7 Tips to Find Cheap Commercial Truck Insurance (2023)

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

There are approximately 3.6 million truck drivers on the roads in the United States, working for over 711,000 trucking companies. When you think about that number, it’s clear why commercial truck insurance is an essential expenditure with the need to have the best companies and the best rates. 

7 tips to find cheap commercial truck insurance

Commercial truck insurance is a significant expense, especially for an independent owner-operator or a small fleet owner. It doesn’t help that rates continually increase across the industry. Luckily, you can employ a few tricks to help keep your commercial truck insurance premiums as low as possible.

1. Only hire experienced drivers

Commercial trucking is an inherently risky business, but if your drivers are experienced, the insurance provider assigns slightly less risk to your operation. The ideal experience range is a minimum of two years of driving with a CDL.

2. Check driving records before you hire your drivers

If someone has a history of accidents or violations on their driving record, your insurance company will see that as a higher risk than someone who has a clean record. The magic number here is also two. Drivers should have at most two minor violations over the course of three years.

3. Verify employment histories

Drivers who company hop will not garner cheap commercial truck insurance rates. A driver who has served for a while with one company is considered more stable and typically has a cleaner history than someone who job hops. Also, longevity implies experience, which is something insurance companies consider.

4. Map your routes and choose the safest ones possible

It’s ideal to avoid large metro areas whenever possible as well as areas prone to risky weather conditions. If you frequently travel in areas with high crime rates, high rates of bad weather, or even dense populations, your insurance company will access a higher risk than if you drive in the middle of nowhere where nothing ever happens. 

5. Newer trucks equal better rates

Why? They are viewed as safer. A truck that is newer than 10 years old will get a better rate than the older used model that didn’t cost as much out the gate. Safety equipment changes routinely in the automotive industry, and commercial trucking is no different. 

6. Select a higher insurance deductible

A higher deductible means you will have to pay more out of pocket should there be an incident involving your truck. The flip side of that coin is that your premiums typically will be lower for your insurance coverage. If you do choose to increase your deductible, make sure that you select an amount that you can easily afford if the need arises. 

7. Always compare at least 3 quotes before deciding on the final

Even after your do everything mentioned above, different insurance companies will give you different quotes and different rates and they can be very different. If you decide on the first quote you receive, it is very likely that you leave some money on the table without comparison shopping. Be sure to always shop around to get at least 3 quotes to compare before you make your final decision. Sometimes you can get a quote online, sometimes it is more difficult. See here how to get a truck insurance quotes online. Working with a broker or agency like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, CoverWallet, or Smart Financial is a good way to get several quotes easily.

Learn more about the best trucking insurance agencies that we recommend.

These are some of the ways to at least lessen your insurance premiums, if not get entirely cheap commercial truck insurance. Your rates will depend largely on the company you choose for your insurance needs and that company’s underwriting policies. 

Where to find cheap commercial truck insurance

Cheap commercial truck insurance may seem difficult to find, but there are ways to find more affordable, if not entirely cheap, insurance rates. One way to find cheap commercial truck insurance rates is to comparison shop. Budgets are tight, and it’s always preferable to find the best possible insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost to yourself. 

Insurance companies with the cheapest commercial truck insurance

We have researched the best commercial truck insurance companies, and settled on four companies that we found to provide the best coverages for the best prices as of December 2021. Those four companies are Progressive, biBERK, THREE, and Sentry.

Brokers or agencies with the cheapest commercial truck insurance

We have also found in our research that trucking companies that buy commercial truck insurance with a broker or agency are more likely to get cheaper rates than those who buy directly with an insurance company. This makes sense because brokers or agencies are able to help compare coverages and rates from several companies that they work with and recommend the cheapest one. Here are the brokers and agencies that we recommend: Simply Business, CoverWallet, InsurePro, commercialinsurance.net, and Smart Financial.

How much does commercial truck insurance cost?

The cost of commercial truck insurance is not a static, across-the-board computation. Several factors contribute to the way your premiums are computed. However, there is an average range that you can expect to pay for your commercial truck insurance. In our research, we have found that an average commercial truck insurance policy costs from $500 to $2,100 per month, with the breakdown of different coverage costs as follows:

CoveragesAverage monthly truck insurance cost
Primary trucking liability$500-$1,500 a month
Non-trucking liability$25-$50 a month
Occupational accident insurance$140-210 a month
Physical damage coverageVaries, depending on the value of the semi-truck, usually $100-$300 a month
Motor truck cargo insuranceVaries, depending on the cargo type, usually $50-$150 a month

Learn more at how much the average monthly commercial truck insurance cost is.

Factors that affect truck insurance rates

The cost of your commercial truck insurance, like any insurance coverage, will vary depending on your situation. Here are some of the factors that contribute to the cost of truck insurance premiums:

  • The truck that you drive. Both the kind and size of the truck you own affect your premiums.
  • Your cargo. Different materials will have higher liability ratings, thereby affecting your overall premiums. 
  • How far you travel. Staying close to home will likely save you money. Various states have different insurance requirements, and you need to ensure that you are covered in every state that you cross into.
  • Your home state. Like with the travel radius, your home state’s regulations affect your premium costs. 
  • How your business operates. If you run under your own authority, your rates will be different than if you work under a lease.
  • Your (and your drivers’) driving history. If you, and everyone who drives for you, have a good driving record, you will get better rates than if your record is questionable.
  • How long you’ve been in business. Trucking is an industry where experience pays, but not so much experience that you’ve become complacent about good driving habits. 

Finding cheap commercial truck insurance also depends on the company you choose for your insurance coverage. Some of them simply offer better rates than others. However, there are ways to keep your insurance rates as affordable as possible. 

What does truck insurance cover?

Truck insurance can have a wide range of coverages. Below are some main coverages that any truck insurance companies might need:

Trucking primary liability

Trucking primary liability is the most important coverage in truck insurance. When people say “commercial truck insurance”, it is likely that they refer to this coverage. This coverage is required by all state and federal laws. If you drive a truck, you must have this coverage. The coverage includes two main liability coverages: bodily injury liability and property damage liability

Bodily injury liability

This covers you if the tow truck driver causes injuries to another person or people in an at-fault accident. The amount of coverage that is required varies from state to state, but every state requires some bodily injury coverage. 

Property damage liability

This covers you for physical damages to someone else’s property, but not any cars you may be towing. For that, you need on-hook towing coverage.

On-hook towing coverage

If you are in towing business, you might need on-hook towing coverage. On-hook towing coverage provides protection for damages that occur to a vehicle while it’s being towed. It covers damages due to fire, collision, theft, or vandalism. However, it does not apply to any vehicles you own (personal or owed by the company). In other words, you can’t collect if you damage your personal vehicle while you’re towing it somewhere. 

Bobtail and non-trucking liability insurance

Bobtail insurance covers you when you drive your truck without a trailer attached to it and get involved in an accident. You should seriously consider having this coverage when you lease on your truck to a motor carrier and drive under their authorities since the coverage provided to you by them doesn’t include bobtail coverage. Learn more at bobtail insurance cost and the best bobtail insurance companies.

Non-trucking liability insurance covers you when you drive your drive for personal purposes and during non-working hours, regardless if a trailer is attached to your truck or not. It can be confusing between bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance. Learn more here and which one you should have.

Motor truck cargo coverage

Truck cargo insurance protects the cargo you haul in your truck. It pays for any damages and loss to the cargo. It can also pay for the cost for cleaning and other related damages that the cargo causes such as oil spill on the streets. This coverage is usually required by the brokers or shippers to protect their cargo. They might not sign the transportation contract until you show the proof of this coverage. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.

Trucking physical damage insurance

This coverage pays for reparation and replacement of your truck. It is usually not required by any party. However, it protects the most essential asset of your livelihood, so you should have it. It can include both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage only pays to repair or replace your truck only if it is damaged in a collision regardless whose fault it is. Comprehensive coverage will always pay to repair or replace your truck if it is damaged for other reasons such as trees fall, weather-related incidents, animals. Of course it wont cover if the damages are caused by your intentional acts. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.

Trucking general liability insurance

Another increasing popular coverage for tow truck companies is trucking general liability. This protects tow truck companies from lawsuits by their customers if they have bodily injuries or property damages caused by the operations of the tow truck companies. If their customers are injured in the garage of tow truck companies and decide to use, trucking general liability insurance will protect tow truck companies from such a lawsuit. Learn more at the best trucking general liability insurance companies.

Workers comp insurance for truckers

If you hire drivers as full-time employees, you are required by laws to provide them with workers comp insurance. Workers comp insurance protects employees when they are injured or become ill while being at work. It pays for the medical costs, lost wages, disability benefits, or even death benefits if employees are injured at work. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance for truckers.

Occupational accident insurance for truckers

Most drivers of tow truck companies are hired as independent contractors. By laws, tow truck companies are not required to provide workers comp insurance for independent contractors. However, trucking is a high-risk business. The chance for your drivers to get injured is significantly higher than other industries. Many tow truck companies choose to provide their drivers with occupational accident coverage. Occupational accident insurance is a lighter form, or less comprehensive, of workers comp insurance. It is usually half of the price of workers comp insurance. Owner operator truckers usually buy this coverage to protect themselves as well. Learn more at the best occupational accident insurance for truckers.

Final thoughts

Cheap commercial truck insurance depends on your perspective. Budget is obviously a significant consideration, so you want to choose the best coverage you can afford while still getting the best prices possible. Ensuring that your company operates safely, efficiently, and with intelligence is the best way to ensure that you are offered cheap commercial truck insurance rates for the coverage you need.

Thang Truong
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 realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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