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
- What states have the cheapest commercial truck insurance?
- 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 to help you get started with the search. Check out:
- Progressive: Best Overall as the market leader with several discounts and easy and fast online quotes
- biBERK: Best for low-cost commercial truck coverage
- InsurePro: Best for part-time truckers with the flexible pay-per-day coverage
- Simply Business: Best insurance brokerage for comparing several quotes
- THREE: Best for comprehensive trucking business insurance at an affordable rate
- Tivly: Best for Comparing Quotes from Leading Companies Through an Agent
- The Hartford: Best for longevity
Progressive: Best Overall as the market leader with several discounts and easy and fast 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.
biBERK: Best for low-cost commercial truck coverage
biBERK is a business insurance specialist and a subsidiary of the reputable and experienced insurance mega corporation, the Berkshire Hathaway. They are in the same family as Geico. It is safe to assume that they know how to operate a vehicle insurance business with a low-cost model. biBERK was founded to offer business insurance completely online, bypassing agents and brokers. That also helps them reduce costs significantly and pass these savings to reduce rates for its customers. biBERK actually claims that they help their customers save at least 20% on commercial truck premiums.
If you want a low-cost option for your commercial truck insurance, you should definitely give them a try. biBERK is one of a few carriers offering commercial truck insurance quotes online. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get a quote from biBERK.
InsurePro: Best for part-time truckers with the flexible pay-per-day coverage
InsurePro is a newer small business brokerage with a unique offer. Instead of selling the traditional annual policy that other insurance companies do, InsurePro specializes in providing small businesses, including trucking ones, short-term coverage, even just a few days.
This is the best for part-time truckers or trucking businesses who may not have enough business to keep their trucks on the road for all 7 days a week or 30 days a month. As such, they can buy commercial truck coverage for just a few days whenever their trucks are on the road. This would save them a lot of money.
InsurePro may not provide trucking insurance quotes online yet, but you can chat with their agents very conveniently and their agents can provide you with quotes on chat or on the phone.
Simply Business: Best insurance brokerage for comparing several quotes
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.
THREE: Best for comprehensive trucking business insurance at an affordable rate
THREE is another subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. They are also a business insurance specialist. As you may know, a business may need to have several insurance coverages to protect its business properly. Business owners may not be aware of all of this insurance coverage and it may be confusing for them to learn about these coverages.
THREE was founded with a belief that all small and medium businesses, including all types of trucking businesses, should have one business insurance policy that provides proper protection and the policy document should always be 3-page long without any insurance jargons or fine prints of exclusions.
THREE provides all trucking businesses with a comprehensive insurance policy with sufficient protection at an affordable rate. They also offer online quotes. You should definitely get a quote from THREE.
Tivly: 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 Tivly. Their website is filled with helpful information explaining commercial auto insurance and exactly what your policy will cover.
Tivly works with an intensive network of agents who are experienced and knowledgeable about trucking insurance and have worked with tens of thousands of trucking businesses. Regardless of how unique your trucking business is, you can count on them connecting you with the most knowledgeable agent in your field of business.
It’s not possible to get instant quotes on Tivly’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 Tivly 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.
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
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:
Trucking primary liability insurance
This covers the other person’s vehicle repairs and medical bills if the truck driver causes damage to the other vehicle or harms the driver in an accident. However, trucking primary liability insurance does not cover the at-fault driver and his truck. This coverage is required by law in all 50 states. If you drive a truck, you must have this coverage. This coverage is also the most expensive in your commercial truck policies.
Trucking physical damage insurance
This covers damage to the policyholder’s trucks. Trucking physical damage insurance has two types, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Collision coverage only covers damages sustained in an accident, while comprehensive coverage covers non-accident losses or damages to trucks, such as theft or vandalism.
Non-trucking liability insurance
Non-trucking liability insurance covers damages that occur while using the truck for non-business purposes, such as grocery shopping. In such cases, the insurance would pay for related medical and property damage costs.
Non-trucking liability coverage is relatively inexpensive. Learn more about non-trucking liability insurance cost.
Bobtail insurance covers your trucks after the cargo has been delivered and the truck is no longer used for trucking purposes, or when there is no trailer attached to a truck when it is involved in an accident.
Bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability can be confusing. However, you can learn more about the differences between bobtail and non-trucking liability
And learn more about bobtail insurance costs
Trucking general liability insurance
Trucking general liability insurance protects trucking firms against lawsuits filed by victims of accidents caused by their drivers. This insurance is a standard requirement for states and risk managers for any business that runs commercial vehicles.
Some companies do not offer this policy to all truckers. Make sure to double-check with your agents or insurance companies to see if they offer this coverage.
Truck cargo insurance
Motor truck cargo insurance covers the contents being transported by your commercial trucks. This coverage protects the truck owner-operators and the trucking firm if the products being carried are damaged, lost, or stolen. It is usually required by shippers or freight brokers because they want to protect their goods. Having this coverage may be able to help you increase your revenue. Some shippers and brokers require up to $1 million cargo insurance coverage, which may be costly, but it will help you get more work and increase your revenue.
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.
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
- Semi-Truck – Learn more at the best semi-truck insurance companies
- Flatbed Trucks
- Car Haulers
- Tank Trucks
- Box Trucks – Learn more at the best box truck insurance companies
- Mail Trucks
- Chiller Trucks
- Dump Trucks – Learn more at the best dump truck insurance companies
- Garbage Trucks
- Snow Plows
- Tow Truck – Learn more at the best tow truck insurance companies
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.
Semi truck insurance
Semi truck is probably the most popular truck type used in commercial activities. Semi trucks are also known as tractor trailers or 18-wheelers. They are usually used to haul different types of cargoes or goods across the country. When people talk about commercial trucks, without mentioning the specific truck types, they usually refer to semi-truck. Semi truck insurance requirements are, in general, similar to commercial truck insurance requirements. However, it has some subtle differences.
Box truck insurance
One of the most popular trucks is box truck and box truck has been used widely for commercial purposes such as moving trucks or Amazon delivery trucks. Of course, box truck drivers need to have commercial box truck insurance. Box truck insurance may come with different requirements and other specifics.
Tow truck insurance
Another truck used widely for commercial purposes is tow truck. Similar to box truck, commercial tow truck insurance has its own requirements in different states. Towing businesses have their own characteristics and unique operations, which results in different coverage requirements in commercial tow truck insurance. Learn more at tow truck insurance cost and the best tow truck insurance companies.
Hot shot trucking insurance
Hot shot trucking refers to a special type of commercial trucking businesses. Hotshot truckers are needed when brokers and shippers need to have small loads that have to be delivered fast. Hot shot drivers specialize in this kind of work and often ship items like construction materials, agricultural equipment, and heavy machinery from one location to the next, usually in shorter distance and in the same state.
This special commercial trucking operation comes with its own risks that hot shot trucking insurance is designed to cover. If you operate a hot shot trucking business, you need to have the proper hot shot trucking coverage to protect your business. Learn more details at hot shot trucking insurance cost and the best hot shot trucking insurance companies.
Dump truck insurance
Another type of commercial truck is a dump truck. Commercial dump trucks are mostly used in construction and mining businesses. Construction businesses have been on the rise in the US in the past decade, which also leads to the growth of dump truck businesses. There are more than 28,000 dump truck businesses in the US and it has been increasing by 2.5-3% annually in the past decade.
These dump trucks require to have dump truck insurance or commercial dump truck insurance. Dump trucks have their own insurance requirements and coverages. Learn more details at dump truck insurance cost and the best dump truck insurance companies.
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
Different types of trucks may also have different insurance requirements. Below are the commercial truck insurance requirements for some popular truck types:
Tow truck insurance requirements
Tow truck insurance requirements actually vary by state. The main requirements may be similar in all states, there are some minor requirement differences by states that you may want to pay attention to.
In general, all states require tow truck operators to have at least the minimum liability coverage, which is $300,000 CSL, ie. combined single limit. If a tow truck travels across state lines, they need to meet the minimum coverage requirement by the federal regulators, which is usually at $750,000 CSL.
Different states may also have different coverage requirements for tow truck operators. Reference our detailed guide of tow truck insurance requirements by states.
Box truck insurance requirements
Similar to other truck types, box truck insurance requirements may vary from state to state, but typically a commercial box truck insurance policy will include coverage for the truck, its cargo, and any third-party injuries or damage.
Box truck has become more and more popular, especially with the growth of Amazon. If you are a truck owner-operator and drive for Amazon, below are the Amazon box truck insurance requirements that you have to meet:
- Commercial general liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate.
- Commercial truck primary liability from at least $1,000,000 million per occurrence, and at least $50,000 for trailer replacement coverage
- Cargo coverage of at least $100,000
- Workers compensation insurance in compliance with the state your company operates from
- Employer liability insurance of at least $100,000 per occurrence
Hot shot truck insurance requirements
There are many requirements that come with being a hot shot trucker. One of the most important is having the proper insurance. Hot shot truckers need to have liability insurance to protect themselves and their cargo in case of an accident. They should also have cargo insurance to protect their goods in case something happens during transport.
In addition to liability and cargo insurance, hot shot truckers should also have workers’ compensation insurance. This will protect them if they are injured on the job. Finally, they should have an excess liability policy. This policy will provide extra coverage in the event that something happens and the other policies do not cover all of the damages.
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.
Learn more at where to get no down payment commercial truck insurance
What states have the cheapest commercial truck insurance?
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.
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.
Learn more at the states with the cheapest commercial truck insurance
Best commercial truck insurance in 50 states
Commercial truck insurance cost varies by location. Exactly the same trucking business operating in different states will have different insurance costs. Different insurance companies also operate in different states. Some companies are more successful in some states, but not the others.
We have done the research and below are the table of the best commercial truck insurance companies in different states. Clicking on the link to see the details for each state.
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.
Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance for new drivers
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.
Commercial truck insurance for new authorities and new ventures
When a new business is starting out, it is important to have the proper insurance coverage in case something goes wrong. Commercial truck insurance for new authorities and new ventures is usually expensive because there is a higher risk of something happening. New trucking authorities and new trucking ventures often contain higher risks because they don’t have much experience driving a truck and operating a trucking business yet.
It is important for new trucking authorities and new trucking ventures to have sufficient coverage so that if something does happen, the business will be protected. Without it, the new business can go bankrupt easily.
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.