Is it time for you to get a commercial truck insurance quote? Maybe you’re getting commercial truck insurance for the first time. Or the price of your current policy seems too high.
In either case, it’s not something people do every day, so you may not be familiar with how to get a quote, whether through an agent, insurance company representative, or online. And you may not be sure how to get the best and the cheapest commercial truck insurance for your trucking business.
Whether getting insurance for a single commercial truck or an entire fleet, here’s everything you need to know to ensure you get the coverage you need at a cheapest price as quickly as possible.
- Where to get commercial truck insurance quotes
- Where to get commercial truck insurance quotes online
- Information you need to have to get a commercial truck insurance quote
- How much does commercial truck insurance cost?
- What factors affect your commercial truck insurance quotes
- Understanding commercial truck insurance quotes
- Comparing commercial truck insurance quotes: What you need to pay attention to
Where to get commercial truck insurance quotes
There are three ways to get quotes:
1. Commercial truck insurance brokers or agencies
If your main goal is to get several truck insurance quotes to compare them and select the best and cheapest one for you, you may want to consider working with a commercial truck insurance brokers or agencies. Below are a few for your consideration:
- Simply Business
- Truck Writers
- Reliance Partners
Pros of working with a commercial truck insurance broker or agency
- Easy to compare several quotes
- Knowledgeable agent and broker help you navigate the nuances of the industry and recommend the carriers that offer you the best coverages and prices. This is especially useful if you are a new truck driver or a new truck owner operator. Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies for new drivers and the best truck insurance companies for owner operators.
Cons of working with a commercial truck insurance brokers or agency
- Brokers and agencies can only recommend the companies that they partner with. If you are interested in companies that they don’t partner with, you are out of luck.
2. Specialized commercial truck insurance companies
If you’re open to separating your commercial truck insurance from your other business coverage, a specialized commercial truck insurance company is worth considering. Examples include:
- Owner Operator Direct
- United Commercial Insurance
Pros of specialized truck insurance companies:
- May be easier for hard-to-insure truckers to get coverage.
- Able to get support from truck industry insurance experts.
- Access to safety programs and information developed exclusively for truckers.
Cons of specialized truck insurance companies:
- Less financially stable than traditional insurance companies.
- Systems may not be as up-to-date as other insurers.
- May be challenging to get multiple commercial truck insurance quotes.
3. Traditional insurers
If you want to get commercial truck insurance from a dependable provider, it will make sense for you to get protection from a traditional insurance company. Examples include:
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
Pros of traditional insurers:
- Easy to get professional support when requesting a professional truck insurance quote.
- Committed to reducing truck driving-related risks.
- Financially solid and stable and able to pay claims.
Cons of traditional insurers:
- Challenging to get multiple quotes and compare them.
- Typically more expensive to get coverage than from specialized insurers.
- May take time to get coverage.
Learn more about where to get commercial truck insurance quotes
Where to get commercial truck insurance quotes online
Many people these days prefer doing business online. This trend is especially true for busy truckers.
Although many insurers allow you to get vehicle insurance quotes online, only Progressive provides this option for commercial truck insurance, and it’s likely that even with Progressive, you may have to complete your quote and purchase coverage over the phone.
The lack of options for getting commercial truck insurance quotes online is because the coverage is so complex, and the factors that go into generating a quote are very complicated. If you prefer doing business online, many insurers will allow you to begin an application and upload information on their websites. Doing this will make the time you spend on the phone with company representatives faster and more efficient.
Information you need to get a commercial truck insurance quote
You’ll need to gather a lot of information to get a quote for business truck coverage. Here are some common things required:
Your current commercial truck insurance policy
If you currently have commercial truck insurance, have a copy of the declarations page (the front page) available when you meet with an agent, discuss your options with an insurance company representative, or fill out an application online. It provides a solid starting point for figuring out what insurance you need and how your commercial vehicle insurance coverage should be customized to meet the specific requirements of your business.
If the insurance you have now is no longer adequate, you can use your existing policy to figure out what’s right and what needs changing.
If you don’t have a policy, you’ll have to work with your agent or truck insurance company rep to build a policy from the ground up. If you’re applying for coverage online, the application process should help you get the coverage you need.
Information about your vehicles
Having accurate information about your trucks will help speed up getting a commercial truck insurance quote.
If your current policy doesn’t include it, or if you want to protect additional trucks, make a list of every vehicle you want insured on your commercial truck insurance policy, including:
- Cost when new
- Gross vehicle weight
- Current mileage
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
Also, you must tell the agent or representative — or input the information on your online application — about how your business uses its vehicles, including where they’re driven, who drives them, and what they haul. This information will have a significant impact on your premium. For instance, carrying canned goods short distances in an old box truck will result in a lower premium than transporting fine art across the country in a new semi-truck.
Details about your drivers
For each person who drives your trucks, you will need to provide their:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number.
The insurance company will contact your state’s department of motor vehicles and review driving records for each person on your list.
If you hire people with poor driving records, it will increase your premiums. It’s essential to vet truckers before hiring them and consistently enforce and reward safe driving practices.
Information about commercial truck insurance claims
Have you made any claims on your commercial truck policy in the past three years? If so, you’ll be asked to disclose them. Be honest. Failing to reveal this information could result in severe consequences.
If you haven’t had a serious loss in the last three years, your business truck insurance quote and premiums will be lower than if you had.
If you want to keep your commercial truck insurance prices in check, make safe driving a top priority for your firm. Avoiding accidents will help keep your premiums low.
Basic information about your business
All insurers will want to know fundamental things about your business, including where it’s located, what it does, how long it’s been in operation, and more because they could impact the quote. For example, if you operate your business — and park your trucks — in a busy urban area, your insurance rate will likely be higher than if you do so in the suburbs or a guarded industrial park.
Finally, insurers will review your business and personal credit reports when you apply for commercial truck insurance. Good credit scores indicate to actuaries that you’re likely to be able to pay your premiums and are a solid person and business owner. These factors will result in lower insurance costs. If your personal and business credit scores are low, it signals that you may default on your truck insurance premium payments, and you could be a less responsible driver and business owner. These risks to the insurer will result in higher-priced quotes.
If your credit scores aren’t as good as they could be, improve them before you get a quote for business truck insurance or renew your policy. It could reduce your premiums.
How much does commercial truck insurance cost?
The average commercial insurance cost is $450 per month or $5,400 a year. And that is for trucking primary liability coverage only. If you want to have a more comprehensive truck insurance policy with other coverages, the average cost is $950 per month, or $11,400 a year. Below are the cost breakdowns of different truck insurance coverages;
|Commercial truck coverages
|Average monthly cost
|General liability insurance
|Trucking liability coverage
|Non-trucking liability coverage
|Physical damage insurance
|Vary. As a % of the truck’s value
|Motor truck cargo
|Vary. Depending on the cargo type
These are just the averages. Your quotes and rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few insurance companies or work with a top broker like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to get and compare several quotes to find the cheapest one. You can also get a quote online directly from carriers. However, Progressive is the only carrier offering commercial truck insurance quote online. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get a quote on their website, so it might be worth a try.
What factors affect your commercial truck insurance quotes
Many factors impact the price of coverage, including:
It’s pretty common knowledge that a driver’s record on the road affects their insurance premiums. Keeping a good driving record helps to keep the premiums lower. A single ticket can drive rates up, and so can accidents, especially if the driver requesting insurance was at fault. If you are a new truck driver, insurance companies will use your personal driving record to calculate your truck insurance premium. But after driving trucks for 6+ months, your premiums will be based on your truck driving record.
Insurance companies look at credit scores when they write policies. A good credit score along with a good driving record will help to keep your premiums lower. Bad credit can increase your premiums or limit your ability to get insurance.
Distance of operation
Another factor in your insurance premiums for your truck is the distance you drive. A local trucker will likely have lower premiums than a long-haul over-the-road driver. Long-haul drivers have a greater risk of becoming tired, losing focus, and potentially being in an accident.
Location of business
The location of the dispatch office for your trucking business plays a role in the cost of your insurance premiums. Each state has different regulations for insurance coverage, and you must meet the minimums of the state that is your home base.
Kind of cargo
What kind of cargo do you haul? That makes a difference in the cost of your insurance premiums as well. Car haulers, for example, will likely pay more than a rig that carries a load of boxes because of the value of their cargo. Any trucker carrying heavier cargo or cargo that is deemed dangerous (flammable liquids as an example) can expect higher insurance premiums.
Kind and size of your truck
The size of your truck, as well as the age of it, play roles in dictating insurance costs. A bigger, heavier truck, or a newer truck, will likely have higher insurance premiums. This is because bigger, heavier trucks are more damaging if they are involved in an accident. Newer trucks tend to cost more to repair, so they cost more to insure.
It’s a good idea to get several commercial truck insurance quotes and compare them to get the coverage you need at the best possible price.
Understanding commercial truck insurance quotes
Business truck insurance quotes are complex. That’s because they often include many types of coverage. Here are some of the most common coverages you could find on your quote:
Primary trucking liability insurance
Liability is the one coverage required by states for the truckers who drive in them and the federal government for those who operate across state lines.
If you only drive in the state your business is based in, you must meet its minimum insurance requirements. You can find information about your state’s requirements online or from an agent experienced in truck insurance who can explain how much coverage you need to drive your truck in your state.
Vehicles traveling in two or more states are subject to the even more stringent requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The federal liability limit minimums are:
- $300,000 for vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less and carry non-hazardous freight
- $750,000 for vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds and carry non-hazardous freight
- $1,000,000 for vehicles that carry oil
- $5,000,000 for vehicles that carry other types of hazardous materials
- $5,000,000 for passenger vehicles
- $1,500,000 for passenger vehicles that can seat 15 people or fewer.
These are the federal government’s minimum requirements, but some shippers and brokers may also require liability coverage of at least $1,000,000. That is regardless of the type of material your truck hauls. It’s usually a good idea to exceed the federal minimum requirements for coverage. This is where working with an insurance professional can be smart. They can advise you on how much coverage you really need, so you don’t waste money on unnecessary insurance, but also avoid having too little protection, which could put your operation at risk.
Some other coverages you may need and see on your policy include:
Motor truck cargo insurance
Cargo insurance covers the things you haul in your trailer. It’s not a coverage required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but most for-hire interstate owner-operators will make you purchase it. If you don’t have it, they won’t hire you, so this probably isn’t a way to reduce your costs. The standard limit for cargo insurance is $100,000, but you may need a higher one if you haul particularly valuable cargo. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.
Bobtail truck insurance
Bobtail insurance covers you if you drive your truck without a trailer attached to it and get involved in an accident. If you’re leased on to a motor carrier and are running under their authority. It is likely that the motor carrier doesn’t offer you bobtail coverage. You can find out whether you need this — or other — coverages on your lease agreement. Learn more at the best bobtail insurance companies.
Non-trucking liability insurance
It is often confusing to distinguish between bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance. They are similar but have subtle differences. Non-trucking liability insurance coverage protects you when you drive your truck for personal purposes, with or without a trailer attached to it. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies.
Trucking physical damage insurance
Trucking physical damage coverage protects your personal tractor or trailer if it’s damaged in an accident. This coverage is required if you finance your truck. Even if you don’t, it’s a good idea to purchase it. Don’t cut costs on this coverage. Your truck is your livelihood. If it’s seriously damaged in an accident, you could be forced to pay for repairs out of pocket. Repairing trucks is expensive, and the cost of an accident could jeopardize your operation’s future. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
Your insurance agent or rep at your insurance provider can advise you on the coverages and levels you need.
Comparing commercial truck insurance quotes: What you need to pay attention to
It’s a good idea to get commercial truck insurance quotes from at least three providers. You can compare costs and coverages to ensure you’re getting the best protection for your trucks and business at a fair price. When you get multiple quotes, ensure they all provide the same types and levels of protection. It could be a big mistake if you purchase insurance from the cheapest provider only to find out that you have inadequate coverage when it comes time to make a claim.
Pay attention to the inclusions and exclusions in each policy to make sure they are similar. A quote can be cheaper, but if that comes with a lot of exclusions, you should be mindful of. Otherwise, when it comes to time that you need to file a claim, finding out at that time that the claim’s scenario is part of the policy’s exclusions, it will be too late.
When comparing several commercial truck insurance quotes, be sure they have the same deductibles. As you know, the higher the deductibles, the lower the premiums.
If anything is unclear about a business truck insurance quote, ask your agent or insurance company representative about it. If you don’t, you could find out that you may not have the coverage you thought you did when it comes time to make a claim.