Commercial Truck Insurance: The Ultimate Guide
You might own one truck to deliver goods or an entire fleet of vehicles that transport freight to different parts of the world. Either way, one thing is certain: You need commercial truck insurance.
But what type of commercial truck insurance do you need?
Well, it mostly depends on the types of trucks you use.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about commercial truck insurance.
Types Of Commercial Truck Driver Coverage
Here are a few main types of truck driver coverages you can choose from:
Primary Liability Insurance
Covers the damage done to others and their property. Usually required by the law.
Covers you on and off the road. Often required for semi trucks without dispatch.
Physical Damage Insurance Coverage
Covers the truck and trailer in case of theft, fire, and other accidents.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
Covers your cargo in case it gets damaged or stolen.
Vehicles We Cover
- 18 Wheeler
- Cement Trucks
- Crane Trucks
- Flatbed Trucks
- Jumbo Trailer Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Car Haulers
- Dump Trucks
- Garbage Trucks
- Fire Trucks
- Tow Trucks
- Panel Trucks
- Tanker Trucks
- Hot Shot Trucks
- Lowboy Trailers
- Log Trucks
- Owner Operators
- Commercial Trucks
- Snow Plow Trucks
- Commercial Trailers
Who Needs Commercial Truck Insurance?
Truck insurance is not exclusive to companies that use trucks for carrying cargo. Commercial truck insurance is also widely used by:
- Landscaping companies
- Food trucks
- Garbage trucks
Knowing what commercial trucking insurance coverages you need, what you don’t need, and what would only be a bonus can save you from spending excessively. Ask for your policy to be customized for your needs and try to get maximum benefits for your business.
The following liabilities are necessary for most trucking companies:
- Liability Insurance: All owner-operators must have coverage for property damage and bodily harm up to a minimum of $750,000.
- Cargo Insurance: All shippers require their drivers and owners to insure the fleet of vehicles used for shipments. Without this coverage, you will not be able to find work.
- Physical Damage Insurance: Covers damages to an insured vehicle caused by fire, theft, collision, or vandalism.
- Motor Truck Cargo: Insures against loss from legal liability for damage to goods in the insured’s custody during the transit.
Although reviewing your insurance policy multiple times can be tedious, reading the fine print and negotiating the best prices for coverage will ensure that your business runs smoothly in the long run.
How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
When looking for the best ways to insure your 18-wheeler, the cost is one of the most important parts of your research. While different trucking insurance companies offer different quotes, the average monthly cost for commercial for-hire insurance for semi-trucks ranges from $600 for specialty truckers to $1000 for other transportation truckers.
Which state are you in?
Use our commercial truck financing calculator to calculate your monthly payments for your truck insurance.
Truck Driver Insurance
Many people who have a business and use a commercial truck for it regularly don’t know how they should insure that truck. Even if the truck is a passenger truck, the business owner should look to a truck insurance policy rather than a personal auto insurance policy. The most important reason is the limit of liability coverage available with heavy truck insurance versus personal auto insurance.
Commercial truck insurance can be defined as a group of specific auto insurance policies that cover your trucking business. In case of an accident, a truck insurance policy will cover your truck.
If you use your truck for business purposes, you need commercial truck insurance. This type of policy is required if you:
- Provide business services using your truck
- Transport people or goods for money
- Use motor carriers to tow equipment
- Have employees who drive the truck
There are also ways to save money on your commercial truck insurance, including:
Employing Experienced Drivers
Experienced truck drivers can better deal with bad weather and other difficult working conditions. To insurance companies, this is a sign that your business is less risky.
Employing Divers With Clean Driving Records
Drivers with a history of accidents have a higher risk index. Therefore, hiring drivers with fewer violations and accidents is a good idea.
Use Newer Trucks
The age and condition of your trucks influence the cost of commercial insurance for truck premiums.
Consider Higher Premiums
Higher deductibles result in lower insurance premiums. However, in case of an accident, you will have to pay higher upfront costs.
Commercial Truck Insurance Benefits
Commercial Insurance for Any Vehicle
Commercial truck insurance will accept any type of truck for any amount of coverage, from passenger vehicles to cargo vans to semi-trucks. Contractors who use a standard box truck are especially warned to get that vehicle off the family personal auto policy and onto a commercial truck policy.
In the event of an at-fault accident, the minute the other driver discovers your commercial truck is used for business, you can expect their neck to hurt, their back to hurt, and the letters from the attorney to arrive via certified mail. Also, your non-commercial insurance company may give you a hard time about an accident in a personal vehicle being used for undeclared business use.
No Limit to Number of Vehicles
Under the commercial truck policy, there are no limitations to the number of vehicles you can insure as there are with the personal auto policy. With most companies, five units or less are considered non-fleet, and six units are considered fleet. The pricing is structured more favorably once you are considered a fleet client.
This coverage will pay for reasonable medical and funeral expenses to the business, employees, and passengers in your truck, no matter who is at fault. Since liability does not have to be established, the insurance company will pay this benefit more quickly than any other coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Limits
With commercial semi-truck insurance, the company will offer much higher limits on uninsured/underinsured coverage. This coverage protects the vehicle driver if she is injured due to a not-at-fault accident and the at-fault driver does not carry sufficient liability coverage to pay for injuries or is uninsured. This coverage will also respond to claims for pain and suffering, which is not covered anywhere else in the policy or by the offending driver’s policy.
Non-Owned Auto Coverage
This important endorsement protects the business if an employee uses his auto for business purposes. Suppose your employee makes a trip on behalf of the business to pick up office supplies and is in an at-fault accident. The business’s liability coverage extends to that employee’s vehicle while driving their car on behalf of the company.
Hired Auto Liability
This policy endorsement will extend your liability coverage to a truck you rent or lease. This is always necessary as the rental company will require increased limits for the vehicle they rent to you or require you to purchase the coverage from them at a much higher price.
Hired Auto Physical Damage
Similar to hired auto liability, this coverage provides coverage for physical damage to a truck you rent or lease on behalf of the company. This endorsement is always much cheaper than buying the coverage through the rental company.
Stated Value versus Actual Cash Value
Many companies will allow the policyholder to insure the truck based on “stated value” rather than “actual cash value,” which can save premium dollars if the company can purchase vehicles for much less than the market value.
In any case, if you own a company, the vehicles owned and used by the company should be insured under a commercial truck policy rather than the owner’s personal auto policy to ensure that sufficient limits are available to the business.
When you go for a commercial truck insurance policy, always ensure that you are properly informed about the regulations, provisions, and discounts you can obtain as a business owner. Not only does it save you money in the short and the long term, but it also offers you peace of mind that any losses you might incur in the business are compensated for.
What Influences The Cost of Truck Insurance?
Commercial truck insurance quotes depend on various factors, such as:
- Driving history
- Operating radius
- Vehicle type
- Coverage requirements
- USDOT authority
What Doesn’t Commercial Truck Insurance Cover?
Typically, commercial truck insurance doesn’t cover personal items. For example, if the driver leaves the truck and your personal belongings get stolen, they probably won’t be covered. Also, intentional damage such as smashing a windshield in anger is not covered by this policy.
Average Commercial Truck Insurance Cost
The average cost of commercial trucking insurance is between $3,000 and $5,000 per year for owner-operators that lease a motor carrier.
The average cost is between $9,000 and 12,000 per truck for owner-operators. Commercial trucking insurance quotes for new owners have recently increased, usually between $12,000 and $16,000.
The Average Cost of Semi Truck Insurance Coverages
- Primary Liability: $5,000-$7,000
- General Liability: $500-$600
- Umbrella Insurance: $500-$700
- Physical Damage: $1000-$3000
- Bobtail Insurance: $350-$400
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance: $50-$100
How Do You Save Money on Commercial Truck Insurance?
Finding cheap truck insurance isn’t impossible, but you need to know a thing or two to get it. As we mentioned, insurance quotes for commercial trucks depend on many factors. However, there are a few ways to lower the rates of your 18-wheeler insurance.
- Better Driving History
Trucking insurance companies generally want to work with drivers who don’t cost them much money. They will offer cheaper truck insurance rates to businesses whose drivers have clean driving records.
- Bundle Package
To lower the costs of your semi-truck insurance, it is always better to bundle all your liabilities together in one heavy truck insurance package rather than buy them separately.
- Paying Yearly
Trucking companies that pay their insurance in a lump sum once a year, as opposed to paying monthly, reduce their premium by almost 10%-20%. However, this figure can vary with the high cost of semi-truck insurance policies.
For example, a truck insurance quote that costs $11,300 annually may seem too much. However, if you break it into monthly payments, you get an average semi truck insurance cost of $942 per month.
- Compare Truck Insurance Rates
To find the best or the cheapest truck insurance, you need to shop for policy packages from different trucking insurance companies and compare the premiums, deductibles, and coverages in each. Companies rate different factors on which your insurance depends differently and therefore offer their policy packages at different prices.
- Consider Higher Deductibles
You might consider higher deductibles and lower limits to keep your premiums low.
Where is the Cheapest Commercial Truck Insurance in the US?
When looking for affordable truck insurance policies, one of the best ways to find one is to look into truck insurance rates by state. Out of the 50 states, the following have the cheapest business truck insurance:
However, the insurance rates in these states can change depending on whether you don’t have your U.S. Department of Transportation Administration (USDOT) filling. For example, Oklahoma isn’t the most affordable state for trucking insurance. Still, it is a great state to own a commercial trucking business due to reasonable rules and regulations but also low gas prices. Truck insurance in Maryland is also one of the most expensive in the United States.
Who is Insured Under a Commercial Truck Insurance Policy?
Business owners purchase commercial truck insurance, which covers expenses for drivers named in the policy. That includes the passengers and individuals who were harmed in a trucking accident. Almost any truck can be covered under a trucking insurance policy, but different insurance providers may cover certain types of trucks.
After I Start a Policy, How Long Does It Take to Get My Flings Issued?
Once the insurance company receives a demand letter, they will assign an adjuster to handle it. The adjuster reviews claims and decides whether the carrier should pay them. Usually, under the terms of the insurance policy, the adjuster must complete an initial review and send a response within 30 days.
Does Truck Insurance Cover Personal Use?
Truck insurance can cover the cost of damages if the vehicle is used for personal activities besides its primary business use.
Does My Truck Insurance Cover My Trailer?
Sometimes, your commercial truck insurance will cover your trailer but not its contents. If your trailer isn’t covered, you will need to buy an insurance policy that is specific to your trailer.
What Information Do You Need to Buy Commercial Truck Insurance?
Here is some information you will need when purchasing a commercial truck policy:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Social security number
- Driver’s license info
- Business name
- The business tax ID
- Business address
- The states you will drive in
- The type of cargo you will haul
- Purchase price/value
- Vehicle identification number
Are you still confused about commercial truck insurance, or do you need some help getting a quote for your business? Contact us today and get all the information you need fast and for free!
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