Semi-trucks (also called tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers) are used to haul goods and services across the country. They are the backbone of the economy. Without truckers and semi-trucks, goods wouldn’t get to market and the supply chain would collapse. If you drive a semi-truck, you already know that insurance for a semi isn’t cheap. But there are a few ways to save money.
- Where to find the cheapest semi-truck insurance quotes
- How to save money on semi-truck insurance
- How much does semi-truck insurance usually cost?
- What factors affect how much I’ll pay for semi-truck insurance?
- Requirements for semi-trucks that cross state lines
- Types of insurance coverage semi-trucks may need
Where to find the cheap semi truck insurance quotes
Finding the cheapest semi-truck insurance isn’t straightforward since not many companies offer semi-truck insurance quote comparison online. It is still possible if you are willing to do the hard work by working with a few carriers and brokers. Below are our recommendations:
Progressive: Cheap and fast online commercial truck insurance quote
Progressive has the distinct advantage of being one of the only insurance companies that will give you an online quote for commercial truck insurance. They are also the number one commercial auto insurer in America, insuring more than a million commercial vehicles.
This quote is for an owner-operator living in Arizona, with a truck valued at $100,000 and who drives more than 500 miles per trip (crosses state lines on a regular basis). $1,750 a month
Simply Business: Comparing several truck insurance quotes to find the cheapest one
Simply Business is a broker specializing in serving small businesses, including trucking businesses. They work with several leading carriers and are able to pull quotes from their partners for your comparison. They usually provide quote comparison online. However, semi-trucking business isn’t so simple. You may need to speak to them on the phone to compare several quotes for your semi-truck.
Simply Business earn a good customer rating, A on BBB and is praised for its simple and straightforward approach when it comes to business insurance, especially trucking businesses.
You can also check out other top commercial truck brokers that we recommend.
Sentry: Cheapest for safe semi truck drivers
Sentry has a lot of recommendations for a safe trucking company, which may save you money on your insurance. They insure over 37,000 truckers. They’ve been in business since 1904, and since they’re a mutual company, they answer to their shareholders, not a corporate board.
Like most insurance companies, you’ll have to work with an agent to get a quote, but they have a list of trucking industry-specific agents, and most of them have over 20 years of experience.
Acuity: Excellent claim satisfaction rating
Acuity insures over 45,000 trucks and has a 95% claims satisfaction rate. They have specialized programs and tools to help you comply with FMCSA and DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations. They don’t offer online quotes for commercial trucking insurance: you’ll have to work through an agent, but their agent has over 30 years of experience in trucking. They have excellent reviews on Trustpilot, with an overall rating of 4.4 based on over 1,200 reviews.
National Independent Truckers Insurance Company: Good option for individual owner-operators with your own authorities
The National Independent Truckers Insurance Company will give you a quote through your email. You need to fill out information about your age, years of experience, what make and model truck you drive and what you typically haul. They insure 48 states and have excellent reviews on Trustpilot.
Commercialinsurance.net: Getting cheap semi truck insurance by working with knowledgeable agents
Commercialinsurance.net is another agency. Unlike Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net’s mail goal is to connect you with the agent or agents who are most knowledgeable about your trucking 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 semi truck coverages at the most affordable prices.
How to save money on semi truck insurance
Semi-truck insurance is expensive. It is actually one of the biggest expenses of your trucking business. Below are a few tips to save money on your semi-truck insurance:
Shop around with a few carriers or brokers to find the cheapest quote
Many different providers offer similar policies, but prices can vary. Therefore, it’s important to get quotes from at least three or four carriers and brokers before you settle on a policy. It is a challenge to get an online quote, but some companies will offer you a quote on the phone or through email. Shop around.
Obtain commercial driver’s license to reduce your semi-truck insurance premiums
In some states, you might not need a commercial driver license to drive some certain types of trucks. In many states, it is actually required. Learn more about your state’s CDL requirements.
Whether your state requires it or not, having a commercial driver’s license for at least two years will get you some discount on coverage.
Maintain a good standing for your trucking business means cheaper semi-truck insurance for you
The longer you’ve been in business, the less you’ll pay for insurance. More specifically, the longer you’ve been in business without filing any claims will result in lower insurance costs.
Raise your deductibles to lower your semi-truck insurance rates
A higher deductible will result in a lower premium, but be careful, because there is also a higher risk that you’ll need to pay some costs out-of-pocket if your insurance doesn’t stretch as far as it needs to.
Make sure you mange this within your means. You don’t want to be in situation when you are not able to pay your deductibles to get the situation handled so that you can get back to work.
Practice safe driving will earn you discounts on your semi truck insurance rates
Conduct vehicle inspections before you drive and address any problems.
Always follow safe driving practices and standards. Giving the insurance company access to your truck ELD, electronic logging device, to monitor and track your driving behaviors will earn you discounts if you are a safe driver. Some insurance companies offer premium refunds at the end of the year to reward safe driving practices you and your drivers demonstrate during the year. Even better, a few companies also re-rate your monthly premiums based on your driving record of the previous month.
Routine maintenance is also of the utmost importance, so things don’t break down due to wear and tear.
How much does semi-truck insurance usually cost?
Semi-truck insurance isn’t cheap: the average cost for an owner-operator that leases a truck from a fleet is between $3,000 and $5,000 a year. If you own your own vehicle (own authority) the average cost is $12,000 to $16,000 per truck.
|Owner-operator types||Average semi-truck insurance costs|
|Lease your semi-truck||$3,000-$5,000 a year|
|Operate under your own authority||$12,000-$15,000 a year|
These are just the average semi truck insurance costs. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.
What factors affect how much I’ll pay for semi-truck insurance?
How much you pay for insurance varies according to a number of factors, such as:
The coverage type that you need:
There are different coverage policies that you can buy for your semi truck. The policies your buy will determine the extent of protection your trucks have in the event of problems. However, every type of coverage you add to your dump truck insurance policy will raise the cost since it increases the likelihood that your carrier will have to pay you out. Generally speaking, all semi trucks need primary liability insurance and general liability insurance. This insurance protects you in an accident and against physical harm and property damage. Adding other coverages will increase your semi truck insurance accordingly.
The quality of the drivers you have will go a long way in determining the cost of your premium. Insurance companies are particularly interested in your drivers since they charges semi trucks. In most cases, they will want to know their age, level of experience, and the number of accidents they have had in the past.
The insurance company will request their driver’s license numbers and the Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) of all your drivers to get full that information. An MVR essentially provides a history of the individual’s driving record, including citations and accidents. If your drivers have a lot of experience and clean MVRs, you could pay cheaper insurance prices since they’ve proven that they know what they’re doing and are safe drivers.
Your semi trucks
The type and worth of your semi trucks are other factors that affect your insurance price. The higher the value of your trucks, the more expensive they will be to insure because any loss would be more costly. Repairing or replacing an expensive semi truck will obviously cost more money.
Similarly, old semi trucks are prone to damage. Therefore, insuring such semi trucks will come at a higher price. If the parts of your semi truck model are difficult to find or the parts are generally more expensive, you might pay more for your premiums as well.
The insurance company might ask you to enter the information manually to get all this information. Alternatively, the company may request the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the truck.
The number of semi trucks in your fleet
The number of semi trucks you have also influences the cost of semi truck insurance. The more vehicles you have, the more likely you will file a claim. Therefore, companies will charge you more to cover the additional risk.
Tickets, accidents, and loss-run history
If your business has a long history of accidents and traffic violations, you will face higher insurance premiums. The higher price is because the insurance company perceives you as a more considerable risk. They will assume that you’re more likely to file a claim. This is why you must always emphasize dump truck safety at your company.
Before providing you with a quotation, the insurance provider will most likely require a copy of your loss-run. Your loss run is a record of the claims and losses that your company has experienced. As previously stated, if you have had many claims in the past, you are viewed as a higher risk. As a result, your insurance may be more expensive to compensate for the higher risk.
Your location and travel radius
Semi truck insurance costs are also affected by where you live and how far you drive the semi truck. Semi truck companies located in busy metropolitan areas have to pay more than those in rural areas. That is because urban areas are usually more congested, so there is a higher chance of accidents occurring there.
Also, the distance that your trucks travel will affect the cost of your semi truck insurance. Companies that move their semi trucks interstate will pay a higher premium for their trucks.
Years of experience
The cost of semi truck insurance is also affected by the business experience. Insurance companies usually consider older companies to be established with more business data. They believe older companies have more industry knowledge and will make fewer mistakes. Therefore, older companies with clean loss history and competent drivers will probably pay less for insurance than newer or older companies with lots of claims.
Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance for new drivers.
Finally, your insurance provider will want to know what you’re moving with your semi trucks. The loads you transport would impact your premiums since the more precious your loads, the more significant the loss if you were involved in an accident. Therefore, companies that haul precious stones will pay more than companies that carry sand under any circumstance.
Requirements for semi-trucks that cross state lines
Trucks that regularly haul goods across state lines are subject to federal regulations and laws regarding insurance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (or FMCSA) requires a minimum amount of insurance based on what you carry and how much your truck weighs.
|Type of Freight||Minimum Liability Coverage|
|Non-hazardous freight in vehicles under 10,000 pounds||$300,000|
|Non-hazardous freight in vehicles over 10,001 pounds||$750,000|
|Hazardous material or explosives||$5,000,000|
You’ll need to send proof of insurance to FMCSA in order to receive a motor carrier number, which permits you to haul goods across state lines.
Different states also have minimum liability requirements as well. California has a long list of requirements to comply with CARB, or the Clean Air Regulations for Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles. Among other things, every truck must have a 2010 engine or newer in order to travel in California and all trucks over 10,000 pounds must have a minimum liability policy of $750,000. Check with your state to find out what you need.
Types of insurance coverage semi trucks may need
Semi-trucks are specialized vehicles, so insurance is also specialized, although some portions are similar to personal auto coverage.
Trucking primary liability
This covers both bodily injury and personal property damage, just like auto insurance. This coverage is required by law in all 50 states. If you drive a truck, you must have this coverage. This is also the most expensive coverage in trucking insurance. So shop around to find the cheapest rate for this coverage.
Trucking physical damage coverage:
This covers physical damage to your own vehicle, or the equivalent to collision/comprehensive in an auto policy. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies
Just in case someone with no insurance or not enough insurance hits you and causes injury and/or damage. Given that more than 20% drivers on the US roads are without insurance, this coverage is more necessary than you’d think.
This covers medical payments for you if you are in an at-fault accident. Liability only covers the other people involved in the accident.
This covers when you drive your truck for personal purposes, not business-related. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.
Motor truck cargo coverage:
In addition to the truck, for-hire truckers are also responsible for the cargo the truck carries. This is called motor truck cargo coverage and covers you in case your cargo is lost, stolen, or damaged while it’s in transit. Costs vary according to what you’re hauling. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.
Trailer interchange coverage:
This covers you in case there is damage to the trailer while it’s being transferred from one truck to another. Learn everything you need to know about trailer interchange insurance.
This covers you for the time you drive your semi without a trailer attached. Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.
Types of cargo that semi-trucks need specialized coverages
Hauling the following types of cargo is more expensive and requires specialized coverage:
- Live animals
Semi-truck insurance isn’t cheap, but it is necessary. Shop around, maintain your vehicles, and drive safely.