If you drive a truck for business or run a trucking business, you will need commercial truck insurance. Commercial truck insurance is expensive. The average cost of commercial truck insurance is $15,000 per year. This rate can be affected by the insurance company you’re using, the coverage limits and the deductibles of the policy, the types of trucks you want to cover, and some other factors.
Generally, the cost of commercial truck insurance will be different and varies by providers. The only way you can get an exact rate for your trucking business is to get an online quote from companies like CoverWallet and Progressive. We advise you to shop around with at least 3 companies, or better still get a broker who would assist you in comparing quotes and making the right decision.
In this article, we will cover the following:
- How much does commercial truck insurance cost?
- What is commercial truck insurance?
- Who needs commercial truck insurance?
- What affects the cost of commercial truck insurance?
- What does commercial truck insurance cover?
- Why is commercial truck insurance cost so high?
- Compare commercial truck insurance quotes
How much does commercial truck insurance cost?
There are many commercial truck insurance coverages and their costs are different. Below are the average costs of the most commercial truck coverages. On average, a trucker who operates their own truck might pay around $11,400 a year, or $950 a month, for necessary coverages of a commercial truck insurance policy.
|Commercial truck coverages||Average monthly cost|
|General liability insurance||$325|
|Trucking liability coverage||$450|
|Non-trucking liability coverage||$137|
|Physical damage insurance||Vary. As a % of the truck’s value|
|Motor truck cargo||Vary. Depending on the cargo type|
What affects the costs of commercial truck insurance?
How much you pay for commercial truck insurance depends on several factors, such as:
If you own a truck, leasing it to a trucking company will be cheaper than running it under your own authority. Since the trucking company will pay the trucking liability insurance for their drivers while they are under dispatch. These drivers will need to get non-trucking liability insurance coverage or bobtail insurance to fill in the gap when they are not under dispatch. Learn more about the best bobtail insurance companies.
If you decide to be an owner operator and drive your truck under your own authority, learn more at the best owner operator truck insurance companies and the best commercial truck insurance for new authority.
Driver’s experience on the road and their safety track record.
A driver with no accident record will produce better rates than a driver who’s had a lot of accident records. Also, a new driver will cost more than a veteran driver.
The type and size of trucks.
A newer and larger truck is more valuable and will produce more expensive rates when compared to older trucks. This is especially true if you need trucking physical damage coverage, which pays to repair or replace your truck if it gets damaged. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
The distance trucks travel or operating radius
Longer drives produce more expensive rates since there are more risks of accidents.
In-state or interstate trucking:
If you cross the state line, you will need federal filing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (or FMCSA). And you will need to file the BMC-34 form. Commercial truck insurance for interstate truckers is generally much more expensive than in-state truckers. It is highly advisable for new truckers to start out with in-state routes first to build their truck insurance history and credit and expand to interstate route. That would save them a lot of money in commercial truck insurance. Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance for new drivers.
The type of cargo you’re hauling.
The more risky and valuable the cargo, the more expensive the rates, eg. Oil and hazardous chemicals will cost more. This coverage is not mandatory. However, more and more shippers and brokers require it nowadays. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.
Some truckers might be required to have higher coverage limits than the state’s min requirements. Higher coverage limits will result in higher premiums.
What is commercial truck insurance?
To make this easy to understand, we can say that commercial truck insurance is an insurance policy made specifically for truckers against risks associated with the trucking business. These insurance policies cover your trucks in the event of an accident and other damages from a wide range of perils.
If you use trucks for work, or your company owns and leases trucks and long vehicles that are used for construction and hauling freight, you need commercial truck insurance.
Who needs commercial truck insurance?
The following category of people need commercial truck insurance:
- Truck drivers and independent truck owners
- Commercial trucking transportation businesses
- Any business that uses trucks for operations and transportation-related activity
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all businesses with commercial operation of a truck, from one, to a fleet of large vehicles are required to hold a commercial truck insurance policy.
One bad event could simply put you out of business if you don’t have any insurance policy, so we advise you to get one if you fall under any of these categories, even though commercial truck insurance can be costly.
What does commercial truck insurance cover?
Commercial truck insurance has several coverages you will need for your trucking business but here are the most common:
Truckers general liability coverage:
This covers the operations and damages of a driver in someone else’s premises when not actively driving the truck. Learn more at the best trucking general liability insurance companies.
Physical damage coverage:
This covers the cost to replace or repair damage to your equipment when an accident or theft happens. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
Primary liability coverage:
This covers all damages you may cause to others while operating your truck. This is the main coverage that is legally required in all 50 states. If you drive a truck, you’ll need this coverage.
Motor truck cargo coverage:
This covers physical damages to any cargo your truck hauls only when the carrier is still in possession. More and more shippers and brokers require this coverage before signing the contract. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.
Non-trucking liability coverage:
This covers damages to the truck driver when they are driving outside work purposes, like using it on your farm and other personal purposes. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.
Truck bobtail insurance:
This covers damages that happen when you are not hauling anything and no trailer is attached to your truck. For example, driving to a safe place after a pick-up or drop-off, or the travel between a driver’s home and their terminal. Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.
This covers damages done when someone hits you and does not have an insurance policy to pay for damages.
Workers comp insurance:
This covers the medical costs, lost wages, and other related costs when a trucker is injured or become ill at work. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance for truckers.
Occupational accident coverage for truckers:
Since many truckers are hired as independent contractors. Trucking companies are not required by laws to provide workers comp insurance to independent contractors. However, truckers has one of the highest risk job and needs protections if they get injured on the job. Occupational accident insurance is a lighter form, or less comprehensive, workers comp insurance for truckers. It usually costs half the price of workers comp insurance and is popular in trucking industry. Learn more at the best occupational accident coverage for truckers.
How to stay on top of commercial truck insurance costs?
This insurance policy can be so high and as a business owner, you want to sustain as much profit as possible. Nobody wants to break the bank getting coverage for their trucking business since it’s a requirement. There are some things you can do to spend less on insurance policies.
Ensure you or your drivers have clean driving records.
We advise you to have a plan in place to address any employee who gets a violation while on the job.
Reduce driving radius
If possible, cut down on the distance you’re driving especially if you’re new to the business with little or no experience.
Pick the right truck model and type
Start with older model trucks that have a lower value because the higher the value, the higher the insurance cost.
Turn in a lesser number of claims
If there are small damages, you can fix it yourself, this is because most insurance companies take into consideration the frequency of claims you turn in which may result in the costs splurging.
Take advantage of discounts
Insurance companies offer several discount programs, make sure you utilize these programs if they are available to you. Always ask for the discount programs from your agent, broker.
Shop around to compare several quotes
Different insurance companies offer different quotes because they have their own underwriting policies. Make sure that you shop around with a few companies or with a broker to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. When you need to renew your policy, don’t renew until you shop around again. The current company might provide you with the cheapest rate last year, but their rate might not be the cheapest this year. Shop around again!
Why is commercial truck insurance cost so high?
Simply because trucks are very heavy vehicles and can cause a lot more damages, both bodily injury or property damages, when they get into accidents. Trucks also carry and transport valuable and expensive goods. Damages that happen to these cargo can be very costly, thus insurance covering these potential risks can be very expensive.
Operating a truck, especially a long-haul truck across states, is a very risky business. Truck drivers or truckers have a very challenging job and they work very hard. They are more likely to make a mistake than others. Just a small mistake by these truckers can result in significant costs.
Learn more at the cheapest commercial truck insurance companies.
Compare commercial truck insurance quotes
There are several platforms online you can use to compare quotes from different insurance companies. We have been able to come up with a few quotes online to give you a glimpse of what it looks like:
We think Progressive is the one carrier you can generate an online quote with as quickly as possible. All you have to do is provide a few details such as your truck model and type, your experience level, a few personal details, and USDOT number if applicable.
You may not be able to get a quote with CoverWallet, but rest assured that a phone number will be provided of which you can reach out directly with your questions. According to CoverWallet, basic commercial trucking insurance starts at $125 a month. They are a subsidiary of Aon, one of the biggest business insurance brokerage firms in the world, so they have good financial backing.
Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies.
When you run a business without worrying about lawsuits, damages, and employee injury, you will have all the time to focus on what matters. Commercial truck insurance is one insurance policy you should own for your trucking business.