Semi Truck Insurance: Cost & Cheap Quotes from $49/Month

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Semi truck insurance, also known as 18-wheeler truck insurance, provides coverage for injuries and property damage caused to others when a truck driver is at fault in an accident. Truckers can add additional coverages depending on their work arrangement, what they haul, and other factors. 

In this article, we explain everything semi truck drivers need to know to get this essential coverage at an affordable price.

Who needs commercial semi truck insurance?

If you drive a semi truck in any capacity, you’ll need to have commercial semi truck insurance coverage. Owner operators who lease on to a trucking company will likely have primary liability insurance coverage provided by the trucking company. However, the owner operator will still need another additional coverages such as non-trucking liability, occupational accident coverage, bobtail insurance, etc.

Owner operators who drive under their own authorities will need to have comprehensive semi truck insurance coverages for themselves.

If you work as a full-time driver for a trucking company, it is likely that all of your insurance needs will be provided by the trucking company. However, if you work for a trucking company as an independent contractor or part-time, you will need to buy some semi truck insurance coverage on your own such as occupational accident insurance.

Why do I need commercial semi truck insurance?

States and the trucking industry require you to adequately insure your semi truck. The reason for this is to ensure that semi truckers are able to pay for injuries to others and damage to other people’s property if they’re involved in an accident while hauling goods and are found to be at fault.

Beyond the legal and trucking industry requirements for insurance, it’s quite simply a smart idea to have coverage. As a business owner, you must keep your trucks on the road as much as possible and limit downtime resulting from accidents. Having semi trucking insurance from a reputable provider will help ensure accident related claims will be resolved quickly and you’ll have access to expert advice from your insurer about how you can get your vehicle repaired as speedily as possible.

Another advantage of partnering with a top tier semi truck insurance company is that they can provide you with safety tips and training that can help you prevent accidents in the first place.

What insurance coverages do semi truck drivers typically get?

If you work for a motor carrier, they will most likely provide your primary liability insurance. If you’re a trucker working under your own authority, you will need to get your own liability coverage, which covers injuries and property damage that you cause when you’re found to be responsible for an accident.

Other coverages that all semi truckers usually get, whether they work for a motor carrier or under their own authority and typical annual cost for each include:

Physical damage

Trucking physical damage coverage pays to repair or replace your truck if it is damaged and the damages are caused by things like a natural disaster, collision, vandalism, and theft. It usually costs from $1,000 to $3,000 a year

Trucking general liability

Trucking general liability insurance covers physical harm that happens to visitors (not employees) to your business location (for example, a broken arm resulting from a slip and fall in your garage) or damage to other people’s property caused by you or your employees while conducting business (for instance, you break a client’s window while making a delivery). This coverage usually cost from $500 to $600 a year.

Bobtail insurance

Bobtail insurance covers your truck when it’s not hauling a load and there’s no trailer attached, such as when you’re traveling between jobs. This coverage usually costs from $300 to $500 a year. Learn more about bobtail insurance cost.

Trucking umbrella policy

Umbrella insurance provides protection above and beyond your regular insurance coverage limits, such as when you have a very bad accident and cause extremely serious or expensive property damage. This coverage usually costs from $500 to $700 a year. Learn more at the best trucking umbrella insurance companies.

Occupational accident

Occupational accident insurance pays medical costs resulting from work-related injuries. It’s a less-expensive and less-robust form of workers’ comp insurance. This coverage usually costs from $1,600 to $2,200 a year per trucker.

Cargo coverage

Cargo coverage pays for damages or losses related to the cargo you haul. The price varies depending on the value, perishability, and amount of the things you transport. It’s likely that any business you work with will require this coverage before they allow you to transport their goods.

Other insurance types semi truckers should consider

Some additional coverages often purchased by semi truck drivers include:

Non-trucking liability insurance

Non-trucking liability pays for damages and injuries to third parties that are caused by a leased driver when they get into an accident while driving for non-business purposes (for example, when running an errand or picking up personal supplies at a home improvement store).

Underinsured motor coverage

If you’re involved in an accident with another driver who is found to be at fault, and they have no or too little insurance protection, underinsured motor coverage will pay for damages the other driver is unable to cover.  

Trailer Interchange insurance

You need trailer interchange insurance when you are transporting a trailer you don’t own and it’s not insured by the owner’s insurance company. Learn more at trailer interchange insurance: everything you need to know

Workers’ compensation insurance

If you have employees, it’s likely your state will require you to get workers’ compensation insurance. It provides benefits to workers who are injured or become ill for job related reasons, including medical care, short- and long-term disability payments, job retraining if they can’t return to trucking because of the injury or illness, funeral costs for employees who die on the job, along with payments to their immediate beneficiaries.

Trucking is a high-risk industry. If you employ full-time truckers, you need to provide trucking workers comp insurance for your employees. Learn more at the the best trucking workers comp insurance companies.

How much does semi truck insurance cost?

On average, semi truck insurance premium costs for leased owner-operators can range from $3,000 to $6,000 per year but can go higher depending on the actual vehicle, what’s hauled, driving distance, and driving record. If you are an owner-operator who is working under your own authority, the price ranges from $18,000 to $30,000 for each truck you own. For new authorities, premium pricing is higher and ranges from $24,000 to $36,000.

Type of semi-truck operatorsSemi-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

Different truckers with different truck will have different quotes from different companies. Be sure to shop around with a few companies for your particular situation to compare several quotes before making your final decision.

What is the average monthly semi truck insurance cost?

The average semi truck insurance cost per month is between $675 to $2,000 with the following breakdown:

CoveragesMonthly average semi truck insurance cost
Primary trucking liability$500-$1,500 a month
Non-trucking liability$25-$50 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

Above are just the averages to give you an idea of the average monthly cost of semi truck insurance. Each trucker will have a different cost depending on several factors. Be sure to shop around to get your own quotes and compare them to find the cheapest one for you. Learn more at the average monthly semi truck insurance cost.

How do I find semi truck insurance at a fair price?

When shopping for semi trucking insurance, it’s best to compare quotes from several reputable semi truck insurance companies. That way, you can find the best combination of coverage and price for your trucking business. This is especially true for truckers who are driving under new authority because policy prices for them can be incredibly high.

Learn more how to find cheap semi truck insurance quotes

Top semi truck insurance companies 

The good news is that as many as more than 100 companies offer semi truck insurance. The challenge is that it makes it difficult for you to research and find the best semi truck insurance companies for your own needs. We have done the research and below are our top 5 for your consideration:

  • CoverWallet: Best for fast and inexpensive online quotes
  • Progressive: Best for bundling several business insurance policies
  • The Hartford: Best for an experienced and reputable insurance provider
  • Lancer Insurance: Best for specialty trucking and transportation insurance
  • Sentry: Best for customized services to meet your needs

Learn more at the top semi truck insurance companies.


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

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