Truck Insurance Min Requirements in Different States (2023)

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Every trucking business in the U.S is required by FMCSA and state laws to have insurance policies. Most of these requirements are the same in every state (liability limits) which are regulated by federal laws, but some specific requirements are peculiar to some states. 

We have done our research and come up with the minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance for trucking businesses across the ten largest states in the US.

CaliforniaTexasFloridaNew YorkPennsylvania
IllinoisOhioGeorgiaNorth CarolinaMichigan

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in California

California state law requires truckers and businesses in the state that are dependent on trucks to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance. The minimum amount required depends on the type of freight hauled and where you haul it. They include:

  • Liability insurance (oil transport): $1,000,000
  • Liability insurance (hazmat): $5,000,000
  • Liability insurance (household goods): $300,000
  • Liability insurance (general freight): $750,000
  • Cargo insurance (intrastate household goods movers and interstate contract carriers): $20,000 per vehicle and $20,000 per catastrophe.

California state also requires you to get a California Intrastate ID number (#T), if your truck doesn’t cross state lines and is over 10,000 GVW.

Both California and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) require certain documents must be submitted by you or your insurance agent when you get coverage including:

  • Form MCS-90
  • MCP-65
  • Form H
  • BMC-91.

Tip: California truckers’ insurance requirements can be strict and must be adhered to. You may want to get the right brokers so you don’t break the rules.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in California

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Texas

Texas state law asks truckers, trucking businesses, and new ventures to have a certain amount of liability insurance which is determined by what freight you pull and where you pull it.  You are also required to get a TXDMV Number.

Physical damage coverage and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists must be provided according to the Texas Department of insurance.

The minimum liability coverage for your trucking business depends on what you’re hauling, the weight of your truck, and whether you’re traveling within or beyond Texas.

See the table below for more information:

Type of freightMinimum liability coverage
Non-hazardous, under 10,001lbs$300,000
Property (Non-Hazardous), over 10,001lbs, interstate or foreign$750,000
Hazardous substance, over 10,001lbs, interstate or foreign$5,000,000
Oil, hazardous waste, over 10,001lbs, interstate or foreign$1,000,000

Tip: The proof of the financial responsibility you own which includes endorsements for insurance policies, motor carrier surety bond for public liability, and authorization from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are all required to be kept at your principal place of business. 

Both the FMCSA and the Texas Department of Transportation require that commercial truck insurance forms be submitted by the insurance agent of your company. These documents show that all of the requirements have been met.

Some of them include:

  • Form H
  • The BMC-99
  • Form MCS-98
  • Form E

You also need to comply with all the DOT truck insurance requirements recommended by the FMCSA.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in Texas

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Florida

There are federal regulations regarding how much insurance you need if you drive or own a commercial truck. You can read the list of what’s required here, but the requirements are based on truck weight and what kind of cargo it carries. 

Generally, the heavier the truck, the more you’ll pay in insurance. It is the same with the minimum liability requirements as in other states.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in Florida

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in New York

Local truckers in New York must carry minimum liability insurance. The amount you require is determined by the type of freight you transport and where it is transported. If you never take your truck out of state and it has a GVW of more than 10,000 pounds, you must carry the following insurance:

  • Liability Insurance of $5,000,000 (Hazmat)
  • Liability Insurance of $300,000 (Household Goods)
  • Liability Insurance of $750,000 (General Freight)
  • Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 (Oil Transport)
  • $5,000/vehicle and $10,000/catastrophe insurance for cargo (Intrastate household goods movers and interstate contract carriers)

The insurance requirements for truck drivers who do interstate work differ slightly. If you haul goods across states, in addition to all these, you must meet all of the federal government’s semi-truck insurance requirements. The majority of federal liability limits are either $750,000 or $1,000,000.

Your insurance agent must submit certain filings to the New York State and the US Department of Transportation. Your insurance company will know which forms to send and handle all of the paperwork for you. These forms notify the government that your DOT truck insurance requirements have been met. Before they can process your authority, they must be received

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in New York

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law requires that truck drivers have liability insurance. The amount that they need depends on the type of cargo they’re transporting and their distance from the state.

Some of the minimum requirements for liability insurance for intrastate drivers include the following:

  • $750,000 for general freight
  • $1,000,000 for oil transport
  • $5,000,000 for hazmat
  • $300,000 for household goods

All carriers must also have $5,000 of cargo insurance per vehicle. Interstate truck drivers are required to follow Pennsylvania laws as well as the DOT truck insurance requirements from the FMCSA.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in Pennsylvania

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Illinois

In Illinois, all truck drivers must have liability insurance to maintain their business. The amount depends on the type of freight that they’re hauling and where they’re working. 

Aside from having a proper insurance policy, all new and local truck drivers in the state must also carry a USDOT number before they can operate in other states.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance in Illinois

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Ohio

Trucking businesses are also required by Ohio state to have commercial truck insurance. The minimum requirement is the

  • Liability insurance that covers bodily injury, property damage, uninsured or underinsured motorists
  • , and physical damage coverage. 

These are determined by the type of cargo you haul and where you haul it. 

The state asks that you get a USDOT number if you run a trucking business in Ohio, your trucks are more than 10,001 pounds in weight, and you do interstate.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance in Ohio

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Georgia

If you drive a truck for business or own a trucking company in Georgia, you are required by laws to have commercial truck insurance. Some of the required coverage policies include bodily injury liability and property damage liability. There are also optional coverages you can choose from depending on your needs.

Georgia state law asks truck drivers and new ventures to have a certain amount of liability insurance (same with liability limit as required by FMCSA). This of course will be determined by what freight you pull and where you pull it.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in Georgia

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in North Carolina

Regardless of how you operate in North Carolina, every truck driver in the state is required to carry liability insurance.

The minimum standards for truckers in North Carolina who never take their truck out of state are:

  • Oil Transport Liability Coverage: $1,000,000 minimum
  • Hazmat Liability Coverage: $5,000,000 minimum
  • General Freight Liability Coverage: $750,000 minimum
  • Household Goods Liability Coverage: $300,000 minimum

In addition, transporting goods across state lines usually requires a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage.

Although liability is the only coverage option that truck owners-operators are required to have, they can also purchase other policies, such as comprehensive and bobtail coverage.

You will also be required to complete and submit these forms: Form E, Form H, Form MCS-96, BMC-97, so that the government will know that the requirements have been fulfilled. 

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies in North Carolina

Minimum requirements of commercial truck insurance in Michigan

In Michigan, commercial truck insurance is required for truckers. Primary liability coverage is mandatory, while others are just smart to have.

Michigan state requires that all forms related to commercial truck insurance be submitted by the insurance agent of the company that provides the policy. These documents help the government know that all of your requirements are met. Some of them are:

  • The BMC-95
  • Form MCS-94
  • Form H

Minimum requirements of FMCSA for commercial truck insurance

You are required to obtain a USDOT number if your trucks have/used for the following:

  • Transport hazardous materials that require safety permits
  • Has a vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Involved in interstate commerce.

Apart from federal regulations, all states listed above require all trucks that fall into this category to get a DOT number. If you don’t have one, you can apply online. 

If your trucking business transports federally-regulated commodities owned by others, you are required to have an interstate Operating Authority (MC number) in addition to a DOT number. 

Commercial truck insurance filing requirements: All trucking businesses must have specific legal process documents. These filings must be received within 90 days after the FMCSA has published public notice of intention to register the applicant.

The files include BMC-95, Form MCS-94, and Form H.

How much does commercial truck insurance cost?

Many commercial truck insurance policies have different costs. If you operate your truck, it might cost you around $15,000 a year. Below are the average costs of various commercial truck insurance policies.

Commercial truck coverages Average monthly cost 
General liability insurance $325 
Trucking liability coverage $270
Non-trucking liability coverage $230
Bobtail insurance $38
Physical damage insurance Vary. As a % of the  truck’s value 
Motor truck cargo Vary. Depending on the cargo type 

The cost is also affected by some other factors that like drivers’ experience, type and size of trucks, the distance trucks travel, the cargo you’re hauling, and whether you travel beyond the state you’re operating in.

Be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your trucking business.

Learn more at how much commercial truck insurance costs

How to find cheap commercial truck insurance?

If trucking is your means of living, you don’t want to not have insurance policies even if they can be expensive. However, there are some things you can do to find the insurance you need at a fair price without breaking the bank:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from several companies or a service like Coverwallet that represents multiple insurance carriers so you can compare coverage and premium prices.
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy every year.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your commercial truck coverage. Learn more at the cheapest commercial truck insurance companies.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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