Just like other big purchases, owning or operating a semi-truck can be a good investment if you have enough business and adequate insurance coverages. Driving a semi-truck can be dangerous and should accidents occur, it will be very costly without insurance coverages.
Experienced truckers should expect to pay $18,000 to $30,000 a year for their semi-truck insurance coverage, or $1,500 to $2,500 a month. These figures are affected by several factors. We’ll explore these factors more below.
- How much does semi truck insurance cost?
- What factors affect the cost of a semi-truck insurance?
- How to get cheap semi truck insurance
- Semi truck insurance companies
- What does semi-truck insurance cover?
How much does semi truck insurance cost?
Understanding that you need sufficient insurance for your semi truck is important but that’s not all you should be concerned with. It is equally important to ensure that you’re not paying too much for your semi truck coverage.
The coverage policy you get depends on what kind of work you do and what kind of semi truck you drive. Motor carriers require their owner operators to purchase NTL insurance while they handle the primary liability. Truckers with their own authority bear all primary liabilities themselves.
Below is the summary of the semi-truck insurance cost for different operator types:
|Type of semi-truck operators
|Semi-truck insurance cost
|Experienced owner-operator with their own authority
|$1,500 – $2,500 a month
|New semi-truck owner-operator with their own authority
|$2,000 – $3,000 a month
|Owner operators that lease on to a motor carrier
|$250 – $500 a month
Whether you are an owner-operator or you own a growing fleet of trucks, you should make sure to shop around to find the best rates for your semi-truck insurance coverage. Getting quotes from a few carriers or working with a top trucking insurance broker like Simply Business, Commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to have them get several quotes for you to compare and choose the cheapest one. Progressive is the only carrier offering trucking insurance quotes online. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get a quote on their website.
How much is the average semi truck insurance cost per month?
The average semi truck insurance cost per month is between $675 to $2,000 with the following breakdown:
|Monthly average semi truck insurance cost
|Primary trucking liability
|$500-$1,500 a month
|$25-$50 a month
|Physical damage coverage
|Varies, depending on the value of the semi-truck, usually $100-$300 a month
|Motor truck cargo insurance
|Varies, depending on the cargo type, usually $50-$150 a month
These are just the average costs. Be sure to get your own quotes from several companies to compare them to find the cheapest one for your semi trucks.
What factors affect the cost of semi truck insurance?
There are a number of factors that can affect the insurance you pay on your semi truck. The amount you are charged as premium depends on the following factors:
How long your company has been in business
The longer you’ve been in business, the lower your rates will be. The insurance company can look over your long history before they decide your rates. Also, people who have been in business a long time have obviously been doing something right, and this counts in your favor.
Number of trucks you have
Obviously, the more trucks you have, the more you’ll pay for insurance. Twice as many trucks on the road means twice as many chances for accidents.
Value of your trucks
Semi-trucks are expensive, but the more expensive your equipment, the more you’ll pay in insurance. The cost of a new semi-truck is between $70,000 and $150,000, and if you have a lot of upgrades, it’s easy to spend over $160,000. Then you have to consider the cost of the trailer. Low-end trailers can cost about $15,000 but higher-end trailers will run you about $50,000. That’s a lot of money, and a lot of money the insurance company would have to replace in the event of a total loss. The average cost of insurance for an owner/operator using their own truck is between $9,000 and $15,000 a year.
If you have a lease with a motor carrier and drive for them, you’ll pay less in insurance because the leasing company will pay some of the cost—you’ll pay only $2,000 to $4,000 per truck.
To get a quote for semi-truck insurance, you’ll need to know the make, model, year, and possibly the VIN number to get the most accurate quote.
How many years you’ve had your CDL and how many years you’ve gone without an accident will affect how much you pay for insurance, just like auto insurance. If you operate a fleet, make sure you hire drivers with clean driving records with a few years of experience. Even one tiny speeding ticket can add hundreds of dollars to your premium, so make sure your drivers understand this.
The farther you drive, the more you’ll pay in insurance, for several reasons. One, the longer you spend on the road, the more chances you have to be in an accident. Two, the longer you sit behind the wheel, the more tired and distracted drivers become, which adds to the risk.
Goods you haul
What you haul will also affect your rates. If you haul hazardous materials, you’ll need hazmat insurance. If you haul fuel, chemicals, fertilizer, or explosives you’ll pay more for insurance. If you haul livestock, you will also pay more because animals are unpredictable and need special care in order to arrive safely.
Location of your business
Every state has its own rules and regulations surrounding semi-truck insurance, and therefore they vary in insurance rates as well.
All these factors can either increase or decrease your insurance. Insurance rates differ by company. With such a wide range in costs, it really does pay to know your insurance carrier is working for you and carries the best possible coverage for you and your business at the best rate.
Insurance is a large part of your monthly cost. It is equally important to compare the average cost of as many plans as possible.
How to get cheap semi-truck insurance
Since semi-truck insurance is expensive, you’ll want to save every dollar you can. Consider these ways to lower costs.
Maintain an excellent driving record.
Don’t speed or engage in any risky behaviors, and avoid tickets at all costs (well, not all costs, but most costs). Your driving record is the single biggest factor affecting how much you pay in insurance. And if you hire drivers, make sure to choose drivers with an impeccable record.
Maintain excellent credit.
Credit history can affect your insurance rates. If you chronically pay late, the insurance company may charge you more in premiums. Most insurance companies consider credit scores when they determine rates, although a few states (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington) ban the practice. Excellent credit history is correlated with fewer claims, hence the discounted rates.
Keep track of CSA scores:
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are performance indicators used by the FMSCA to identify drivers who are high risk. Lower CSA scores = lower premiums. You can lower your scores by maintaining your vehicles and driving safely.
Keep up with routine maintenance:
Older trucks tend to cost more to insure, and part of the reason is wear and tear. Make sure you inspect your vehicle before you start driving and schedule routine maintenance to address issues.
You can usually save about 10% by paying in one lump sum, rather than month-to-month.
Raise your deductible:
A higher deductible means less cost for the insurance company, therefore you’ll pay less in premiums. Just make sure you have access to the amount of the deductible in case you need it.
Get at least a few quotes before committing to a policy. Different companies can charge significantly different rates for pretty much the same policy. And some companies will try to raise your rates over time (sneaky!) so ideally you should shop for insurance every few years or so.
Getting quotes from a few carriers or working with a top trucking insurance broker like Simply Business, Commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to have them get several quotes for you to compare and choose the cheapest one. Progressive is the only carrier offering trucking insurance quotes online. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to get a quote on their website.
Semi-truck insurance companies
There are hundreds of companies offering semi-truck insurance, including national householder names like Progressive, Geico, Nationwide, or Travelers and other lesser-known regional or local companies. We have researched them and recommend the best semi-truck insurance companies here.
What is a semi truck insurance?
Semi truck insurance is a liability coverage for injuries or damages caused to other parties by semi-truck drivers. Additional coverages may be included depending on the driver’s preferences.
Semi truck premiums may be higher than a car’s but understand that its operation risks are higher too. If you own a semi truck, lease or operate one on public roads, you need a semi truck insurance.
What does semi-truck insurance cover?
As trucking continues to be a growing industry, the demand for trucking businesses continues to increase. Semi truck is one of the most popular truck used in the trucking business. Semi truck insurance is a type of commercial truck insurance. It usually includes the common coverages of commercial truck insurance:
Trucking primary liability insurance
It covers bodily injuries and property damages of the other vehicles and drivers if your semi truck is involved in an accident with other vehicles. This coverage is required by laws in all 50 states. If you drive a truck or operate a trucking business, you need to have this coverage.
Trucking general liability insurance
It covers bodily injuries to others and property damages of others from your semi truck or from your trucking business operations. This coverage is not required. However, more and more trucking businesses have it to protect their business from increasing third party lawsuits. Learn more at the best trucking general liability insurance companies.
Trucking physical damage coverage
It covers the repair costs of your semi truck in case of fire, theft, vandalism, or glass breakage. This coverage protects your main asset, the truck. It is usually priced at a percentage of the truck value at the time of buying coverage. The more expensive your truck is, the higher the premiums are. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
Non-trucking liability insurance
It covers the costs in case your semi truck isn’t under dispatch and used personally. It is also called bobtail insurance. However, bobtail insurance only covers you when there is no trailer attached to your truck at the time of accidents. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies and the best bobtail insurance companies.
Non-owned trailer liability
It covers mishaps if you are pulling someone else’s trailer.
It insures the cargo you are hauling in case of damage or loss. Although this is an optional coverage, more and more shipper and broker require you have this coverage. Learn more at the best motor truck cargo insurance companies.
Trailer interchange insurance:
This coverage is required when you are hauling someone else’s trailer full of goods, and the company that owns the trailer does not have insurance to cover their goods. Learn more at the trailer interchange insurance
Trucking umbrella insurance:
Costing about $500-$700, umbrella insurance covers any gaps that may have occurred in your policy. Learn more at the best trucking umbrella insurance companies.
The least expensive yet very useful type of coverage, it covers damages caused to you when you are involved in an accident without your fault and the other person is not insured enough to cover your expenses.
If you are hauling hazardous materials such as chemicals, fertilizers, or fuels, then you will need this type of insurance. Learn more at the best hazmat truck insurance companies.
Livestock cargo insurance
As the name suggests, when hauling live animals (horse hauling), in the event of injury, death, or escape, this insurance will be useful to you.
Why is semi-truck insurance so expensive?
Semi-truck insurance is expensive because the potential for damages is high. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and if it crashes into another vehicle, the results can be disastrous. Not only could there be injuries or fatalities, but the cost of repairing the damage to both vehicles could be astronomical.
Secondly, semi-truck is probably the most expensive vehicle. If anything happens to your semi-truck that requires repairing or replacement, insurance companies have to pay for that, which is very costly. That’s the reason why trucking physical damage insurance for semi truck is also expensive.
Lastly, since semi-trucks usually haul cargo across the states, which requires them to have higher coverage limits. That also increases the semi truck insurance cost.
Can you write-off semi truck insurance?
Yes. If you run a trucking business, semi-truck insurance is considered a business expense, which can be deducted from your business’s income.
If you operate a semi truck for work or own one, it is important that you cover the legalities and seek adequate insurance coverage to cover risks. I hope I have been able to help you make better buying decisions when it comes to your semi truck insurance. Happy Trucking!