Tow trucks have some unique needs as far as insurance goes. Since you’re responsible not only for your own truck but also the vehicle you tow, coverage for tow trucks is more specialized than many other types of insurance.
Tow trucks can provide a variety of services, from delivering gas, changing tires, or pulling a vehicle out of a snowbank, not to mention the actual towing of vehicles. Tow truck insurance is a special type of commercial truck insurance, with a few quirks.
- Where to get cheap tow truck insurance quotes?
- How much does tow truck insurance cost?
- How can I save on my tow truck insurance cost?
- Who needs tow truck insurance?
- What coverage do tow truck drivers typically get?
Where to get cheap tow truck insurance quotes?
Hundreds of insurance companies offer tow truck insurance. It can be overwhelming trying to find the best one for your business. Where can you get cheap two truck insurance quotes?
Where to get cheap tow truck insurance quotes online?
Progressive is the #1 commercial truck insurance company in America. They insure most types of trucks, everything from dump trucks to tractors, and, of course, tow trucks. They have flexible coverage and flexible payment options, and if you enroll in the Progressive Smart Haul® Program, you’ll save a minimum of 5% on your insurance.
Progressive is the only insurance company that we can find offering tow truck insurance quotes online. Here is a quote sample we get it from Progressive website for one tow truck.
As you can see, Progressive tow truck insurance quote isn’t necessarily cheap. If you want to get the cheapest tow truck insurance for your towing business, we’d recommend you working with a trucking insurance broker or agency so that they can get several quotes from the companies that they work with so that you can compare several quotes and fin the cheapest one for you. Below are the agencies that we recommend:
Simply Business is a digital agency, much like commercialinsurance.net and other similar companies. They can provide quotes online for comparison. However, towing business is a complex with a lot of nuances, you may need to call them to discuss your quote options after providing some basic information on their website.
As a general rule, Simply Business gets excellent consumer reviews, with an average rating of 4.1 out of five on Trustpilot. Most people praise their ease of use and convenience.
Commercialinsurance.net is another agency. Unlike Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net’s main goal is to connect you with the agent or agents who are most knowledgeable about your towing business and its specifics. They partners with hundreds of agents across the country and these agents are experts in their own fields. After commercialinsurance.net learns about the specifics of your towing business, their algorithm will run to find the agent or agents in their network who are most knowledgeable about your business and connect you with them so that these agents can help you get the best coverages at the most affordable prices.
How much does tow truck insurance cost?
The national average monthly cost for tow truck insurance in 2020 was about $450 a month, or about $5,000 a year. However, if you do a lot of repossession work, the average cost is about $10,000, due to the higher risks inherent in repossessing someone’s car.
Different companies will give you different quotes. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to companies to compare several quotes before making your final decision.
Learn more how much tow truck insurance costs.
What factors affect the cost of tow truck insurance?
There are many factors that affect how much you’ll pay for tow truck insurance.
Similar to personal car insurance, location is an important factor affecting the tow truck insurance cost. If you live in a densely populated urban area, you’ll pay more for insurance. If you live in areas with high crime rate, you’ll pay more.
If you are on-call 24/7, insurance is more expensive because you’ll be driving around more often. If most of your operation hours happen to be past midnight, you are likely to pay more.
Type of tow trucks:
Larger, heavier, more expensive trucks cost more to insure. This is particularly true for comprehensive coverage, or trucking physical damage coverage. However, trucking primary liability coverage cost also increases for larger tow trucks since if a bigger truck is involved in an accident, it is likely to cause more significant damages to the third party than a smaller truck.
Number of drivers and their driving records:
More drivers equal higher premiums.
If you hire people with violations on their records, you will pay more for insurance. Just one speeding ticket will add hundreds of dollars to your premiums, so make it a point to hire drivers with clean records.
Age and number of trucks:
Although it seems counterintuitive, older trucks are worth less and therefore cost less to insure. You might think a newer truck is less likely to suffer from a mechanical breakdown, so it should be less to insure, which is true. But you have to factor in the risk of theft and damages.
How long you’ve been in business:
If you just started your towing business, you’ll pay more than someone with years of experience. If you’ve worked as a tow truck driver and are now starting your own tow truck business, your experience will help but you’ll still pay more. As you grow and maintain a good safety record, your premiums will go down over time.
How far you drive:
If you drive hundreds of miles, you have more time on the road and therefore, there is a higher risk of getting into an accident. If you drive cross state lines, you will pay a lot more compared to intra-state operation only.
Some questions asked by companies that offer online quotes may give a bit of insight into what else may affect rates.
- Zip code where you park the truck
- How many rear axles does the tow truck have (one or two)?
- Furthest distance traveled
- Is your business on call 24/7?
- Do you display your USDOT number on the side of your truck?
- What percentage of work is repossession work?
- Do you have your CDL?
- How long have you had it?
- Make and model of tow truck
- How many years of experience do you have in this industry?
- Have you had a claim in the past three years?
How can I save money on tow truck insurance?
There’re a few things you can do to save yourself some money on tow truck insurance.
Make sure you get quotes from at least a few companies, even if you have to call and speak to someone. It’s the best way to save money on insurance. And once you actually have insurance, don’t get too complacent because insurance companies like to increase rates over time, so be prepared to shop every three years or so.
Learn more at the cheapest commercial truck insurance companies.
Hire drivers with clean records or keep your own driving record clean
Make sure they don’t have any violations, check up on their references, and consider doing drug testing. Be careful of drivers who have a history of job-hopping: only spending a year or two at a company. They may be hiding violations or a bad record.
Require driving logs.
Everyone gets tired. Drivers who drive for excessive periods of time without a break are more likely to get into accidents. One study found that people who are tired are almost as likely to get into an accident as people who drive drunk. Encourage your drivers to get enough sleep and take breaks now and then.
Whether it’s a monthly recap or training addressing issues driver’s face, continual training throughout the year is a good idea.
Inspect vehicles for mechanical issues. Make sure all routine maintenance is done on time, and make sure everything is clean and up to standard.
What is tow truck insurance?
Tow truck insurance is a specific type of commercial truck insurance. Any business that uses a truck in their operation needs commercial truck insurance. If you business happens to use a tow truck, you’ll need tow truck insurance. It is an umbrella term encompassing all coverages that a tow truck insurance policy might include. However, it usually refers to the trucking primary liability coverage that is required by laws in all states.
Who needs tow truck insurance?
Anyone who drives a tow truck needs at least liability coverage, plus medical payments coverage. Usually, tow truck drivers are very busy when weather conditions are at their absolute worst. Tow truck drivers get injured or die on the job twice as often as other professions. And if you do any repossession work, you will be very familiar with a furious owner who threatens you with bodily injury for towing their car.
What coverage do tow truck drivers typically get?
There are several types of policies you might get as a tow truck driver. You will need:
Primary liability insurance for tow trucks
Just like personal auto insurance, the primary liability portion of your policy covers you for any injuries you cause to other people and damages you cause to other people’s property. This coverage kicks in only when you drive your tow truck for business purposes. If you drive the tow truck after your working shift to run some quick errands and are involved in some accident, this coverage will not pay for any third-party’s bodily injuries or property damages in the accident.
This pays for medical expenses for anyone involved in an accident that you cause.
This covers damages to other people’s property, but not damage for vehicles your vehicle is towing. This is for things like backing into a fence or knocking over a mailbox.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for tow trucks
This covers damages from other drivers who either don’t have any insurance or don’t have enough insurance and they are at fault in an accident with your tow truck. This coverage is also required in most states. You will be surprised to learn that almost 15% of drivers are without any insurance. In Florida, this number can be up to 25%.
Comprehensive coverage for tow trucks
Tow trucks are expensive. If you have a newer tow truck, or if you owe money on it, you’ll need comprehensive insurance. This will cover damages to your vehicle. If you have a loan, the loan company will require it. This is also referred to as trucking physical damage coverage.
On-hook coverage for tow trucks
This protects you if a vehicle you are towing is damaged while you’re towing it. It pays for repairs and/or replacement costs. Many states require tow truck drivers to carry on-hook insurance. This is necessary because all it takes is one tiny scratch and you could be forced to pay up. It covers theft as well, both of the entire vehicle and of some parts. It also covers you if a car is vandalized while it’s hooked up to your truck. For some reason, Texas and Virginia call this garage keepers liability.
Garage keepers’ liability for tow truck businesses:
After you tow away someone’s vehicle, you might park it somewhere. Garage keepers’ liability covers vehicles you park at your shop. It covers both collision and comprehensive for any car or truck parked at your garage. It covers fire, theft, vandalism, and weather damage. However, it does not cover:
- CD’s or DVD’s
- Anything in the trunk
- Phones, scanners or radios
- Radar detectors
Also, if a mechanic damages someone’s car because they’re incompetent, that’s not covered. Texas and Virginia call this storage location insurance. Learn more at the best garage keepers insurance companies.
You should be aware that garage keepers insurance is different from garage liability insurance. Learn more about garage liability insurance here.
Cargo insurance for tow trucks:
Cargo insurance protects the personal property left in the car. It covers theft, damage, and vandalism. It’s a good idea for tow truck drivers to get cargo insurance as well, and you can bundle it with your on-hook insurance. Learn more at the best cargo insurance companies.
Other types of insurance you might need because you own a business include trucking general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and trucking workers compensation insurance (if you have employees) or occupational accident insurance for truckers if you hire drivers as independent contractors for your tow truck business.
Are there state laws regarding how much insurance tow truck drivers need?
Every state requires tow truck drivers to carry primary liability insurance, but the minimum amounts vary from state to state. Some states require medical payments coverage as well.
Most states require tow truck businesses to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as well. Be sure to double check with your state’s insurance commissioner to be sure if you must have this coverage or not.
Driving a tow truck is a risky business. Take care of yourself, drive carefully, and make sure you have adequate insurance.