5 Best Commercial Truck Insurance for High Risk Drivers

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

You want to be covered while on the road when driving is your business. However, sometimes drivers are deemed to be high risk. You could pay more for less coverage or face not being covered at all when that happens. This article will discuss who is considered high risk and how that determination affects insurance coverages. 

The 5 best commercial insurance companies for high-risk drivers

  • Progressive: Best Overall and the only carrier offering quotes online
  • Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes
  • biBERK: Best for the low-cost coverage from a reputable carrier
  • The Hartford: Best if you run a fleet and some of your drivers might be considered high-risk
  • Smart Financial: Best for new and small trucking companies

Progressive: Best Overall and the only carrier offering quotes online

Progressive provides policies for a variety of commercial needs. The company routinely garners “top pick” or “best overall” ratings from commercial auto insurance reviewers online. Don’t take our word for it, though. Both the BBB and AM Best rated Progressive an A+, meaning they have high customer satisfaction ratings and are financially stable. 

Progressive actually started out as an insurer specializing in high-risk drivers only. They built a very successful business by serving high-risk consumers well and have expanded and grown over the decades to become one the biggest car insurance companies in the country. They probably have the most experience and knowledge to serve high-risk drivers.

Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes

Simply Business is an insurance broker that specializes in small business insurance. They take your information and return quotes from companies with whom they partner to provide coverage. They work with several leading truck insurance companies, including Travelers, CNA, Chubb, etc.

The benefit of working with them is that after you complete a quote request form on their website, they will try to get any quotes available from their partners for you. It saves you a lot of time going around to request quotes from several companies.

Simply Business is known for their great customer experience. They earn a stellar customer satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot and an A rating on BBB.

biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage from a reputable carrier

biBERK is a direct-to-customer carrier, ie. they sell commercial truck insurance policies directly to truckers and trucking businesses online. They offer an excellent digital experience. You can get quotes and buy a policy online in just. a few minutes.

This direct business model helps them save costs and they pass savings to their customers. In fact, they claim that their customers can save on average 20% on their premiums.

biBERK is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of Geico. So you can rest assured that they have. a great reputation and excellent financial strength to lean on when they need to pay the claims.

biBERK is one of the leading carrier insuring semi trucks, if you are an independent trucker with a semi-truck, you definitely should consider biBERK.

Learn more at semi truck insurance cost and the best semi truck insurance companies.

The Hartford: Best if you run a fleet and some of your drivers might be considered high-risk

The Hartford started as a fire insurance provider. Now, they offer various coverages for businesses, including coverages for high-risk drivers. They can customize your policies based on your business needs. 

The Hartford has been insuring 1+ million small businesses, including several trucking companies, for more than 200 years. They have a specialization in insuring truck fleets. If you run a truck fleet and some of your drivers might be considered high-risk. You may want to start with them.

Smart Financial: Best for new and small trucking companies

Some insurance companies could consider you high risk if you have a small, relatively new company. Smart Financial specializes in insurance coverage for new and small trucking companies. They also claim to help clients find insurance when they can’t find it anywhere else. 

If you are just starting out your trucking business and new to buying trucking insurance, you may want to work with Smart Financial. If you failed to find truck insurance elsewhere, you definitely want to work with them. Their knowledgeable agents will help you find the right coverages at the most affordable prices.

Best commercial truck insurance for high risk drivers by state

As you may know, most trucking insurance companies do not operate in all 50 states. Even some companies sell standard policies in all 50 states, they may not sell policies to high risk truck drivers in all 50 states. Many companies choose not to sell truck insurance policies in states with high concentration of high risk drivers and high risk trucking businesses such as Florida, Texas, California, GeorgiaNew Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Michigan. The 5 companies we recommend above actually operate in all 50 states and they cover high risk drivers and high risk trucking businesses in all 50 states.

What is a high-risk truck driver?

When we think of a high-risk driver, we likely think of someone who has several tickets or accidents. Perhaps, we think of an inexperienced driver or someone who drives while under the influence. These constitute high risk on the road, whether in a private vehicle or a commercial one. Drivers that insurance companies deem “at-risk” of causing an accident fall into the high-risk driver category. 

You may wonder what the characteristics that experts in the commercial driving field considered to be high risk are. According to an industry survey among the underwriting experts in commercial truck insurance industry, below are the five traits that most, if not all, truck insurance companies seem to agree on:  

  1. Age: Truck drivers who are 18-21 have higher rates of moving violations such as driving at unsafe speeds for road conditions and speeding than those drivers who are 30-49. Younger drivers were also found to be more likely to be charged with a hazardous action or other traffic violation if they had an accident. 
  2. Commercial driving experience: Obviously, experience driving a large vehicle is a factor in the safe operation of a bus or large commercial truck. For this reason, many trucking companies require commercial driving experience before considering an applicant for a driving position. 
  3. Sleep disorders: If a driver has a sleep disorder, the risk of having an accident increases. Falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous no matter what you are driving, but when you are driving a large commercial vehicle, the danger increases due to the size and weight of the truck.
  4. Impulsivity: A driver’s inability to control their behavior, including being threatening or violent, poses a crash risk. This is not a new finding. In a study conducted in the 60s, impulsive behavior seemed to contribute to motor violations and accidents. 
  5. Aggressive/angry personalities and social maladjustment: Is it really a surprise that the study found that people who are selfish, overconfident, intolerant, and aggressively angry pose a higher risk on the road? 

Remember, these factors were found to be the most important in the study, but that doesn’t mean they are the only factors contributing to high-risk behavior on the roads. 

What is a high risk trucking business?

If you run a trucking business, you need to buy commercial truck insurance for your business. Your trucking business as a whole can be classified as high risk. So the question is what makes your trucking business high risk. Below are the four main reasons:

1. Your business’s safety and violation records

Each time one of your truck has a violation or is involved in an accident, the FMCSA tracks each and every roadside assistance of each company. Insurance companies have access to these records. If your business collectively have too many entries in this record, insurance companies consider your trucking business as a whole high risk and can refuse to sell insurance to your company

2. High risk drivers

Yes, if your business hires too many high risk drivers, your business as a whole can be consider a high risk trucking business. As a result, you may not be able to buy insurance for your fleet since the insurance company consider your whole fleet high risk.

3. Hauling risky cargo

If your trucking business haul certain risky cargo such as nuclear waste, explosives, some hazardous materials, or very valuable cargo, insurance companies may classify your trucking business as a whole high-risk and refuse to sell insurance to you. The way to navigate this process is to find insurance companies specializing in insuring such cargo. They have lots of experience with these cargo and would be able to underwrite the policies for you.

4. New trucking business ventures

Yes, similar to new drivers, new trucking business ventures are also considered high-risk, even if you hire only good drivers and haul low risk cargo. Insurance companies understand that trucking business is complicated and risky. If you are new, you are likely to make mistake. Therefore you consider your business high risk.

How does commercial truck insurance for a high-risk driver differ from other insurance? 

Any driver within a fleet can cause issues with fleet insurance if they have multiple moving violations. If there is a high-risk driver in your company, you could have problems locating insurance that meets the needs of your company. Insurance companies, particularly commercial insurance companies, have set safety and acceptability standards that they follow when writing an insurance policy. 

High-risk insurance, when you can get it, tends to also be higher in cost. This is because insurance companies anticipate the need to pay a claim because of the high-risk driver. 

How much does commercial truck insurance for high risk drivers cost?

Commercial truck insurance is generally expensive. Commercial truck insurance for high risk drivers is even more expensive. Given everything else being equal, a commercial truck insurance for a high risk driver can be up to $10,000+ more expensive than that for a good driver.

We learn that the average commercial truck insurance cost per month is $1,100. For a high risk driver, you can look as $1,500 – $1,800 a month for a commercial truck policy.

These are just the averages, be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a top broker like Simply Business or Commercialinsurance.net to get and compare several quotes before making your final decision. If you want to get a fast quote online to start your buying process, we strongly recommend getting an online quote from Progressive, the only carrier offering truck insurance online.

How to reduce the chance of needing high-risk insurance? 

If commercial trucking is your business, you don’t want anything to keep you off the road. Here are some tips for avoiding high-risk insurance if possible. 

  1. Check driving records before you hire. Compare the driver’s record to your company policy for expectations. 
  2. Create a clear policy regarding motor vehicle records. The policy should clearly state what actions are acceptable and what actions become terminating offenses. 
  3. Use technology to keep real-time tabs on driving records for the people within your company. 

By working on the front-end to reduce risks, you accomplish two things. You help to avoid the need for high-risk insurance. You also help keep the roads safer, which is the most important of the two. 

Final thoughts

Various circumstances can lead an insurance company to the determination that the driver is high risk causing policy rates to increase. The good news is that there are ways to decrease your risk of needing a more expensive high-risk policy.

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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