How Much Does Flatbed Truck Insurance Cost? (2023 Rates)

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

The price of the typical 48-foot trailer is between $20,000 and $30,000. Add to this the value of the things you haul in your flatbed. Now imagine being involved in an accident. 

The cost to repair or replace your truck and its contents, along with any injuries, would be difficult — or almost impossible — for the average trucker or trucking business to cover. That’s the reason why they get flatbed truck insurance.

In this article, I’ll explain how much flatbed truck insurance costs, so you can see how fair it is, especially when compared to having to pay accident and other incident-related costs out-of-pocket. I’ll also provide the information you need to get flatbed coverage right for you.

How much does flatbed truck insurance cost?

Flatbed truck insurance prices range from $3,000 to more than $15,000 a year, which is fair when considering how much an accident could cost you if you had to pay out of pocket. The average flatbed truck insurance costs $9,500 a year.

Your premium will be based on the factors outlined below and the insurer’s willingness to cover the risks you present. That’s why it’s essential to get quotes from multiple providers. You can compare coverages and premium costs to find the best combination for you. Working with a broker or agency such as Simply Business, or CoverWallet and Smart Financial is a good way to compare several quotes easily since these brokers are able to pull several quotes from the companies that they work with at once.

How much does the average flatbed truck insurance cost per month?

The average flatbed truck insurance cost per month is $800. And this is the rate for one flatbed truck, with a trailer, and covering primary liability, bobtail insurance, trucking physical damage coverage, trailer coverage, and cargo truck insurance. Below are the cost breakdown for different coverages:

Flatbed truck insurance coverages Average costs
Trucking primary liability insurance$400 per month
Trucking physical damage coverage$210 per month
Trailer coverage$50 per month
Bobtail insurance $40 per month
Cargo truck coverage $100 per month
(depending on the cargo you haul)

Again, these are just the averages. Your quotes and rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or working with a broker or agency such as Simply Business or to compare several quotes before making your final decision.

What factors affect the flatbed truck insurance cost?

Many factors impact the price of flatbed insurance, including:

The types of coverage

As you can see above, different coverages cost differently. Most companies offer basic flatbed truck insurance policies that only cover property damage and injury liability. The property liability will cover you for damages to your flatbed truck in cases of accident. On the other hand, the injury liability will cover for injuries or damages to someone else in an accident caused by your truck. 

Although these policies will work, they are insufficient to give you all the protection you need. As a result, you will need a few other policies to offer you additional protection.

These additional policies do not come for free. They extend the level of risk that the insurance company has to carry. Therefore, they attract come at a higher fee. The more additional policies you have, the more you will need to pay. 

The value of your truck and trailer

Typically, flatbed trucks and trailers with a higher value will require a higher insurance cost. This is understandable because an expensive truck and trailer will cost more in repairs or replacement. Also, older trucks cost more to insure than newer ones. That’s because, as trucks age, there is a big chance that they will develop faults.

To get the correct value of your truck, the insurance company might request for the year, make, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and model of your trucks and the same for the trailers.

Alternatively, they might just ask for your VIN. That will help them get the information about your vehicle without asking you to enter the values manually. 

Number of flatbed trucks you have 

The more flatbed trucks in your fleet, the more insurance you’ll need to insure them. Having more trucks means you have a more considerable risk of loss. As a result, you will have to pay higher insurance costs to cover the risks.

Your truck drivers and their driving records

The type of truck drivers you have is another critical factor determining your box truck insurance cost. Most insurance companies will check to see the age and experience of your box truck drivers to give you a quote. The company might also request documents such as the Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) and the driver’s license of your truck drivers. The MVR provides a report on the driver’s tickets and accidents. It essentially reports the driving record of your drivers. Generally speaking, you might get a cheaper premium if your drivers have a trucking license, lots of truck driving experience, and a clean driving record.

The goods you haul

Your insurer will want to know what kind of goods you carry to give you the right quotes. Usually, companies that carry expensive items or perishable items will require a higher level of insurance than others. Some insurers do not even offer services to some box trucks that carry certain types of cargo. Also, the type of contract you have with your clients will define the type of rates you get from your insurance company. 

How long your company has been in operation

If you’re a well-established firm that has been in operation for a few years, the insurance provider has more information to examine and data to evaluate. A mature firm with a relatively clean loss record would likely have cheaper rates than a younger one.

Claim history

The longer you have been in business, the more historical data of the losses and claims insurance companies have of your business. If your firm has a history of claims, accidents, traffic citations, or speeding penalties, your rates may be higher. That is because the insurance provider sees your business as a more significant risk to cover. These elements, in their opinion, make it more probable that you may face a lawsuit in the future.

The location of your business 

The primary location of your business will also influence your premium. Usually, rural areas tend to have less traffic which means there’s a reduced chance of having accidents. Therefore, you might pay more for your flatbed truck insurance cost if your business is in an urban area.

Traveling radius

Another critical factor is the distance that your trucks travel for business. The more the travel radius covered by your trucks, the more the chance of accidents and the higher the cost of your premium. So, if your flatbed trucks frequently cross state boundaries, you might pay more irrespective of your location. 

How can I lower flatbed insurance premium prices?

Below are a few practical ways to lower your flatbed truck insurance cost:

Choose the right deductibles and coverage limits

One way to reduce insurance costs is to choose higher deductibles. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. If you decide to do this, you always need to have enough cash to pay your deductible if you’re involved in an accident or other incident.

You can also reduce your premiums by reducing coverage limits. In some cases, you may not be able to reduce coverage limits since they are required by state and federal regulations, especially for your primary liability coverage.

Ask for discounts

Another option is to take advantage of all the discounts due you. You can earn them by bundling multiple types of insurance with a single provider, maintaining a clean driving record, implementing safe driving programs, and paying for your coverage up-front annually rather than in installments.

Shop around to compare several quotes

A final way to lower your insurance costs without sacrificing coverage is to shop around. Get quotes from at least three flatbed truck insurers to compare coverages and premiums. Different insurance companies evaluate risk in different ways, and you may find one willing to cover your’s at a lower price.

A good way to get and compare several quotes is to work with a broker or agency like Simply Business, They can pull several quotes of the companies that they work with for you to compare after you provide your information once only.

What is a flatbed truck?

A flatbed truck is a large vehicle with a flat and open bed.  The bed doesn’t have a roof, sides, or railing.  The openness of flatbed trucks makes them ideal for carrying and delivering awkward, heavy loads that don’t fit into trucks with roofs, sides, or railings. An open flatbed makes it easy to load and unload unusual items. Once things are loaded onto the flatbed, they’re secured with tie-down hooks.

Flatbed trucks are more likely to be involved in serious accidents than other types of delivery vehicles. That’s attributed to their large size and the awkward way they carry cargo. Cargo damage resulting from accidents is more extreme than for traditional trucks, which offer greater protection. These factors make cargo truck insurance relatively expensive.

What are the biggest risks faced by flatbed truckers?

Here are the top five.

1. Incorrectly secured loads

Flatbedders are responsible for securing their freight. A poorly held down load can become unstable and fall from the trailer. This can result in severe (and costly) accidents and injuries.

2. Tarp incidents

Whether when driving or unloading, tarps, which are large and heavy, sometimes blow away. When this happens on the road, it can cause accidents because other vehicles are struck by them or drivers become blinded. If it occurs while unloading, people can be knocked off the flatbed, which often results in serious injuries.

3. Hauling dangerous freight

Flatbed truckers often have to navigate challenging roads with oversize loads. They also carry awkward things like slippery stacks of pipe. If a trucker makes a wrong move, the load could come crashing down onto the road, causing accidents. Issues like this happen even to the most careful truckers.

4. Theft

Because their cargo is visible and not locked up, flatbed truck drivers face higher theft rates. Thieves not only take cargo, but they also steal expensive chains, binders, and tarps.

5. Running empty

When flatbed trailers aren’t weighed down with freight, they are incredibly light. Running empty on a wet, icy, or snow-covered road often leads to jackknifing, resulting in severe vehicle damage, injuries, and deaths.

These are just a few of the risks faced by flatbed truckers that insurance can cover.

What coverages do flatbed truckers typically purchase?

It’s crucial to secure the right insurance for your flatbed trucking business. The following are some worth considering:

  • Trucker liability coverage. Pays for damage done to others’ property, including their vehicles, when you are found to be at fault in an accident. It also covers medical and additional costs for other people injured in the accident. This coverage is required by law. Learn more at what trucking liability insurance covers
  • Physical damage coverage. Pays for damage done to your flatbed hauler caused by a collision. It can also cover things like fire, theft, weather damage, or an accident with a deer or other animal. This coverage isn’t required, but most truckers get it because it helps them get back on the road quickly after an accident. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
  • Ramp, chain, tarp, and binder coverage. Exclusive to flatbed trucking, this insurance protects the equipment that secures your cargo.
  • Flatbed cargo insurance. Covers damage to the freight you haul. Make sure your policy covers what you carry and that you have enough protection. If you need additional coverage for a particular load, you can usually secure temporary insurance. Shippers require this coverage. Learn more at the best cargo truck insurance companies.
  • Trailer interchange. Covers you when you own your tractor and haul flatbed trailers owned by others. Learn more about trailer interchange insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance. Provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill because of work-related reasons. It pays medical expenses, lost wages, job retraining, and more. If you have employees, it’s likely your state will require you to get workers’ comp coverage. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance for truckers.
  • Business property insurance. Covers you if your business location is damaged by fire or weather events or if items in it are stolen in a burglary. Your landlord will likely require you to get this coverage.
  • Towing and storage coverage. Pays expenses related to towing and storage of damaged equipment.
  • Combined deductible. Allows you to pay a single deductible if an accident results in vehicle and cargo damage. 
  • Loading and unloading insurance. Covers your load when placing it on or taking it off your truck.
  • Debris removal coverage. Pays costs to remove debris resulting from an accident or other type of incident.
  • Broadened pollution insurance. Pays for clean-up if your cargo is released in an accident or other incident and pollutes the land, air, or water.
  • Earned freight coverage. Replaces income lost when a load cannot be delivered because of a covered cargo-related loss.
  • Loss mitigation coverage. Pays expenses to prevent further loss to cargo damaged in an incident. 

Whether you haul sheet metal, pipes, or heavy machinery, you need to completely cover yourself against the things that can happen on the road. Cargo spills and dangerous shifts occur all the time. Your flatbed trucking policy must include all the coverages needed to protect you in every situation you could face.

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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