum policy requirements for commercial truck insurance, the best companies for commercial truck insurance, how much the insurance costs, and finally, the factors that affect the commercial truck insurance costs. Continue reading to learn about commercial truck insurance in Alabama. 

6 best commercial truck insurance companies

Various insurance companies provide commercial trucking insurance. To ensure you find the right coverage for you, give the agent or whoever is writing your quote a complete picture of your business practices. In the meantime, these are six companies that we consider the best. 

  • Progressive: Best overall savings
  • SimplyBusiness: Best insurance brokerage
  • OOIDA: Best for truck owner operators and small trucking businesses
  • Sentry: Best for large trucking businesses
  • Travelers: Best for a variety of coverage options
  • Smart Financial: Best for making it easy to combine personal auto and commercial truck insurance coverages

Progressive: Best for overall savings

Progressive provides commercial truck insurance in every state of the union. They are the top-ranked commercial insurance carrier for trucks. The company offers a variety of coverages for multiple types of commercial trucks. Progressive offers various discounts as well as online quotes, claim filings, and other customer service requests. 

If you are new to buying commercial truck insurance, you should at least get an online quote from Progressive. It is super fast and easy to get a quote online. It should’t take more than 10 minutes. You can then compare Progressive quotes with other insurance companies that you can get quotes through different brokers. If Progressive’s quote is competitive, not necessarily to be the cheapest one among the ones that you could get, you should definitely consider it given its financial strength and reputation.

SimplyBusiness: Best insurance brokerage or agency

SimplyBusiness is an insurance broker. A broker differs from an agent in that the company pulls quotes from various companies and provides them to you. You give them your information once, and they do the rest. You will have to call SimplyBusiness for a commercial trucking quote because they don’t provide those online. 

SimplyBusiness has been in small business insurance industry for decades and has built up their experience, especially in the trucking industry. Their agents and customer service staff are very knowledgeable. If you are new to buying commercial truck insurance, you should definitely work with them to compare several quotes.

OOIDA: Best for truck owner operators and small trucking businesses

OOIDA stands for Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The company began in 1973 and was initially a trade association for truckers. Their system is membership-based, and you can apply by telephone. The agent you speak with will then work on recommending policies and customizing them to your needs. 

Learn more at our review of OOIDA truck insurance

Sentry: Best for large trucking businesses

Sentry is our pick for large trucking businesses. They have been has been in trucking insurance business since 1904. They offer expertise in the industry and customized service that can be helpful to large trucking companies with several fleets. They specialize in trucking and are available in all 50 states. 

They know trucking insurance business inside out and can be helpful for large trucking businesses trying to the get the right coverages for their large fleets.

You can’t get a quote online with Sentry. You have to contact their agents and work with them to get a quote. Their agents are extremely knowledgeable with trucking insurance and will be able to advise you on the right coverages at the best price.

Travelers: Best for comprehensive commercial truck coverages

Travelers insurance is based in Connecticut. They have agents and brokers in the US, the UK, Ireland, Brazil, and Canada. This company was founded in 1864, making it one of the US’s oldest insurance providers for commercial trucks. They are one of the market leaders in commercial truck insurance industry. They offer comprehensive commercial truck insurance policies with a variety of coverages suitable for several truck types: from semi truck to tow truck, to log truck or farm truck.

They are a financially sound company, holding an A++ with AM Best, and as such, they underwrite all their own policies. 

Smart Financial: Best for making it easy to combine personal auto and commercial truck insurance coverages

SmartFinancial is another truck insurance broker. However, they started out as a personal auto insurance broker and have helped hundreds of thousands of consumers find the best and the cheapest personal auto coverage. They have expanded to also help truckers and trucking companies find best commercial truck coverage. If you are a truck owner operator and wants to combine your personal auto insurance coverage with your commercial truck insurance to get discount, you may want to work with Smart Financial.

Their three-minute quote process on their website helps you to search for the right carriers with the right coverages and discounts. After you buy the policy, you can manage both personal auto and commercial truck insurance policies in their platform.

Requirements for commercial truck insurance in Alabama

Alabama is what is known as a tort state. That means that at-fault drivers are required to pay for medical expenses for the other driver and other costs stemming from an accident. These costs can include loss of wages or “pain and suffering” costs.

Tort states require minimum liability insurance, but it’s a good practice to have more than the minimum to be well protected. Each state has a different minimum requirement. In Alabama, commercial auto policies must have a minimum liability limit of $25,000 per person, $50,000 for an accident for bodily injury claims, and $25,000 for property damage limits. This is a 25/50/25 split limit.     

There are separate requirements for vehicles with a USDOT or Motor Carrier (MC) number. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) usually requires semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles to carry at least liability insurance with a $750,000 limit.    

These are the minimum requirements. It’s best to have coverages that are specific to your business to ensure you are covered for whatever eventualities you can imagine. Not having enough insurance coverage can leave you at risk of losing your livelihood should an accident occur.

What does commercial truck insurance cover in Alabama?

Commercial truck insurance protects trucking companies or companies that use trucks to transport goods. The policy also includes insurance options for independent truck drivers.

The term refers to a variety of insurance policies required for trucking operations, such as:

Trucking primary liability insurance

If you drive a truck, they must have this coverage. State laws and trucking industry regulations will require you to get this coverage. This is the most important and the most expensive coverage that you must have to drive a truck. This covers bodily injury to other people and damage to other people’s property if you’re involved in an accident. It will also cover legal defense costs if you’re sued.

  • If you are a driver working for a trucking company, it is likely that the company provides you with this insurance.  
  • If you are under lease to a motor carrier company, it’s likely they’ll get this coverage for you.
  • If you are a truck owner operator driving under your own authority, you must buy this coverage on your own.

Non-trucking liability insurance

This insurance is necessary for accidents that occur while owners operators are driving their trucks during non-working hours. If owner operators drive their trucks during non-working hours and are involved in an accident, you must have this coverage to protect them. Owner operators need this coverage regardless if they drive on your own authorities or lease on to a motor carrier. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.

If you are a truck driver working for a trucking company, you need to clarify with the company if the insurance policy provided by them covers non-trucking liability as well. It likely does, but it is good to confirm it.

Bobtail insurance

Sometimes non-trucking liability insurance is also referred to as bobtail insurance. However, bobtail insurance only protects you if you drive a truck without a trailer attached to it. If you drive your truck during non-working hours and have a trailer attached to it, bobtail insurance will not cover you. Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.

Trucking physical damage insurance

This covers repairs or replacement of your trailer and truck when you’re involved in an accident. It also covers damage to your trailer and truck that results from natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes or theft. Lear more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.

Cargo coverage

This coverage pays if anything happens to the logs you haul while transporting them. It is usually required by the shippers or brokers. It is required more and more often nowadays. The price of cargo coverage in log truck insurance depends on the value of the logs. The more valuable the logs are, the more expensive the cargo insurance premiums are. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.

Uninsured motorist coverage

This coverage ensures that damages and injuries will be covered if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist or are involved in a hit and run. Given that almost 18% vehicles on the US streets are by drivers without insurance or underinsurance, it is critical for log truck companies to have this coverage. Actually, this coverage is required in most states.

Occupational accident coverage for truckers

Occupational accident coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages if you get injured or become ill while driving a log truck. This is similar to workers comp insurance for truckers, but it is a lighter version. The coverage is not as comprehensive as workers comp insurance for truckers, thus it is usually just half of the price of workers comp insurance. Learn more at the best occupational accident insurance companies for truckers.

Workers comp insurance for truckers

If you run a trucking company and hire drivers as full-time employees. You are required by law in all 50 states, except Texas to provide workers comp insurance for your drivers. However, if you hire your drivers as independent contractors, you are not required to provide workers comp insurance to them. You should at least provide occupational accident insurance to protect them. At the end of the day, trucking is a high-risk job.

If you are an owner operator who drive a truck, you can choose to buy for yourselves workers comp insurance for occupational accident coverage.

Learn more at the best workers comp insurance for truckers.          

Types of trucks covered by Alabama commercial truck insurance 

Insurance companies have different policies regarding trucking insurance. Therefore, the insurance company ultimately determines the type of truck covered by commercial truck insurance. In general, most companies provide commercial truck insurance for the following types of trucks:

How much does commercial truck insurance cost in Alabama?

Commercial truck insurance cost in Alabama varies depending on a few factors. However, on average, you can expect an annual premium that falls between $9,900 and $15,700. The estimates here are based on one truck businesses requiring liability, cargo, and physical damage insurance, and for a driver who is 40 years old with good driving record.

Commercial truck insurance cost varies significantly by the type of operator, ie. if you drive on your own authority or lease on to a motor carrier company. Commercial truck insurance cost for new authority is significantly more.

Truck owner operator typesAverage commercial truck insurance cost in Alabama
Lease on to a motor carrier$2,500 – $4,000 a year
Drive under their own authorities$9,900 – $15,700 a year
New authorities $12,000 – $18,000 a year

These are just the averages. Your quotes will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or with a broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, or commercialinsurance.net to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one.

How much is the average commercial truck insurance cost per month in Alabama?

The average commercial truck cost per month in Alabama is from $825 to $1,310 a month. This is for a 40 year old driver with good driving record of 5+ years of experience and the policy includes primary liability coverage, non-trucking liability coverage, physical damage coverage, and cargo insurance. Below are the breakdowns of the average cost for each coverage.

Commercial truck insurance coverageAverage cost in Alabama
Trucking primary liability coverage $750 a month
No-trucking liability coverage $75 a month
Physical damage coverage $150 a month
Cargo insurance$225 a month

Be sure to shop around with several companies or with a broker to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.

Factors affecting commercial truck insurance costs in Alabama

Insurance rates vary based on several factors. One of those factors is the company you choose. Standard considerations can affect your rates no matter what company you choose. Here are some of those: 

The type of insurance you need

The type of insurance you need is partially determined by whether you rent, lease, or own the vehicle you are insuring. The kind of policy you must get determines your rates as you could see above. Primary trucking liability coverage is the most expensive.

Location and your driving routes

The area where you are located and drive and how far you drive each trip can affect your premiums. This is especially true if the area you drive is considered a high-risk area because of crime, traffic, or weather. Also, if you drive in state only or cross the state border has a big influence on the cost of your commercial truck insurance.

You and your drivers

Demographics like age, gender, and marital status for anyone who operates the vehicle are required by the insurance provider to assess the general risk of insuring you. This also includes your credit score. All of these factors contribute to the final cost of your commercial truck insurance.

Driving records

The driving record of anyone who uses the vehicle and their history regarding collisions, claims, or other driving incidents can affect your premiums. This is one of the most important factors affecting your commercial truck insurance cost. Drivers with an excellent driving record will pay much less than those who have too many violations in the past.

What do you transport?

That can affect your costs, especially if you routinely transport hazardous materials. Cargo insurance cost varies significantly by the cargo types that you haul. The more valuable and the riskier the cargo you haul are, the more expensive cargo insurance is.

Your vehicle affects your premiums

Size, type (van, box truck, tractor-trailer), and even the make and model can affect the amount of your premium. If possible, it’s a good idea to shop for insurance rates before you purchase or lease your vehicle. This directly impacts the cost of the trucking physical damage coverage. The more expensive your truck is the more expensive your commercial truck insurance is.

Safety-first practices

Does your commercial truck have special safety features like an alarm, GPS, automatic seatbelts, side airbags, or anti-lock brakes? If so, your premiums could be reduced. Connecting your ELD data with the insurance providers can lower your commercial truck insurance cost as well.

Coverage limits and deductibles

Your coverage will have limits, and those limits affect your premium. Higher limits lead to higher costs. However, choose your limits wisely so you will have adequate coverage.

Another factor is your deductible. If you choose a higher deductible, your premiums will be lower; a lower deductible leads to higher premiums.

These are the common factors affecting your premiums. There could be others we didn’t mention. The best way to know exactly what will affect your rates is to speak to your insurance agent. 

How to find cheap commercial truck insurance in Alabama?

If you feel your premium for truck insurance is too expensive, there are a few things you can do. The following are a few ideas to help you get the best deal on your commercial truck insurance:

Compare prices from various companies.

As we already mentioned, the price of trucking insurance varies from one company to another. Therefore, it is best to contact as many companies as possible when seeking quotes. However, some companies offer less protection at lower prices to attract customers.

Take advantage of any available discounts.

Many companies offer a variety of commercial truck insurance discounts. So, figure out which ones apply to you to get the best deal. The following are some of the most common discounts you might enjoy:

  • Discounts for having a commercial driver’s license
  • Discounts for being a long-standing business,
  • Discounts for buying multiple policies at once. 
  • Some insurers may also provide a discount if you pay your annual premiums in one lump sum.

Commitment to safety

Having a safety plan where you teach your drivers about safe driving might help you get some reductions in your insurance cost. 

Increase your insurance deductibles

Another option that we do not recommend is to raise your deductibles. Your deductible refers to the amount you will pay to cover damages if an incident occurs. However, this is risky because you will be liable for more in the event of an accident while you are trying t save just a few dollars.

Final thoughts

If you drive a truck for a living in Alabama, you need commercial truck insurance. You are required to have liability insurance with specified limits, but it’s wise to have more insurance than is required to ensure you have adequate insurance.

Thang Truong
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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