Tow truck insurance is a special type of commercial truck insurance. If you operate a tow truck company, you’re probably familiar with the risks of being responsible for both your own truck and the vehicle you’re towing. Here are our recommendations for the 6 best tow truck insurance companies.
- The 6 best tow truck insurance companies
- How does tow truck insurance work?
- What does tow truck insurance cover?
- How much tow truck insurance do I need?
- How much does tow truck insurance cost?
- How to save money on tow truck insurance
The 6 best tow truck insurance companies
More than 100 insurance companies offer tow truck insurance. That can make it a bit overwhelming to find the best one for your towing business. After intensive research of more than 30 companies, here are our recommendations of the top 6 to help you narrow you search.
- Progressive: Best Overall and the only carrier offering tow truck insurance quotes online
- Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes
- biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage
- THREE: Best for comprehensive tow truck insurance at affordable rates
- The Hartford: Best for customized two truck insurance coverages
- Commercialinsurance.net: Best for the most knowledgeable agents
Progressive: Best Overall and the only carrier offering tow truck insurance quotes online
Progressive is the number one commercial truck insurer in the country. If you have other types of vehicles, or you need business insurance, Progressive can accommodate that. You can save 5% by enrolling in the Progressive Smart Haul Program, which is a device that allows Progressive access to driving data.
Progressive is one of the only insurance companies that offers online quotes for commercial vehicles. This is for a single tow truck, registered in New Jersey.
Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes
Simply Business is an insurtech company that partners with various insurance companies to give you multiple quotes. This way, you only have to enter your information once and comparison shopping is a breeze.
Another benefit of working with Simply Business is that you can get all coverages that you need for towing business through them because they specialize in business insurance and provide all coverages to businesses in all industries.
Commercial truck insurance is complicated. Owning a towing company is even more complicated. Getting the right insurance coverages at the right prices for your tow truck company is important. You may not be able to get quotes online, but even you need to call Simply Business to get and compare several quotes, it will be worth it.
Simply Business earns a great consumer rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot, a significantly higher than their insurance provider peers.
biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage
biBERK is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway group, the parent of Geico, so it is safe to assume that they know how to run a low-cost vehicle insurance company. Similar to Geico, biBERK offers small business insurance, including commercial truck insurance, direct to customers, bypassing agents and brokers. As a result, they are able to reduce costs and pass savings to its customers. In fact, biBERK claims that they are able to save their customers at least 20% on commercial tow truck insurance premiums.
biBERK is also one of a few companies offering an easy and fast online quotes. Getting a quote and buying a policy online takes less than 10 minutes. If you are looking for low-cost tow truck insurance coverage, you’ll want to give it a try.
THREE: Best for comprehensive tow truck insurance coverage at affordable rates
THREE is another subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. They offer a unique and different product. THREE believes that all small and medium businesses, including trucking ones, should have all of their proper protection, in one policy and the policy document shouldn’t be more than 3 pages , and without insurance jargons or fine print exclusions.
As a result, THREE commercial tow truck insurance is a very comprehensive policy. And they are able to offer it at affordable rates because they also sell it directly to small business customers.
THREE also offers tow truck insurance quotes online. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get a quote and buy a policy online on THREE website. You should definitely give it a try.
The Hartford: Best for customized tow truck insurance coverages
The Hartford is the leading business insurance provider and they have been in business for 200+ years. They have insured more than 1M business customers. One of their focused industries is trucking. They have accumulated significant experience in helping trucking businesses, including tow truck ones, obtain the right coverages at the most affordable prices. However unique your tow truck business is, you can count on the Hartford customizing the coverages for you.
The company also takes pride in the fact that the Ethisphere Institute named The Hartford a World’s Most Ethical Company twelve times. The Hartford’s longevity and focus on ethical business practices makes it a company that you can feel good about doing business with.
If you decide to work with the Hartford to secure your tow truck insurance, you can rest assured that you are working with one of the most stable, experienced, and ethical companies.
Commercialinsurance.net: Best for the most knowledgeable agents
Last is commercialinsurance.net, a national broker specializing in small businesses. They work mostly with businesses with less than $100M in annual revenue. One of their focused industries is trucking.
One advantage of working with commercialinsurance.net is that they have a network of agents who are very experienced and knowledgeable about trucking businesses and trucking insurance. Collectively, they represent more than 50 trucking insurance companies in the country. However unique your trucking business is, you can rest assured that commercialinsurance.net will be able to connect you with an agent who is most knowledgeable about the specifics of your trucking business. Working with the agent, you will be able to find the coverages that you need the most for your business at the most affordable prices.
What is tow truck insurance?
Operating a tow truck is a risky business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the tow truck industry face on-the-job fatality risks 15 times higher than any other profession. They also have double the risk of injury than any other industries.
Even if you have just one tow truck, you’ll need tow truck insurance. Many businesses use tow trucks, such as roadside assistance companies, auto body shops, auto repair shops, salvage companies, auction companies, repossession companies, and full-service garages.
Much like your personal auto insurance policy, you’re required to have certain protections on your tow truck insurance policy. Some of this coverage, like medical payments, uninsured motorist, and collision and comprehensive (to cover damage to your own vehicle). Some coverage you’ll need is more specialized.
Learn more about tow truck insurance requirements in different states
Legal requirements for Tow Truck Insurance
Tow truck businesses are required to carry certain types and amounts of insurance coverage to comply with state laws and protect themselves from liability. The specific insurance requirements vary by state, but here are some common types of coverage that tow truck businesses may be required to have:
- Liability insurance: Most states require tow truck businesses to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage limits. The exact limits vary by state, but they typically range from $100,000 to $1 million per accident.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, you may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their medical expenses and lost wages if they are injured on the job. Learn more about workers comp insurance for truckers
- Garage liability insurance: If you operate a towing or storage facility, you may be required to carry garage liability insurance to cover any property damage or bodily injury that occurs on your premises. Learn more about trucking general liability insurance
- On-hook towing insurance: This coverage is specifically designed for tow truck businesses and covers the vehicles that you tow. Most states require tow truck businesses to carry a minimum amount of on-hook towing insurance.
It’s important to check your state’s specific insurance requirements to make sure you are compliant with the law.
What kinds of businesses need tow truck insurance?
If you drive a tow truck or own a business that uses tow trucks, you must have commercial tow truck insurance. Below are some example of such businesses:
- Roadside service vendors
- Auto body shops
- Auto repair shops
- Auto salvage and auction haulers
- Towing service providers
- Full service garages
What does tow truck insurance cover?
Below are the main tow truck insurance coverages:
Bodily injury liability:
This covers you if the tow truck driver causes injuries to another person or people in an at-fault accident. The amount of coverage that is required varies from state to state, but every state requires some bodily injury coverage.
Property damage liability:
This covers you for physical damages to someone else’s property, but not any cars you may be towing. For that, you need on-hook towing coverage.
On-hook towing coverage:
On-hook towing coverage provides protection for damages that occur to a vehicle while it’s being towed. It covers damages due to fire, collision, theft, or vandalism. However, it does not apply to any vehicles you own (personal or owed by the company). In other words, you can’t collect if you damage your personal vehicle while you’re towing it somewhere.
Motor truck cargo coverage
Some insurance companies make a distinction between hook and chain tow trucks and flatbed tow trucks. Motor truck cargo coverage is the equivalent of on-hook towing coverage, but for a flatbed tow truck.
Garage keepers liability:
This is required for towing businesses in some states: in other states it’s optional. Garage keepers liability provides coverage for someone else’s property (i.e. their car) while it’s being stored in your garage. Learn more at the best garage keepers insurance companies and the best garage liability insurance companies.
Wrongful repossession coverage
This covers tow truck companies if they accidentally repossess the wrong car, or a car mistakenly reported to your company. It also protects you from lawsuits and physical injury if someone becomes violent while you’re repossessing their car.
In addition to these coverages, tow truck companies usually need workers comp insurance or occupational accident insurance for their drivers as well.
Workers comp insurance for truckers
If tow truck companies hire their drivers as full-time employees, they are required by laws in all states except Texas to provide their drivers with workers comp insurance. This coverage protects their drivers if they are injured or become ill at work. It pays for medical costs, lost wages, retraining costs, disability benefits, or death benefits. Providing this coverage to their drivers also prevents them from suing the company if they are injured while driving for the company. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies for truckers.
Occupational accident insurance for truckers
Most drivers of tow truck companies are independent contractors. Companies are not required by laws to provide workers comp insurance to independent contractors. Workers comp insurance for truckers is very expensive, so most companies wouldn’t get it if they are not required to. To protect their drivers, most tow truck companies choose to provide occupational accident insurance, which is a lighter form of workers comp insurance. It is less comprehensive and much cheaper than workers comp insurance, usually at half of the workers comp insurance price. Owner operator truckers should buy this coverage to protect themselves. Trucking is a high-risk business. Learn more at the best occupational accident insurance companies for truckers.
What doesn’t tow truck insurance cover?
While you can get pretty extensive coverage for your tow truck business, not everything will be covered.
- Intentional damages
- Certain types of cargo (Hazmat insurance is available for things like explosives)
- Damages beyond policy limits
Am I required to have tow truck insurance?
Yes, if you drive a tow truck or own a towing business, you must have commercial tow truck insurance. It is required by all 50 states and federal regulations. Driving a tow truck without insurance is illegal.
How much tow truck insurance do I need?
These are the current federal minimums for commercial truck insurance:
- Non-hazardous freight moved in a vehicle weighing under 10,000 lbs.: $300,000
- Non-hazardous freight in a vehicle over 10,000 pounds: $750,000
- Oil moved by For Hire and private carriers: $1,000,000
- Other hazardous material moved by For Hire and private carriers: $5,000,000
States have their own requirements, so check with your state to find out what you need.
If part of your business involves repossession work, you’ll pay more for insurance, due to the dangerous nature of repossessing someone else’s car.
How much does tow truck insurance cost?
The national average for tow truck insurance is about $448 per month. However, it is highly dependent on the tow truck, the driver, and many other factors. As you can see above, the only quote we received online from Progressive for one tow truck costs $2,989 a month, which is many times more expensive than the national average.
Learn more about the tow truck insurance cost.
Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker or agency like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, or CoverWallet and Smart Financial, to compare several tow truck insurance quotes before making your final decision.
What affects how much tow truck insurance costs?
There is a lot of variation in the amount you’ll pay, like:
The location where you operate your towing business plays a key role in the rates you will pay for insurance. Rural areas are typically less expensive than cities, for example. Areas that are statistically accident prone may also have higher rates as will areas that have severe weather like tornadoes and hurricanes.
The driving records of your drivers will also affect rates. Hiring experienced drivers with good driving records helps to keep your rates lower than hiring inexperienced drivers or those with poor driving records.
How many drivers you have
The more drivers you have, the more premiums you have to pay. The number of drivers and their driving records place a big role in your tow truck insurance premiums.
Type of towing
Tow truck companies who tow for accidents face different premiums than those who tow for heavy equipment transport. Roadside assistance companies also have a different premium rate. On the other hand, companies specialize in towing cars parking at wrong locations has a cheaper rate.
How many trucks you own
The tow truck insurance rates are per car. The more trucks you have in your business, the higher your premiums are. However, insurance companies also offer discount for multiple trucks. So, be sure to ask for discounts if you buy insurance for multiple tow trucks.
Safety program implemented?
If you implement different safety programs in your operations, you may be eligible for safety discounts offered by several insurance companies. If you monitor the safety standards of your drivers regularly, you may get more discounts. Be sure to maintain good documentation of these safety programs and submit to insurance companies when you apply for coverage.
Hours of operation
If your tow truck company operate 24/7, your premiums will be a lot higher than another company operating 7AM-7PM only.
Loss run history (claims filed)
Similar to personal auto insurance, if your tow truck company has filed several claims, your premiums will be a lot higher than similar companies without any claims filed.
The further your tow truck business operation covers from the garage, the more expensive your premiums are. This is because your drivers will drive more, increasing their chances of getting into accidents.
Whether you cross state lines
If you do, you’ll need to meet federal minimum coverage requirements, as well as state requirements. Federal minimum coverage requirements are higher, that results in higher premiums. Operating cross state border lines also requires to meet different regulations of other states, which will likely increase coverages and premiums.
How to save money on tow truck insurance
Tow truck insurance is expensive, but there are ways you can save money.
- Hire drivers with clean records
- Require driving logs
- Consider enrolling in a safe-driving program (apps, or other devices to monitor driving)
- Provide continual training
- Maintain vehicles regularly
- Shop around for the best rates
Learn more at how to find cheap tow truck insurance
Learn more tow truck insurance in different states in the country:
- Tow truck insurance in California
- Tow truck insurance in Texas
- Tow truck insurance in Florida
- Tow truck insurance in New Jersey
Tow truck insurance in California
To drive a tow truck in California, you need a valid Class A or Class B commercial drivers license. California also requires that all tow truck drivers possess a Tow Truck Driver Certificate.
You’ll also need to contact the Motor Carrier Unit of the California Highway Patrol to get a CA number, then file a DMV65 MCP with proof of your business license, FBN registration, and commercial insurance. If you want to be on the CHP rotation, you’ll also need a CHP inspection of every truck and every driver will have to have a background check.
Insurance wise, vehicles under 10,000 pounds need $300,000 in liability insurance and vehicles over 10,000 pounds need $750,000 in liability insurance.
Learn more at the best two truck insurance companies in California
Tow truck insurance in Texas
There are three different types of tow truck licenses in Texas: Incident Management Tow Operator License, Private Property Tow Operator License, and Consent Tow Operator License. You can only choose one license type.
Incident Management License allows you to tow cars/trucks for law enforcement, as in an accident. You can also do private property and consent towing, but you only need one license. You’ll also need $500,000 in liability insurance per tow truck, per incident and a minimum of $50,000 in cargo insurance.
Private Property Towing allows you to perform tows on illegally parked cars, or in parking lots. You can also do consent towing. These operators need at least $300,000 in liability insurance per truck, per incident and a minimum of $50,000 in cargo insurance.
Consent towing just allows you to perform tows where the owner authorizes the tow. You’ll need a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance.
Learn more at the best tow truck insurance companies in Texas
Tow truck insurance in Florida
Florida requires tow trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 35,000 pounds or less to get at least $50,000 in insurance, combined single limit (CSL).
Tow trucks weighing between 35,000 and 39,999 pounds must carry at least $100,000 CSL.
Tow trucks weighing more than 40,000 pounds must carry at least $300,000 CSL.
In addition, tow trucks must have at least $50,000 in on-hook coverage. You’ll also need at least $10,000 in PIP (Personal Injury Protection).
If you store your tow truck somewhere you must have garage liability limit of at least $300,000 CSL, plus garage keepers liability limit of $50,000 for each potential loss.
It should be stressed that these are only what the state requires, not that this amount of insurance is adequate to protect your business.
Finding a good tow truck insurance policy at an affordable rate is critical for Florida-based towing companies. Consider the best tow truck insurance companies we recommend above to find a good tow truck policy at the most affordable rates.
Learn more at the best tow truck insurance companies in Florida
Tow truck insurance in New Jersey
The act of predatory towing (that is, towing away cars or trucks in order to maximize profits) was so prevalent in New Jersey that they had to pass the Predatory Towing Prevention Act to curb the practice. Of course, some people could accuse a towing company of predatory towing when they were actually illegally parked. Be that as it may, towing companies in New Jersey need to be aware of this law, as well as the requirements for insurance.
Tow trucks weighing less than 32,000 pounds (light duty) must have minimum liability coverage of at least $750,000. You must also provide a valid certificate of Insurance, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission must be listed as the certificate holder and you must document the weight of the truck on Form BA-49T.
Tow trucks weighing more than 32,000 pounds (heavy duty) must have minimum liability insurance of at least $1,000,000. Weight must be documented, and you need a certificate of insurance.
Best tow truck insurance companies in 50 states and Washington DC
Tow truck insurance is a type of commercial truck insurance, that is the reason why you sometimes see another similar term, commercial tow truck insurance being used. As we know, commercial truck insurance requirements vary by state and different companies operate in different states. If you are interested in finding the best tow truck insurance companies in your particular state, we haven’t done enough research to figure out that level of specifics for all 50 states, except Florida, Texas, and California. However, we have developed the list of best commercial truck insurance in all 50 states and Washington DC below for your consideration. Click on the link embedded in the name of the state will take you to the best commercial truck insurance companies we recommend in that state:
Tow truck insurance requirements in different states
Each state has its own requirements for tow truck insurance coverage. In the following table, you’ll see what kinds of coverage and what minimum coverage limits are required. It’s vital to know that limits for liability and personal injury coverages are also variable by the state.
|Minimum liability insurance requirements
|Other coverages and their minimum limits required
|Liability insurance: $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident for bodily injury/ $5,000 for property damage
|Physical damage insurance
– Less that 35,000 lbs: $50,000 CSL (Combined single limit)
– 35.000-39,999 lbs: $100,000
– 40,000 and up: $300,000 CSL
|– In tow (on hook) coverage: $50,000
– Storage (tow yard) coverage
– Garage Liability Limit: $300,000 CSL
– Garage Keepers: $50,000 each loss
– Commercial auto personal injury coverage
– PIP (Personal injury protection)$10,000CSL
|– Liability coverage
– Incident management:$500,000 per truck per incident
– Private property towing: $300,000 CSL
|– Cargo or cargo on-hook insurance: $50,000
|– Personal and property liability coverage:
+ $200,000 for injury or death per person
+ $500,000 for injury or death per accident
+ $50,000 property damage per accident
+ $25,000 damage to a vehicle in care, custody, or control of tow company
|– Mandatory liability coverage: $50,000 per person; $30,000 per accident
|– Commercial auto liability tow truck coverage
– Workers’ compensation coverage
|– Commercial auto liability insurance: $100,000 bodily injury each occurrence/ $300,000 bodily injury each accident/ $50,000 property damage
|– Garage Keepers: $50,000
|– Combined single limit liability coverage: $500,000 CSL
– Under contro of ICC: $750,000 CSL
|– Car on-hook coverage: $25,000
– Garage liability: Minimum of $500,000 CSL
|– Liability insurance: $200,000 per injury; $500,000 per incident; $50,000 per property damage claim
|– Garage keeper’s legal liability insurance: $100,000
|– Liability insurance: $15,000/ $30,000
|– Workers’ compensation insurance
|– Liability insurance: $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident for bodily injury/ $5,000 property damage
|– Workers’ compensation insurance
– Personal injury protection (PIP)
– Uninsured motorist (UM)
|Liability insurance (limits depend on the use of the truck)
– For hire: $750,000 bodily injury and property damage for 10,000 pounds and up
+ $300,000 bodily injury and property damage for 7,500 to 10,000 pounds
– Private: $70,000 bodily injury and property damage
|– Cargo insurance: For hire: $50,000
|– Automobile liability coverage: $300,000 CSL
|– Workers’ compensation and employer’s liability
– Garage keeper’s legal liability: $50,000
– Garage liability insurance$50,000
– On-hook coverage$25,000
|– Mandatory no-fault insurance, including Personal Injury Protection, Property Protection Insurance, and Residual Liability Insurance
– $750,000-$5 million depending on use
|Commercial auto liability insurance (limits depend on the size of the truck)
– Class A (light duty): $300,000 CSL
– Class B (Medium duty): $500,000 CSL
– Class C (Heavy duty): $750,000
– Class A: $75,000
– Class B: $100,000
– Class C: $150,000
– Class A: $100k
– Class B: $200,00
– Class C: $200,000
|– Commercial liability insurance: $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, $15,000 for property damage
|– Uninsured motorist
|Combined single limit motor vehicle liability coverage: $750,000
|– Cargo liability coverage
– Garage keeper’s liability
|Combined single limit liability coverage: $25,000 per person bodily injury/$50,000 per accident/ $20,000 property damage
|– Garage liability or commercial auto: $95,000
|– Financial responsibility, also known as motor vehicle liability: $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident/ $15,000 for property damage
|Motor vehicle liability: $100,000
|– Garage keepers coverage: $50,000
– On-hook or cargo coverage: $50,000
|Liability insurance: $750,000
|Liability insurance: $25,000/ $50,000/ $25,000
|– Worker’s compensation with four or more employees
– Uninsured motorist (UM)
Common types of tow truck insurance claims
The most common types of tow truck insurance claims include:
- Property damage: This type of claim covers damage to vehicles or other property that occurs during a towing operation.
- Bodily injury: If someone is injured during a towing operation, they may file a bodily injury claim.
- Worker’s compensation: If one of your employees is injured on the job, they may file a worker’s compensation claim.
Steps to take when filing a claim
If you need to file a tow truck insurance claim, here are some steps to follow:
- Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident.
- Gather all necessary information, including names and contact information of everyone involved, insurance information, and a description of what happened.
- Take photos of the damage and the surrounding area, if possible.
- Keep track of all expenses related to the accident, including repairs, medical bills, and lost wages.
- Work with your insurance provider to complete the claims process.
Tips for documenting the claim process
To ensure a smooth claims process, it’s important to document everything related to the accident. Here are a few tips:
- Take photos of the damage and the surrounding area.
- Keep track of all expenses related to the accident.
- Keep a record of all communication with your insurance provider, including phone calls, emails, and letters.
Recent trends in the tow truck industry
Some of the latest trends in the tow truck industry include the increased use of technology, changes in consumer behavior, and shifts in the regulatory environment.
Many tow truck companies are now using advanced technology to improve their operations, such as GPS tracking systems, dispatch software, and mobile apps for drivers. This allows them to operate more efficiently, provide better service to customers, and increase their bottom line.
The rise of on-demand services and digital platforms has also impacted the tow truck industry. Customers are now looking for more convenient and transparent ways to request and track services. As a result, some tow truck companies are now offering digital platforms for customers to request services and track their tow truck in real-time.
The tow truck industry is also subject to changing regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. For example, some states are now requiring tow truck companies to carry higher levels of insurance coverage, while others are implementing stricter safety and licensing requirements.
Another trend in the tow truck industry is the growing demand for environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices. Some tow truck companies are now adopting hybrid or electric vehicles and implementing recycling and waste reduction programs to reduce their environmental impact.
Overall, staying up to date on these trends can help tow truck business owners better understand the industry landscape, identify opportunities for growth and innovation, and make informed decisions about their insurance coverage and business operations.
Tow truck insurance is expensive but necessary. Shop around for the best rate, and maintain safe drivers and tow trucks.