6 Best Commercial Truck Insurance in Memphis, Tennessee for 2023

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:
  • Do you haul things in Memphis, all over Tennessee, throughout the southern United States, or cross country?
  • Maybe you’re a new trucker or experienced driver?
  • Perhaps you lease your truck or own a large fleet of them. 
  • Maybe you haul refrigerated foods, clothing, or heavy equipment. Or run a cement mixer or dump truck.

No matter the case, if you depend on a truck or trucks to conduct business, you will likely need commercial truck insurance if your operation is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Finding the right commercial truck coverage in Memphis can be challenging. In this article, I’ll reveal the 6 best commercial truck insurance companies in Memphis and explain what you need to know to get the right coverage for you, no matter what situation you’re in.

6 best commercial truck insurance companies in Memphis, TN

We’ve done the homework for you and reviewed the companies offering commercial truck insurance in Memphis. Here are the 6 best commercial truck insurers in the Memphis metro area for different reasons.

  • Progressive: The best overall provider of commercial truck insurance in Memphis
  • CoverWallet: Best for truckers who want to compare quotes quickly
  • CommercialInsurance.net: Best for truckers who’ve never had coverage before
  • CarrierHQ: Best for companies with between one and 20 trucks
  • Sentry: Best for getting insurance with the support of an agent
  • Nationwide: Best for insuring smaller trucks

Progressive: The best overall provider of commercial truck insurance in Memphis

Progressive may seem like a less-than-serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo. You might feel concerned about entrusting your truck or fleet to the insurer.

The truth: It’s a reputable company offering vehicle insurance for more than 80 years and is the top commercial vehicle insurer in the United States, which means it’s doing something right. The company is known for its flexibility, great rates, and top-tier service.

Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could help you save on your commercial truck insurance. You can earn discounts for things like:

  • Having significant driving experience
  • Earning a CDL certification
  • Paying your premium in full rather than monthly or quarterly 
  • Bundling your commercial truck coverage with other coverage
  • Allowing Progressive to monitor your driving habits electronically
  • Agreeing to autopay.

Progressive can cover anything from a single small truck to a complete fleet of semis. 

CoverWallet: Best for truckers who want to compare quotes quickly

CoverWallet is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it can connect small businesses with the commercial truck and other business insurance they need at the most reasonable price. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare coverage and premium prices from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.

The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make sure you only have to input the information needed to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take less than ten minutes, even for coverage as complex as commercial truck insurance.

Once you get your quote, CoverWallet makes it easy to purchase a commercial truck policy online or through an agent. When you get your commercial truck policy through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your insurance, and more. The enhanced online capabilities are especially great for truckers who spend a lot of time on the road.

CommercialInsurance.net: Best for new truckers

CommercialInsurance.net is a leading provider of trucker and other business insurance to people who’ve never purchased coverage. The experts at CommercialInsurance.net can provide truckers who’ve never bought commercial insurance before with the advice they need to get adequate coverage at a fair price. If you’re a newbie trucker, it’s worthwhile to get a quote from CommercialInsurance.net.

CarrierHQ: Best for companies with between one and 20 trucks

CarrierHQ provides insurance solutions for transportation professionals, especially businesses with fewer than 20 trucks. It offers better rates for companies that encourage safe driving practices.

CarrierHQ is a full-service yet cost-conscious insurer. The company is known for:

  • Providing instant quotes
  • No money down insurance options
  • The opportunity to save up to 30 percent by driving safely
  • Flexible monthly payment options.

CarrierHQ even has a safety center to help you learn safe truck driving practices. If you own a small trucking business in Memphis, Tennessee, and want to save money on your truck insurance coverage, CarrierHQ could be the right provider for you.

Sentry: Best for getting insurance with the support of an agent

If you have unique commercial truck insurance needs, your agent may be able to work with Sentry to get you the coverage you need. Or you can find an insurance agent on the Sentry website who can advise you on your coverage.

Compared with many of the insurers on this list, Sentry is relatively small, making it possible for it to offer a more personalized level of service, especially when it comes time to make a claim. 

Sentry has been in business since 1904 and has a solid reputation.

If you choose Sentry as your commercial truck insurance provider, you can expect:

  • Flexible coverage options
  • An experienced claims team that understands trucking
  • Certified safety directors with more than 20 years of industry experience.

Sentry is committed to the trucking industry. The company is an allied member of the American Trucking Association and several other industry groups. It currently insures more than 37,000 truckers.

Another plus: Sentry has received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, an insurance rating agency, 30 years in a row.

Nationwide: Best for insuring smaller trucks

Nationwide is a very reputable insurance company and one of the oldest vehicle insurers in the United States. It provides a high level of customer service and has earned the top customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Powers, a company that monitors insurers and reports on them.

Nationwide specializes in insuring smaller trucks and doesn’t cover semis or tractor-trailers. Still, it’s worth asking your agent to get a quote from them because they offer significant discounts that could save you money.

What is commercial truck insurance?

Commercial truck insurance is a type of insurance usually purchased by trucking businesses, people who primarily use trucks for work, or companies that depend on trucks for doing business. 

Commercial auto insurance covers all kinds of vehicles that are used for conducting business, which could include certain types of trucks. Commercial truck insurance is different because it exclusively covers larger vehicles typically used for construction, contracting, or hauling freight. 

The company owner usually purchases commercial trucking insurance, but it covers the driver, passengers, and individuals harmed in an accident. 

Do I need commercial truck insurance in Memphis?

Tennessee requires local truck drivers and new ventures to maintain a certain amount of insurance. How much and the kinds you need depends on the type of freight you haul and where you haul it. If you don’t cross state lines and your truck is more than 35,000 GVW, you must get a Tennessee Department of Safety Certificate Number and purchase a minimum amount of insurance. The Tennessee minimums, based on what’s hauled, are:

  • General freight: $750,000 of liability insurance
  • Oil: $1,000,000 of liability insurance
  • Hazmat: $5,000,000 of liability insurance
  • Household goods: $300,000 of liability insurance and $5,000 per vehicle of cargo coverage.

The insurance requirements for truck drivers who drive across Tennessee state lines are more detailed. You must meet the Tennessee requirements and those recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Typical federal liability limits are between $750,000 and $1,000,000.

Be aware: These are minimum levels. Some shippers and brokers could require you to have higher levels of coverage.

Both Tennessee and the FMCSA require that your insurance agent or provider submit certain forms for you. The forms prove to the government that all your Department of Transportation (DOT) truck insurance requirements have been met. They must be submitted before you can receive your authority. The forms include:

  • BMC-99
  • Form MCS-98
  • Form E
  • Form H.

What coverages are required for interstate truckers?

Some other coverages you may need include:

Motor truck cargo insurance:

Cargo insurance covers the things you haul in your trailer. It’s not a coverage required by FMCSA, but most for-hire interstate owner-operators will make you purchase it. If you don’t have it, they won’t hire you. The standard limit for cargo insurance is $100,000, but you may need a higher level of coverage if you haul particularly valuable cargo. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies

Bobtail insurance

Bobtail covers you when you drive your truck without a trailer attached to it. Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.

Many people are confused between bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance. They are similar, yet different. Non-trucking liability insurance covers you when you drive your truck for personal use. If you are not driving your truck to deliver cargo, you are not covered by the trucking primary liability insurance. Non-trucking liability insurance covers you regardless if there is a trailer attached to your truck or not. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.

Trucking physical damage coverage:

Physical damage protects your tractor or trailer if damaged in an accident. This coverage is required if you finance your truck. Even if you don’t, it’s a good idea to purchase it. Your truck is your livelihood. If it’s seriously damaged in an accident, you could be forced to pay for repairs out of pocket. Repairing trucks is expensive, and the cost of an accident could jeopardize the future of your trucking business. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.

Your insurance agent or rep at your insurance provider can advise you on the coverages and levels you need.

What types of trucks are covered by commercial truck insurance? 

It’s possible to insure any type of truck. Different insurers offer coverage for different vehicles, so you may need to shop around to find the right protection for yours. 

Some common types of trucks covered by most insurers include:

What kind of coverage is needed for a pickup truck?

Pickup trucks are unique in that three types of insurance could cover them:

  • Personal auto: If you drive a pickup because you prefer them and use them for things like hauling garden supplies from a nursery to your home, personal auto coverage should be adequate.
  • Commercial auto: If you’re a contractor or landscaper and use your truck for everyday business purposes, you should be able to cover your pickup with a commercial auto policy.
  • Commercial truck: If the pickup is part of a more extensive trucking fleet, it could be covered by a commercial truck policy.

An insurance agent or company representative can advise you on the coverage you need.

What doesn’t commercial trucking insurance cover?

Commercial trucking insurance doesn’t cover intentional damage to your vehicle. For example, if you purposely damage a part of your truck to get it replaced with a newer or better one, your insurance company won’t cover it. 

Truck insurance usually won’t cover personal losses or theft of personal items like cash, jewelry, or clothes. Contraband and explosives aren’t covered either. And if you haul live animals, they won’t be protected unless you get special insurance for them. If you’re not sure about what’s covered by a commercial truck policy, connect with your insurance agent or insurance company representative.

How much does commercial truck insurance cost in Memphis?

Based on our research, the average cost for commercial truck insurance in Memphis is just under $13,500. Most premiums range from just over $11,500 to $15,000.

These cost estimates are based on truckers with a single truck in Memphis and include coverage for liability, cargo, physical damage, and non-trucking liability. Below are breakdowns of each coverage’s average rates:

Commercial truck insurance coveragesAverage cost per month in Memphis
Primary liability$925
Cargo coverage$75
Physical damage coverage$100
Bobtail or non-trucking liability coverage$25

These are just the estimated average. Your quotes and rates are very different. It’s a good idea to get several commercial truck insurance quotes and compare them to get the coverage you need at the best possible price.

What factors affect the commercial truck insurance cost in Memphis, Tennessee?

Many factors impact the the commercial truck insurance cost in Memphis, TN, including the following:

Vehicle value:

Your truck is one of the first factors companies consider when offering your truck insurance. Heavier trucks usually have more damage during accidents, plus it takes more to repair them. Therefore, you might pay more to insure your truck if it has a high gross weight. 

Similarly, insurance companies might rate you higher if your trucks are new. That is because newer trucks have a higher value compared with older ones. In general, the more expensive your truck is, the higher the policy’s premiums are.

Number of trucks:

Commercial truck insurance is priced on each truck and each driver. The more trucks you have, the more premiums you’ll have to pay.

What you haul:

The value of your cargo is another crucial factor in calculating your premium rates. If you transport expensive items regularly, you will pay a higher premium. Some companies even reject trucks that carry expensive items like money and gold. This also applies to potentially hazardous cargoes.

Different types of cargo might require different minimum coverages. Higher coverages means higher rates and you’ll have to pay more in premiums.

Your drivers and their driving history:

Before offering you quotes, your insurance company would also want to know your drivers. The insurance company would be interested in the age of your drivers, their experience, and their diving history. 

Insurance companies consider truck drivers below age 25 as potential risks in Nevada. Most companies believe that older drivers have the experience and skill to avoid accidents. So, if you have a young driver below 25, you might pay more for your premiums. Similarly, if your driver(s) is older than 60 years, they might raise your premiums.   

Also, drivers with a history of accidents can raise the cost of truck insurance for obvious reasons. A single driving ticket can raise your premium. So, if you want lower premiums, ensure that your drivers maintain a clean driving record with fewer accidents and violations.

Your trucking business experience

Your trucking business will affect your premiums in two ways. Firstly, the company would like to know your experience level in the industry as a company.

Insurance companies are more cautious when dealing with new trucking companies because they are all too aware of the growing pains of being a newcomer. A trucking business that has been in operation for a more extended period, similar to driver age, is considered a lower risk than a new business. 

The insurance company will look to see if you previously had a policy and if you canceled it. If you had a cancellation, they would want to know the reasons for the cancellation.

If they discover that you were not as diligent in paying your previous premiums or that you have underwriting issues, they will charge you a higher premium. In some cases, they might not issue you a policy at all.

Location and driving routes

If your trucks travel through risky routes, you will be charged a higher premium. To determine which route is risky, the company will consider the condition of the road, population density, and weather conditions. 

Also, insurance companies prefer trucks with safety features. They also look to see if the company has any safety programs and if the drivers are regularly trained.

How do I find cheap commercial truck insurance coverage in Memphis?

Trucking is your livelihood, so you don’t want to skimp on your coverage. However, there are some things you can do to find the insurance you need at a fair price:

Manage the coverage and deductibles

More coverage equals more protection, but it isn’t always feasible. Fortunately, you can change your coverages to reduce the cost of your truck insurance. You only need to have the coverage that are needed for your trucking business. Primary liability coverage is required. Everything else is optional.

Physical damage coverage, for example, is typically required for trucks with an outstanding loan or lease.

To reduce your overall costs, you can choose to increase your deductibles, say from $500 to $1,000. Make sure you are able to afford deductibles, so choose the right one for your personal situation.

Also, keep in mind that less coverage equals less protection. Before you begin your policy, make sure you’re happy with your chosen coverage.

Shop around to compare several quotes  

The best way to find cheap quotes is to shop around. Check with as many companies as you can until you find the company that offers the cheapest. While at it, ensure that the cheap quote offers you good coverage. 

Utilize any discounts that you may be eligible for

One of the simplest ways to get the best deal on commercial truck insurance is to take advantage of discounts. Most companies offer the following discounts:

  • CDL discount – If you have held a valid commercial driver’s license for at least two years, you will receive a discount. Isn’t that simple?
  • Business experience discount – If you’ve been in business for three years or more, you’re eligible for this discount.
  • Paid-in-full discount – some companies offer up to 15% discount for customers that pay it in full.

These steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your commercial truck coverage.

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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