As someone who owns a semi-truck business, you need to be sure you’re protected with the appropriate insurance products. Semi-truck insurance is offered for those who drive across the country, haul loads across a state, or even make shorter trips from one side of a city to the other.
Nobody wants to be left dealing with damages from a lawsuit or accident, which is why you need the best semi-truck insurance. That means you need to know which companies are doing the best work to provide policies that protect you. Read on to find out the five best and learn more about semi-truck insurance needs.
- The 5 best semi-truck insurance companies
- What does semi-truck insurance cover?
- How much semi-truck insurance do I need?
- How much does semi-truck insurance cost?
- How to find cheap semi-truck insurance
The 5 best semi truck insurance companies
- Simply Business: 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
- biBERK: Best for low-cost semi truck insurance
- Sentry: Best for customized services to meet your needs
- Tivly: Best for working with knowledgeable agents
Simply Business: Best for fast and inexpensive quotes
One of the best places to get semi-truck insurance fast is Simply Business. They offer commercial truck insurance for owner-operators, successful trucking business owners, and individuals just moving into this field or new drivers. Various policies are available to protect you, including general liability, trucking liability, bobtail, physical damage, and motor truck cargo coverage.
Simply Business provides online quotes – and you can get an idea of what your premiums will be fast. Depending on how much information you need to enter, the entire process will take no more than five to 10 minutes. After you’re done, you’ll likely see the price and coverage you can expect to get. This makes it easy to compare with other companies that offer semi-truck insurance.
However, in some cases, you may not be able to get quotes online because trucking business can be complicated which nuances that they need to verify before providing quotes. You can still discuss your quote options on a phone conversation.
Our quote was for an owner-operator with their own semi who expects to make $100,000 in annual revenue in Florida. Unfortunately, Simply Business needed additional information, so we were asked to contact them. However, you may have better luck with your quote. Even if you need to call them to discuss your quote options, it is worth it since you will be able to compare several quotes on the phone and select the best and cheapest one for you.
Learn more at the top commercial truck insurance brokers.
Progressive: Best for bundling several business insurance policies
For those who need semi-truck insurance coverage as well as other business policies, Progressive is an excellent choice. While many know this brand as the place to get personal auto insurance, they offer far more than that. Progressive is highly experienced with trucks and fleets of vehicles when it comes to commercial insurance.
Bundling insurance with Progressive is easy, but there are other perks. For instance, they offer discounts that your semi-truck business may qualify for. These include the following:
- Having extensive driving experience
- Paying premiums annually instead of quarterly or monthly
- Acquiring your CDL certification
- Letting the provider monitor your driving habits
- Bundling commercial semi-truck insurance with other coverage such as workers comp insurance for truckers and trucking general liability coverages.
We used the same information mentioned under CoverWallet to try to get a quote online with Progressive for semi-truck insurance. Unfortunately, technical issues made it impossible to get a quote. However, others have no problem with the website, so feel free to try it yourself.
Learn more at where to get commercial truck insurance quotes.
The Hartford: Best for an experienced and reputable insurance provider
When you want to have experience on your side, The Hartford is also an excellent semi-truck insurance company. They have been in business for many years and offer a full suite of insurance products for owner-operators and trucking business owners. This company is very reputable and constantly receives high marks in all parts of what they do.
Since different people and companies need distinct coverage through semi-truck insurance, this provider offers a list of options to choose from. For instance, they provide general liability, umbrella, commercial auto, property coverage, and workers’ compensation insurance.
While The Hartford has online quotes for some forms of insurance, they recommend speaking with an agent if you are interested in specialized coverage like this. You will need to talk with an agent on the phone to determine your policy options and how much you can expect to pay.
biBERK: Best for low-cost semi truck insurance
biBERK is a carrier specializing in serving small businesses, including truck drivers and trucking businesses. They are a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Geico’s parent company. Their unique differentiator is their direct-to-consumer business model, bypassing agents and brokers to reduce costs. In fact, they claim that they are able to save their customers at least 20% on premiums.
- Backed by Berkshire Hathaway with a great reputation and excellent financial strength rating
- Focus on building low-cost coverage, very competitive pricing
- Excellent digital experience from quoting, buying a policy online, and managing the policy completely digitally
- Other coverages for trucking businesses such as trucking general liability and workers comp insurance for truckers are also available at low cost
- Coverage limits may be lower than other options
- Online quotes may not be available for specialty trucks and trucking businesses in some narrow niche
Sentry: Best for customized services to meet your needs
The last of the best companies for semi-truck insurance is Sentry. This is a smaller provider, which means you get more specialized services. This comes in handy at all times but especially in situations where you need to make a claim. If your business is unique, Sentry may be able to provide the coverage you do not find elsewhere.
Sentry has been around since 1904 and offers certified safety directors with decades of experience, a claims team that is experienced and knowledgeable about trucking, and highly flexible coverage options. However, quotes are not available online, so you will need to call in or speak with an agent in your area.
Tivly: Best for working with knowledgeable agents
Tivly is another national insurance broker. They specialize in serving small businesses with annual revenue less than $100M. Trucking is one of their focused industries.
They work with a large network of insurance agents across the country who represent 50+ trucking insurance companies. These agents are very experienced and knowledgeable about trucking businesses and trucking experience since they have worked with thousands of trucking businesses in the past decades.
If you want to work with knowledgeable agents who can provide you with the expertise and insights to get the right trucking coverages at the most affordable prices, you may want to start with commercialinsurance.net.
What does semi truck insurance cover?
The truth is that this answer is hard to answer. It all depends on what kinds of insurance you choose to pay for. Below are a few of the options under semi-truck insurance and what they may offer:
Primary trucking liability coverage for semi trucks
This coverage is mandatory for any trucking company and driver. It is required in all states. You need this policy certificate before applying for trucking authority. This covers any damage you might cause while working from a semi-truck. It covers both bodily injury and property damage you cause with your semi truck, usually in an accident. This is also the most experience coverage in any truck insurance policy.
General liability coverage for semi trucks
General liability insurance covers driver actions when on someone else’s properties and mistakes made during the delivery of goods. It also covers bodily injury and property damages caused by customers or any third party on the trucking company’s premises. It is considered one of the most popular coverage for small businesses, although it is a bit less common in the trucking industry. However, if your trucking company operates out of a physical location, you should consider having it. Learn more at the best trucking general liability insurance companies.
Physical damage coverage for semi trucks
Physical damage insurance covers replacements and repairs to your semi truck and your own equipment due to theft or an accident or other causes such as storm or tree falls, which is also called comprehensive coverage. While trucking primary liability insurance covers property damages to other vehicles in an accident, without physical damage insurance, you have to pay for any repairs or replacements of your own truck. This coverage is optional. You don’t have to have it if you don’t want to. Its cost varies by the value of the truck itself and it is usually priced at a percentage of the value of the semi truck, usually at 1-3%. Learn more at the best trucking physical damage insurance companies.
Non-trucking liability coverage for semi trucks
This covers injuries or damage to others when the truck isn’t dispatched from the company you lease with. This is sometimes called bobtail insurance. However, there is a subtle difference between non trucking liability and bobtail insurance. Bobtail insurance pays only when no trailer is attached to the truck. If a trailer is still attached to a truck and you drive it on your personal time, you need non trucking liability to cover your liability in case of accidents. Learn more at the best non-trucking liability insurance companies and the best bobtail insurance companies.
Other forms of insurance that may be helpful include motor truck cargo coverage, medical payment, trailer interchange, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Bobtail insurance for semi trucks
Many people are often confused with the differences between non-trucking liability and bobtail insurance. They are similar, but subtlely different. Bobtail insurance covers your truck’s liability when it is involved in an accident without having a trailer attached to it.
When driving a semi-truck without a trailer attached to it, the truck becomes much more unstable. This instability can cause the truck to swerve more easily and makes it more difficult to control. When the truck is driving with a trailer attached, the trailer helps to stabilize the truck and makes it easier to control.
An unbalanced truck is more difficult to control, which can lead to collisions with other vehicles or obstacles.
What doesn’t semi truck insurance cover?
While you can get pretty extensive coverage for your semi-truck business, not everything will be covered. Below are the damages that semi-truck insurance doesn’t cover:
- Intentional damages. Insurance never covers anything related to intentional acts.
- Certain types of cargo (Hazmat insurance is available for things like explosives)
- Damages beyond policy coverage limits
How much semi truck insurance coverage do I need?
These are the current federal minimums for commercial truck insurance. Semi-truck insurance has similar minimum coverages:
- Non-hazardous freight moved in a vehicle weighing under 10,000 lbs.: $300,000
- Non-hazardous freight in a vehicle over 10,000 pounds: $750,000
- Oil moved by For Hire and private carriers: $1,000,000
- Other hazardous material moved by for-hire and private carriers: $5,000,000
States have their own requirements, so check with your state’s insurance commissioner office to find out what you need.
Also, when you haul different brokers and shipper, depending the cargo you haul, shipper and brokers might require you different coverage limits.
How much does semi-truck insurance cost?
The national average for semi-truck insurance is about $1,500 per month or $18,000 a year. However, commercial truck insurance cost depends on several factors, the coverage limits, the truck itself, the driver’s driving record, location, operating radius, etc. So you semi-truck insurance cost should be very different from the others.
Also, different companies will provide you with different quotes. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, CoverWallet, or Smart Financial to compare several quotes before making your final decision.
Learn more about the details of the semi-truck insurance cost.
How much is the average semi truck insurance cost per month?
The average semi truck insurance cost per month is from $675 to $2,000, with the following breakdown for different semi truck coverages:
|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 estimated averages. Your rates will be very different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies such as Progressive, biBERK, and THREE (they all offer easy and fast quotes online) or work with good brokers such as Simply Business or Smart Financial to compare several quotes in one place to find the cheapest rate for your 18-wheelers.
What affects how much semi-truck insurance costs?
There are several factors affecting how much you’ll pay for your semi-truck insurance. Below are the main ones:
- Driving history
- Type of cargoes
- Operating or driving radius
- How many trucks you own
- How many drivers you have and their level of driving experience as well as their driving record
- Is there any safety program implemented?
- Loss run history (claims filed) and the claims’ resolutions
- In-state or interstate: Whether you cross state lines (if you do, you’ll need to meet federal minimum coverage requirements, as well as state requirements)
How to find cheap semi-truck insurance
Semi-truck insurance is expensive, but there are several ways you can save money.
- Hire drivers with clean experienced records. New drivers will increase the semi-truck insurance cost significantly
- Require driving logs
- Consider enrolling in a safe-driving program (apps, or other devices to monitor driving)
- Provide continual training and safety monitoring for your drivers
- Shop around and compare for the best rates
- Maintain vehicles regularly
Semi truck insurance quotes
If you want to buy insurance for your semi trucks, you need to get several quotes to compare to select the cheapest one for you. The good news is that you have different options to get semi-truck insurance quotes. If you prefer getting quotes online, we’d recommend Progressive, biBERK, and THREE. These are the three carriers with a great reputation and excellent financial strength ratings. They offer fast quotes online, which only takes less than 10 minutes.
You can also choose to work with a top broker who can help you get several quotes in one place to compare them more easily. We recommend Simply Business, Smart Financial, and Tivly. These are the top brokers with a lot of experience working with truck owner-operators and trucking businesses.
Learn more at the best semi truck insurance quotes online.
Semi-truck insurance for new drivers
New truck drivers are considered high-risk to insurance companies. Some carriers may refuse to provide coverage to new truck drivers. Those that do usually ask for a very high rate. As a result, in general, commercial truck insurance for new drivers is expensive. Semi truck insurance is, in general, more expensive than other truck types like box truck insurance or even tow truck insurance or dump truck insurance.
There are a few reasons why semi truck insurance is more expensive than tow truck insurance. For one, semi trucks are much larger and heavier than other truck types, which means they pose a greater risk if they get into an accident. Additionally, because semis are usually used for long-haul transportation crossing state lines, their owners are typically required to carry more insurance coverage than other truck owners.
As a new truck driver owning a semi-truck, you should prepare to pay a lot for your own insurance. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to find the cheapest one for you.
Temporary semi-truck insurance
If you just bought a semi-truck and are about to drive off the dealer’s garage to your own, you need to get temporary or short-term commercial truck insurance which is usually good for 30 days. In the 30-day period, you can figure out where to buy your permanent commercial truck insurance policy for your semi-truck. In some cases if you need more time, many short-term truck insurance policies can be extended to 60 days we well.
You need to keep in mind that as soon as you start driving your semi-truck to deliver goods under a contract for your shippers or brokers, you need to have a permanent commercial truck insurance policy in place. Your temporary policy isn’t comprehensive enough to cover the liabilities you are exposed to when you start hauling goods with your semi-truck.
Learn more about semi truck insurance in different states in the country below:
- Semi truck insurance in Florida
- Semi truck insurance in Texas
- Semi truck insurance in California
- Semi truck insurance in Illinois
- Semi truck insurance in Michigan
Semi truck insurance in Florida
With 77,000 truck drivers in Florida and the majority of those are driving semi trucks. According to a Florida-based injury law firm, there were at least 23,000 accidents involved a semi truck in Florida in 2019. That means that almost 30% of truck drivers in Florida were involved in a semi truck accident in 2019. These semi truck drivers must have semi truck insurance to protect them. Without a proper commercial truck insurance policy in place, the drivers and their businesses could go out of business if you are found guilty in an accident.
Semi truck insurance is very expensive. It easily costs a trucking business to pay more than $10,000 a year to cover a semi truck and a driver. Learn more about the semi truck insurance cost.
Finding a good and affordable semi truck insurance policy in Florida is critical for all semi truck drivers and businesses to ensure they are protected. Consider the best semi truck insurance companies we recommend above to find a good policy at affordable prices.
Semi truck insurance in Texas
Sadly, Texas leads the nation in trucking accidents, and by a good margin. Texas has more than 137% the rate of accidents as California, which is the second-highest state for trucking accidents. Just in Texas, there were 579 fatal truck accidents in 2019.
Part of the reason is that Texas has a robust oil and gas industry, centered around its major cities. There’s a lot more traffic in these cities that big rigs have to navigate. However, most of the fatal accidents occur in rural areas (57%).
Another reason for the high rate of trucking accidents is the infrastructure of Texas. Roads and highways in Texas have degraded over time, and Texas has not collected enough revenue to repair the roads.
Any way you look at it, since Texas has so many truck accidents, semi-truck insurance is absolutely imperative. Consider the best semi truck insurance companies we recommend above to find a good policy at affordable rates.
Semi truck insurance in California
California has the second-highest rate of truck accidents in the nation. There were 113 fatal truck accidents in California last year. Highway 99 is regarded as the most dangerous highway in the United States, a particularly dark statistic because Highway 99 is relatively short. In addition, some highways in California, such as the Pacific Coast Highway, are made up of a lot of twists and turns, making it easy to lose control of a vehicle.
Semi-trucks are often involved in fatal crashes because they have blind spots and are 20 times heavier than most cars or other trucks. They’re also less stable and require more time to stop. However, it’s estimated that about 88% of truck accidents are preventable. Speeding is the number one cause of fatal accidents, so make sure to obey the rules of the highway.
Semi truck insurance in Illinois
Illinois is not nearly as deadly as Texas or California, but it has its share of fatal accidents involving trucks. There were 11,741 accidents involving semi-trucks in Illinois in 2019, or 3.8% of all crashes. On the plus side, fatalities from said accidents are down 4.1% from 2018.
Truck accidents are largely preventable, however. This is good news if you are a truck driver, as safe driving can greatly reduce your chances of getting into an accident. Some of the causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor maintenance of vehicles
Keep in mind that you are only one vehicle out on the road: other drivers may be distracted/speeding/fatigued as well. That’s why it’s so important to get enough semi truck insurance coverage to protect yourself and your business in the case of accidents.
Semi truck insurance in Michigan
In 2020, there were 2,636 people injured and 78 people killed in accidents involving a semi-truck in Michigan. The fatality rate in crashes involving a semi-truck is about 45% higher than accidents involving other types of vehicles. This is because semi-trucks are heavier and therefore cause more damage in accidents.
Driving habits that contribute to tractor-trailer crashes in Michigan:
- Unable to stop in time (1,500 drivers in all crashes)
- Failing to yield (1,134 accidents)
- Speeding (891 accidents, 8 fatal accidents)
- Improper lane use (874 accidents)
- Careless/negligent/distracted driving (367 accidents)
The best way to protect yourself is to drive safely, but remember the road is populated with drivers who may not be as safety conscious as you. Make sure you get adequate semi truck insurance in case you are involved in an accident.
Best semi truck insurance in 50 states and Washington DC
Semi truck insurance is a type of commercial truck insurance. As we know, commercial truck insurance requirements vary by state and different companies operate in different states. If you are interested in finding the best semi truck insurance companies in your particular state, we haven’t done enough research to figure out that level of specifics in all 50 states yet. However, we have developed the list of best commercial truck insurance in all 50 states and Washington DC below for your consideration. Click on the link embedded in the name of the state will take you to the best commercial truck insurance companies we recommend in that state:
Semi truck insurance coverage requirements in different states
Different states in the country have different regulations when it comes to semi truck insurance requirements. In some states like Pennsylvania, the coverage required by the states is quite simple, just $300,000 Combined Single Limit (CSL) coverage. On the other hand, states like California have a much more complicated coverage requirements for semi truck insurance as follows:
- $500/1,000/100 or $600,000 CSL for household goods, ie. $500,000 bodily injury per person, $1,000,000 per accident, and $100,000 in property damage, or $600,000 combined single limit (CSL) for a truck carrying household goods
- $1M for oil transport
- $5M for hazmat
- $750,000 general freight
- $300,000 household goods
- $20,000 per vehicle and $20,000 catastrophe insurance per cargo
Below is the summary of coverage requirements in the top 20 states: (GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight; CSL: Combined single limit)
|Min requirements for semi truck insurance
|– $500/1,000/100 or $600,000 CSL for household goods, ie. $500,000 bodily injury per person, $1,000,000 per accident, and $100,000 in property damage, or $600,000 combined single limit (CSL) for a truck carrying household goods
– $1M for oil transport
– $5M for hazmat
– $750,000 general freight
– $300,000 household goods
– $20,000 per vehicle and $20,000 catastrophe insurance per cargo
|– GVW from 26,000 to 35,000: $50,000
– GVW from 35,000 to 44,000: $100,000 CSL
– GVW more than 44,000: $300,000 CSL
– Vehicles registered as taxis must carry 125/250/50
|– $300,000 for trucks that carry household goods
– Trucks carrying household goods must have $5,000 in cargo insurance
– $500,000 for freight
|– 100/300/50, ie. $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 in property damage for all semi trucks
– Hazardous materials must be insured for either $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the substance
|– GVW up to 26,000 pounds: $750,000
– GVW over 26,000 pounds: $1,000,000
|– $300,000 for household goods; $750,000 general freight
– Hazardous materials must be insured for $1,000,000 (oil) or $5,000,000
– Intrastate carriers must also have $50,000 in cargo insurance
|– GVW over 10,000 pounds, non-hazardous: $500,000 CSL
– Hazardous $1,000,000
– GVW under 10,000 pounds: 100/300/50 non-hazardous
– Hazardous: $1,000,000
– Hazardous material limits are either $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the substance
|– $750,000 CSL for property carriers
-Hazardous materials must be insured up to $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the substance
|– GVW less than 10,000 pounds: 300,000
– GVW more than 10,000 pounds: 750,000
|– GVW 10,000 to 26,000 pounds: $300,000 CSL
– GVW over 26,000 pounds: $750,000 CSL
– Nevada has regulations for horse-drawn carriages (250/500/50)
|– GVW 20,001 to 26,000: $300,000 CSL
– GVW more than 26,000: 750,000 CSL
– Hazardous materials limits are either $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the substance
|– Household goods under 10,000 GVW: $300,000 CSL
– Over 10,000 GVW: $750,000
– Hazardous materials: under 10,000 GVW: $300,000 CSL
– Over 10,000 pounds: $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the substance
Having appropriate semi-truck insurance is crucial if you use one of these vehicles for work. To save costs, make sure you shop around and get multiple quotes. You may also get discounts from some providers, so ask about any perks you might qualify for when searching for semi-truck insurance.