When you drive an 18-wheeler, you must provide insurance for your truck. It can be tricky determining exactly what coverages you need and where to get them. This guide is designed with you in mind. We’ll cover the following insurance-related topics:
- 5 best companies for 18-wheeler truck insurance
- What insurance coverage do you need for your 18-wheeler trucks?
- Factors to consider when shopping for insurance for your 18-wheeler trucks
- Average cost of insurance for 18-wheeler trucks
- Factors affecting the cost of 18-wheeler truck insurance
5 best companies for 18-wheeler truck insurance
Several insurance companies provide insurance for 18-wheeler trucks. After comparing multiple companies, these five stood out from the rest.
- Progressive: Best overall
- Simply Business: Best for easy of use
- Commercialinsurance.net: Best for small truck businesses
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing multiple quotes at once
- The Hartford: Best for packaged coverages
Progressive: Best Overall
Progressive is considered the number one commercial truck insurer in the US. Their commercial insurance division insures various types of trucks. Owner-operators, motor carriers, and private carriers will find that Progressive specializes in providing them with top-notch insurance coverage.
Progressive offers online, telephone, or mobile app claims services. They also provide a variety of add-on coverages, such as pet injury coverage, to help ensure that you have the precise coverage you need. Don’t worry; extra coverages could mean additional discounts because Progressive offers nine different discount programs for qualified consumers.
Simply Business: Best for ease of use
Simply Business offers quotes from multiple providers, much like CoverWallet. They are a brokerage firm that takes your information online and then gathers quotes for you. They don’t provide quotes online, though.
Once you’ve provided Simply Business with the pertinent information regarding your fleet, an agent will contact you. You will receive your quotes either via email or telephone. This helps ensure that you are getting the exact right coverage for your trucking needs.
You should also know that Simply Business is a subsidiary of Travelers, another leading provider in commercial truck insurance industry. However, they operate independently from Travelers. When you work with Simply Business, you will be able to compare Travelers’ quotes with quotes from other insurance companies and you can choose other companies if they offer cheaper quotes.
Commercialinsurance.net: Best for small trucking businesses
Commercialinsurance.net was established with the small business in mind. They specialize in helping businesses with less than $10 million get the insurance they need at an affordable rate. If you’ve been denied by other insurance companies because of business size, look at commercialinsurance.net.
No matter which state you call home, commercialinsurance.net is there for you. They can offer policies in all 50 states. You can request a quote online, and you can also expect to hear from an agent between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm Central time to discuss the best options.
CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes
CoverWallet allows you to compare multiple quotes at once. CoverWallet is a digital broker, so you input your information, and they do the rest. They pull quotes from various companies based on the information you give. Their questionnaires are typically straightforward and can be completed in ten minutes or less.
Once you’ve completed their forms, they will return your quotes to you on their website. You can then choose to purchase insurance through them, or you can choose to purchase directly from a different company. Occasionally, they will hit a snag and require more information from you, but overall, the experience with CoverWallet is quick and easy.
The Hartford: Best for packaged coverages
The Hartford is one of the nation’s most recognized business insurance companies. Because they have been in the business of insuring business for some time, they can offer more coverages than some other providers. They provide commercial auto insurance and provide additional business coverages to protect different aspects of your trucking business.
In addition to coverage for your 18-wheeler truck, the Hartford offers a fleet management program called FleetAhead. This program helps you gather information to identify and mitigate risks within your trucking business. The goal is to increase safety while also reducing operational costs.
What insurance coverage do you need for your 18-wheeler trucks?
Appropriate insurance is a must with the inherent risks of driving an 18-wheeler truck. For one thing, your truck can be a costly asset. For another, the value of the cargo you’re hauling can add a significant amount to the risk you’re taking. Not to mention, if anything happens while you’re on the road, you are risking your entire livelihood.
There are some basic commercial coverages that all truckers need to carry. Let’s look at those.
Liability insurance is required by law whether you drive your private vehicle or a commercial one. This insurance protects you against claims against you or your company for bodily injury or property damage if you’ve been in an accident where you are at fault. When you drive an 18-wheeler, you must have liability insurance before getting certain licenses and permits that you need for operating your business.
Physical damage insurance is for damage to your 18-wheeler trucks; this coverage includes comprehensive collision and specified peril policies—comprehensive covers non-collision issues such as weather, vandalism, or theft. Collision is just what it says—it covers the truck in the event of a collision. Specified peril policies protect you from things like fire, but the particular items it covers are listed on the policy. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
Medical payments coverage is for the driver of your rig and any passengers who might be riding along. This coverage pays for medical bills stemming from an accident regardless of fault. Medical payments coverage works similarly to health insurance, but the coverage has varying rules depending on the state.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist
You’re out of luck if the other driver is at fault in an accident, but they don’t have adequate insurance, right? Wrong. Not if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Your policy will pick up the difference in cost or sometimes the entire cost.
Factors to consider when shopping for insurance for your 18-wheeler trucks
When shopping for appropriate insurance coverage, you need to consider the kind of truck you operate, how far you travel, where you start (your home base), and what type of insurance coverage you need. How many trucks are in your fleet and the driving records of all drivers on your roster are important factors to consider. Finally, make sure you compare equal coverages when looking for rates.
Average cost of insurance for 18-wheeler trucks
The average cost of 18-wheeler truck insurance varies depending on what you haul, how far you travel, and how much your truck is worth. According to Forerunner Insurance Group, the average annual cost of insurance for an 18-wheeler ranges from $3,000 to $16,000 depending on if you lease to a motor carrier or drive under your own authority. We will discuss other factors affecting your rate momentarily.
|Trucker types||Average insurance cost for 18-wheeler trucks|
|Lease to a motor carrier||$3,000 a year|
|Drive under your own authority (experienced)||$14,000 a year|
|Drive under your own authority (new driver)||$16,000 a year|
These are just the averages. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or with a broker to compare several quotes to select the cheapest one for you trucking business.
Factors affecting the cost of 18-wheeler truck insurance
Each company has different methods for calculating rates, but primarily, your rates are determined by the amount of risk associated with your profile. A few factors are commonly used to assess risk. Those include:
- Your experience driving an 18-wheeler
- Your age and the length of time you’ve had a CDL
- Your credit history—how well do you pay your bills
- Your location—where you live
- Your distance of operation—are you a short-haul or long-haul trucker
- Your truck—what kind is it—brand, age, etc.
If you’re an experienced driver in a safe part of the country and you don’t drive far from home, you’ll likely have lower insurance premiums than a less experienced driver who lives in a more risky part of the country.
Insurance is a necessity when you drive an 18-wheeler truck. The right coverage for you depends on the risks you incur during your daily operations and whether you own your business or you lease your services. Compare quotes from multiple sources to find the right coverage for you.