When you run a business that owns, operates, or leases trucks, it’s vital to get appropriate insurance coverage. Commercial truck insurance provides much needed protection in case your vehicle is in an accident or damaged.
- 7 Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
- The Different Coverage Types of Commercial Truck Insurance
- What is Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Coverage?
- Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements
- The Types of Trucks Commercial Truck Insurance Covers
- How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
- How to Find Cheap Commercial Truck Insurance?
- Commercial Truck Insurance With No Down Payment
- Cheapest Commercial Truck Insurance Rates by States
- Most Expensive Commercial Truck Insurance Rates by States
- Commercial Truck Insurance for New Drivers
- Commercial Truck Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
7 Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
It’s hard to find good insurance companies with so many providers competing for your attention in the marketplace. We’ve put together a list of the 7 best commercial truck insurance companies for 2021 to help you get started with the search. Check out:
- Coverwallet: Best for Comparing Quotes from Leading Companies Through an Agent
- Progressive: Best for Online Quotes
- The Hartford: Best for Longevity
- Chubb: Best for Coverage Options
- Nationwide: Best for Customer Service
- Hiscox: Best for Reputation
- Simply Business: Best Insurance Brokerage
Coverwallet: Best for Comparing Quotes from Leading Companies Through an Agent
If you are looking for an insurance provider that will explain everything in easy to understand terms, consider Coverwallet. Their website is filled with helpful information explaining commercial auto insurance and exactly what your policy will cover.
Coverwallet also has a well-developed website with online logins to manage your account, ask questions through chat, and also request quotes.
It’s not possible to get instant quotes on Coverwallet’s website, but users can provide the necessary information and an agent will reach out to you (or you can call them) to discuss your commercial truck quote options. As CoverWallet is a national digital broker, their agents can obtain several quotes from leading companies and present them for your selection. I also found that their agents are very knowledgeable. They are able to explain clearly the pros and cons of different quotes so that you can make the best decision for your situation. It is great for time saving since I don’t have to go around to get quotes from several websites of insurance companies.
Progressive: Best for Online Quotes
When you want a quote right away without the wait, Progressive can help you get it. They create online quotes for commercial trucking insurance when you provide some basic information. It’s even possible to buy your insurance online if you like the quote.
We pulled a sample quote for a 38-year-old woman who owns a cargo transportation company in Ohio. Progressive’s most basic commercial auto insurance is $2,391.00 per year. This insurance plan includes $1 million CSL in Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability and $1 million in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury.
This is a bare minimum plan. It’s also possible to add on coverage like:
- Comprehensive & Collision
- Uninsured Motorist
- Medical Payments
- Rental Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
Progressive also allows customers to buy insurance with one payment or break it down into six monthly payments or 12 monthly payments.
The Hartford: Best for Longevity
The Hartford is an insurance company with over 200 years of experience serving customers. They have centuries of experience in providing coverage for commercial clients. You can find coverage with The Hartford through any number of brokers and agents around the nation. They provide comprehensive trucking coverage, and as a bonus also cover electronic equipment inside vehicles for free.
Unfortunately, The Hartford doesn’t offer online quotes for customers. You’ll need to contact a local agent to get started with a commercial truck insurance estimate.
Chubb: Best for Coverage Options
As the largest P&C insurance provider worldwide, Chubb is one of the best choices for companies that have international operations. They have local agents in countries all over the world who can help customers create tailored commercial truck insurance plans. Chubb also puts extra effort into customer service with an accessible website, many agents and brokers, and high policy limits.
Chubb doesn’t offer online quotes, but they do allow customers to file claims or check their account through the website.
Nationwide: Best for Customer Service
Most people are familiar with Nationwide as a consumer auto insurance company with high ratings. Nationwide also provides commercial trucking insurance for businesses in all industries. They boast many features for policyholders like discounts on insurance, free programs and cutting-edge technology, and written guarantees for repair quotes. One of their offerings, the Vantage 360 Fleet provides free telematics tracking of your fleet. Nationwide also provides a 10% discount on insurance to companies that sign up for this program.
Nationwide also offers online quotes for commercial truck insurance. You’ll need to provide some basic information about the:
- Licenses & Permits
If you can’t provide information about your CDL license or necessary ODOT permits, you won’t be able to get a quote online.
Hiscox: Best for Reputation
As a specialty insurance company since 1901 with a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) from AM Best, Hiscox has an excellent outlook for the future. They are a well-established company that will likely continue to provide commercial auto insurance for decades to come. Hiscox is also a global company with agents in 14 different countries.
Hiscox doesn’t appear to offer insurance quotes on their website. However, when you click on a link to learn more about their Commercial Auto Insurance, it will take you to the CoverHound website. Coverhound is an independent insurance comparison site that provides insurance quotes from multiple providers including Hiscox. You can request a quote through the CoverHound site to be contacted by a local agent.
Simply Business: Best Insurance Brokerage
A national insurance brokerage, Simply Business provides quotes from multiple insurance providers through their website. This can be a convenient option for those who would like to compare insurance from several companies at once. However, Simply Business isn’t able to provide quotes for commercial trucking insurance online. You can provide your information on the website and they will have an agent contact you with quotes through email or by phone.
The Different Coverage Types of Commercial Truck Insurance
Just like with other types of auto insurance, you’ll find that there are different coverage types for commercial truck insurance. Your policy will likely contain multiple coverages to help protect your company no matter the circumstance.
Let’s take a quick look at what’s included with most commercial truck insurance:
- Physical Damage: This coverage provides for the repair of any damage to your truck from an accident.
- Primary Liability: This is an important one that protects the driver against costs for damage and personal injury.
- General Liability: Many companies carry general liability because it covers them for other kinds of accidents, like a driver slipping on your parking lot and getting hurt or a lawsuit over a contract.
- Motor Truck Cargo: If you deliver goods, this insurance covers the cost of replacing your cargo in case of damage or loss.
- Uninsured & Underinsured: This coverage makes up the difference if you are in an accident with another driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
What is Motor Truck Cargo Insurance Coverage?
If you are a cargo carrier of any kind, you’ll be required to have cargo insurance. Also called motor truck cargo insurance, this coverage protects you in the event that your cargo is lost or damaged. Usually policies will pay for costs associated with striking of a load being carried, collision, theft, or fire.
Motor truck cargo insurance policies may also include additional coverage for different situations relating to loss of cargo. These can include:
- Removal Expenses Coverage: Pays for the costs of removing spilled cargo from the road or waterways.
- Earned Freight Coverage: Replaces lost income from failure to deliver a load of cargo.
- Fire Department Surcharge: Pays for the charges a local fire department may impose for fighting a fire involving your cargo.
- Rewards Coverage: Provides money if you set up a cash award for information regarding the theft of cargo or that leads to the recovery of the cargo.
Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements
Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) require drivers and transportation companies to carry commercial liability insurance. Many shipping companies will also ask about your insurance coverage before choosing to work with you.
Depending on the type of trucking company you operate, these organizations may also require you to have other forms of insurance coverage, such as Cargo Insurance or General Liability.
Further, the FMCSA has specific insurance limits that trucking companies must obtain, like:
- Commercial Liability Limits for Non-Hazardous Goods Transport: $750,000
- Commercial Liability Limits for Hazardous Materials Shipments: $5,000,000
- Cargo Insurance: $5,000 per vehicle; $10,000 per occurrence
The Types of Trucks Commercial Truck Insurance Covers
Almost any type of vehicle that is used as part of business operations will require commercial auto insurance or commercial truck insurance. Types of trucks that are usually used for business include:
- Pickup Trucks
- Flatbed Trucks
- Car Haulers
- Tank Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Mail Trucks
- Chiller Trucks
- Dump Trucks
- Garbage Trucks
- Snow Plows
Commercial insurance requirements also tend to be lower for trucks weighing under 10,001 lbs. For instance, the FMCSA only requires $300,000 in commercial liability insurance for non-hazardous goods transport vehicles weighing less than 10,001 lbs.
How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
Truck insurance prices can vary from driver to driver due to age, location, and other factors. The biggest element that affects commercial truck insurance costs is how long you’ve had trucking authority. Newly authorized drivers pay the most in commercial truck insurance costs at between $10,000 – $30,000 per year. Those with experienced authority will usually pay between $10,000 – $15,000 per year.
If you are a commercial truck driver who works with a transportation company the costs are more affordable because the carrier is providing the bulk of the insurance. However, the driver will still have premiums up to $3,500 per year.
How to Find Cheap Commercial Truck Insurance?
If you are looking for cheap commercial truck insurance, it’s best to compare rates from multiple insurers. A brokerage website can help you look at multiple quotes at once. Some popular brokerages to consider include: CoverHound, CoverWallet, and Simply Business. If you are willing to pay for the bare minimum liability insurance needed to drive a truck, then you’ll save a little more too.
You can also work for a major carrier who will cover most of the insurance costs of driving a commercial truck. Another option is to relocate or only operate in a state with very affordable insurance rates.
Some tips for lowering your premiums also include:
- Paying a single premium upfront for a discount
- Paying by electronic debit for a discount
- Pairing your commercial truck and business insurance
- Request a multiyear policy, i.e. three-year policy
Commercial Truck Insurance With No Down Payment
The high initial down payment for commercial truck insurance is another hurdle for all drivers. Down payments may be thousands of dollars.
While it’s hard to find commercial truck insurance with no down payment, you can find companies offering commercial truck insurance down payment assistance and deferred down payment plans. These insurers may be able to help you get started with insurance coverage for a 50% down payment and deduct the remainder from your bank account each week until the down payment is fully paid. The best way to find these companies is through brokers like CoverWallet.
Cheapest Commercial Truck Insurance Rates by States
Speaking of, commercial truck insurance rates are cheaper in some states over others. The price that insurance companies quote for rates is highly dependent on the risk of an accident or damage to cargo in your region. Rates can also be affected by the average costs of claims in a region.
According to CoverWallet, the cheapest states for commercial truck insurance are:
Most Expensive Commercial Truck Insurance Rates by States
By contrast, there are plenty of other states with higher than average commercial truck insurance rates. By state, they are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
If you are also worried about the difficulty of being a truck driver in different states, California, New York, and Texas are some of the most challenging regions. California has strict laws and requirements that can make it difficult to operate. Some cities also have terrible traffic, such as Los Angeles. New York has similar traffic issues, especially in New York City.
Lastly, Texas is about to pass a new law, Texas House Bill 19, that makes it harder for plaintiffs to bring lawsuits against trucking companies, but not necessarily truck drivers. This could mean drivers will have to pay much higher insurance rates to protect themselves in the event of an accident.
Commercial Truck Insurance for New Drivers
It’s absolutely necessary for new drivers to get commercial truck insurance. In fact, commercial truck insurance is required to get trucking authority. This puts new drivers in a tight spot as commercial truck insurance for those who are just getting started may be as much as $30,000 per year.
For this reason, many new drivers start out working for a motor carrier company which leases the vehicle to the driver and covers much of the insurance requirements. They only have to pay a few thousand per year in commercial truck insurance premiums while saving up to get authority.
Commercial Truck Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
There are many things that cause insurance companies to consider truck drivers to be high-risk. You don’t necessarily have to have been in an accident! For many insurers, a new driver or a new trucking company would be considered high-risk simply because they lack experience or driving records to review.
Drivers who transport hazardous materials are also considered high risk because of the material they are carrying.
It is more difficult to find commercial truck insurance for high-risk drivers, but there are companies who offer such coverage. You’ll just need to work with a brokerage to find the companies that specialize in high-risk commercial truck insurance coverage to get insured.
It’s hard to get instant quotes for commercial auto insurance. However, these 7 best commercial truck insurance companies for 2021 do allow you to submit online requests for quotes. You’ll need to provide all of the necessary information for the insurer to pull quotes, including licensing information and expected earnings. Progressive is one of the few companies that offers online quotes for commercial truck insurance and allows you to buy commercial insurance online too.