Commercial Truck Insurance – All You Wanted to Know Always


Whether you are a
truck operator or the owner of a fleet of trucks, you must be knowing the
importance of commercial truck insurance. you need to buy a truck insurance so
that liabilities and damages can be covered in the hours of need. But you can’t
buy any policy that comes your way. You need to think over it. You have to
consider several things like coverage, premium and the reputation of service
providers among the others. Here we deliberate on commercial truck insurance
policy and its various aspects.

Commercial Truck Insurance

Table of Contents

What is Commercial Truck Insurance – Meaning and Definition

Commercial truck insurance can be defined as a type of insurance that
provides coverage to truck or large vehicles carrying cargo or goods for
commercial purposes. To put it simply, it is a kind of auto insurance
specifically designed to cater insurance needs of trucks, tractor trailers and
transporting business. The insurance type might vary based on your need, type
of truck, cargo, distance covered and the state of operation. In case of
semi-trucks, you need to buy a semi-truck insurance.

Who Needs Commercial Truck Insurance

Anyone who is using trucks for commercial purposes is required to get
commercial truck insurance. Here we list who are all to get such a truck

  • Owners or operators of commercial trucks or a fleet of trucks
  • Those using trucks for business purposes

  • Those using truck for transporting goods or cargo

  • Those in truck contracting business

Difference Between
Commercial Truck Insurance and Commercial Auto Insurance

There is more risk involved with trucking than a car or van as truck carry
many good and merchandise. So, they need an insurance coverage that covers all
aspect of their business. On the other hand, car and van can be covered under a
simple auto insurance.

Trucks have to cover large distances while car or van has to remain in a
particular city or area adjoining it. So, the total amount spent on truck
insurance is far higher than auto insurance.

While getting hired, customers make sure that trucking company is
adequately covered with an insurance. While there are no such requirements with
car or vans.

Also Read – Short Term Car Insurance –Meaning, Benefits and How to Buy

Types of Commercial Truck
Insurance Coverage

There are several
types of commercial truck insurance coverages you can buy. So, it is important
to know what coverage is right for you. Here we describe major types of truck
insurance coverages.

Primary Liability

Primary liability can
be defined as the basic level of insurance coverage that covers the injuries
and damages done to others during an accident where you are at fault. You need
to have a proper commercial drivers’ license in order to get primary liability

This insurance covers
the injury and damage done to other but it has no provision to compensate for
harm done to you.

General Liability

General liability
coverage also doesn’t protect the right of truck driver. It means to protect
damage done to others at your property or damage done to others where your
truck is involved.

This insurance
coverage also plays as a safeguard to your business in case of a lawsuit.

Physical Damage

Physical damage
coverage provides for the damage done to your truck. This coverage is a bit
expensive but it protects your truck and earning.

Cargo Insurance

Are you carrying items
from one place to another? You certainly be as it is what trucks meant to do.
You may be carrying items that are likely to get damaged. Here a cargo
insurance guards you against the damage.

While buying a cargo
insurance you should compare between different options provided by different
insurance companies.

Comprehensive Insurance

It’s the insurance
that protects your trucks or trailer from the physical damages done due to
reasons other than collision. The insurance covers damages done due to bad
weather, vandalism and theft.

This insurance covers
most of commercial vehicles. You can buy a comprehensive insurance coverage
depending on the type of truck you have.

Bobtail Insurance

Bobtail insurance
covers vehicles that are not attached to trailers. If you are carrying a commercial
vehicle that is not attached to a trailer, and if it is damaged, then bobtail
insurance provides coverage to you.

What Affects the Price
of Truck Insurance

While buying a truck
insurance, you might come across varied prices and may be surprised why these
prices vary. Here we explain what affects truck insurance prices.

Your Driving Record

Your truck insurance
price will depend on your commercial and non-commercial driving history.

Experienced drivers
with an impressive and established driving history pay a relatively small price
than those who have started driving recently.

If you have a history
of accidents, or being fined for unsafe driving, and violating traffic laws,
then you may end up paying more.

Types of Trucks You Have

The types of truck you
are driving or your fleet consists of also affect you truck insurance prices.
Heavy, mid-sized and lighter trucks have different insurance prices. You have
to pay more for big sized trucks and less for small sized trucks.

Trips You Take

The trips you often
take or your area of operation somehow also affects the insurance prices. If
you are driving for long distances, you are more likely to come across
accidents. It’s needless to say that you will end up paying more.

State Where Your Business
is Based

The cost of truck
insurance varies from state to state. Some states are on the higher side of
insurance while some state have lower insurance charges. If you want to operate
in a state with lower insurance charges then you should look for the states
with low priced insurance cover for trucking business.

Place of Storage

The commercial truck insurance
prices depend on several factors. And the place where you store the trucks
between the trips is one among them. The place where you park your vehicle also
affects the price of truck insurance. Say, you are parking it in open space
where it is prone to damage or theft then you may end up paying a high price.

Types of Cargo

The types of cargo you
are carrying also affects the prices of insurance. If you are carrying items that
are costlier or can cause harm during accident then you may end up paying more
in terms of insurance.

Deductibles in Policy

Most companies
offering insurance policy has a deductible that you have to pay upfront before
insurance comes into operation. It is observed that insurance coverages with
high deductible have low premium and vice versa.

What Is Covered Under
the Commercial Truck Insurance

What is covered under
the commercial truck insurance is a difficult question to answer. The coverage
depends a lot on the policy you have taken. But here is a general overview
about coverage.

Primary Liability

Primary liability is
the minimum insurance requirement for any commercial truck operator or
individual truck driver.

Physical Damage

This insurance
coverage means to cover damages done to the vehicle of policy buyer. Under this
coverage, damages done due to collision, vandalism, or theft. Having this add-on
in your commercial truck insurance would prove good for you.

Uninsured Driver

Truck accidents don’t
happen always due to your own fault. But sometime other drivers are responsible
for it. What if it happens due to a driver who is not insured. In such a case
the party at fault doesn’t have coverage to pay for the harm done to your

In such circumstances
your own insurance company will pay for the harm done to your vehicle and lost wage
through the truck insurance policy. However, they may ask to file a case
against the erring driver.

Reimbursing Medical Bills

You might see why this
coverage in your truck insurance policy when it is already covered in the
primary liability coverage.

Motor Truck Cargo Coverage

If you are a truck
driver looking for the protection of your cargo from fire and accidental damage
then motor truck cargo coverage could be the right inclusion in your commercial
truck insurance policy.

It is more than an
option before you as it is a necessity. It is a legal necessity to cover the
cargo in transit. The coverage remains in action for the moment you load the
cargo till you deliver it.

But there are certain
limitations to it. If you are operating ice-cream tuck, garbage truck or
passenger truck then you are not eligible for it.

General liability

General liability
encompasses coverage for injury or damage done when the truck is not in
operation. Through this insurance following things are also covered.

  • Bodily injuries
  • Damage to property

  • Personal injuries

  • Payment to medical

  • Cost of wrong delivery

  • Damage to premises

Non-Trucking Liabilities

This type of
commercial truck insurance provides coverage to owners or operators who have
taken a truck on lease. Through this coverage you will get paid for injuries of
property damage while you are using the truck for non-commercial purpose.

Paying Rental for Non-operational Time

Your truck may not be
operation for a few days after the collision or accident. But if you have taken
a truck on rent the rental keeps accruing. Here you can buy an insurance name
Rental Reimbursement with Downtime that pays your rental while you are offroad
due to accident.

Tractor Interchange

Another coverage under
commercial truck insurance is tractor interchange. Sometimes truck or trailer
companies are in agreement with another company to fulfill a shipment. Through
this agreement, one driver complete shipment for another company.

As in most cases it is
driver who is held responsible for damage. But such a provision is not
responsible with primary liability. It is why this additional insurance is

What Is Not Covered
Under the Commercial Truck Insurance

As you have just gone
through what is covered under the commercial truck insurance. Now it is the
time to take you through what is not covered under a commercial truck

Drunk Driving

While some insurance
providers consider the claims from drunk drivers, most commercial truck
insurance companies outrightly rejects the claim. Driving under influence is
punishable as per the US law.

Unlicensed Driving

If you are driving
without a license and meet an accident then no doubt your claims will be
rejected under the US commercial truck insurance laws. But if you have lost
your driving license and there is an add-on coverage for loss of license, you
may file claims.

However, it doesn’t
mean you can drive without a license.

Contributory Negligence

Before getting into
details let us understand what is contributory negligence in laymen’s terms. It
is the condition in which both parties are at fault.  You can ask from your broker about this clause
of commercial truck insurance.

Most insurance
companies don’t entertain claims from the erring truck drivers. But some
insurance companies provides for limited bodily injuries if the truck owners
have an add-on coverage.

Consequential Damage

damage/losses can simply be defined as negative effect occurred due to damage
to property or equipment.

If a truck gets
damaged, then general liability insurance won’t provide coverage for damaged
cargo. Here you need to have a cargo insurance. If your are the owner of a
truck or fleet you must understand this important part of commercial truck

Loss of Income Post-Accident

If your truck meets an
accident and you face non-operational days due to it, your income might suffer.
To your dismay your commercial truck insurance doesn’t provide a coverage to
it. If you want to get a coverage you should buy business interruption

Claims More Than Limits

Every policy has a
limit on its coverage. But there are times when the damage exceeds the policy
limits. So, if your truck meets an accident and the damage goes beyond the
limits, your insurance provider will only pay for the limit that has been
agreed upon.

Types of Trucks Covered
under Commercial Truck Insurance

Almost all types of
trucks and semitrucks can be covered with insurance. Not all insurance
companies cover all types of trucks. Some small trucks can be covered under
auto-insurance policy. For your understanding we list most common types of

Pickup Trucks

Pickup trucks, they
can be either insured through auto insurance or truck insurance depending upon
its use. If you are using it for commercial purpose then you need to buy a
commercial truck insurance for it. Ask your broker if his company provides
pickup truck insurance.

Cement Mixers

Cement mixers are
trucks that mixes cement and concrete for construction purpose. These trucks
have a big tank to create the mixture. These trucks are prone to accident and
it is why they need a sufficient truck insurance coverage. You should choose an
insurance that provides coverages like physical damage, liability and medical
bills among others.

Tow Trucks

Tow trucks are used to
tow damaged, troubled, or impounded trucks from one place to another. The
insurance requirement for such trucks are primary coverage liability and
physical damage coverage. Ask your broker about tow truck insurance.

Box Trucks

Box trucks are used to
carry goods and cargo. Such trucks can be covered with primary liability,
physical damage and cargo coverage. Adding some non-trucking liability coverage
would also be a good idea. Seek box truck insurance from a reputed insurance

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are used
by transport companies to transport construction material to different
construction sites. These insurance requirements for such trucks are as

  • Primary liability
  • Physical damage

  • Motor truck cargo

  • Non-trucking liability

  • Rental reimbursement

  • Downtime coverage.


These are farm truck
used for ploughing the fields and harvesting farm products. They don’t require
much movement. Tractors can be covered with agricultural insurance coverage.

Benefits of Commercial Truck

If you are running a
commercial truck insurance you may be aware of its benefits. Here we are trying
to enlist the major benefits of commercial truck insurance.

Safeguarding Your

Buying a truck is a
big investment and you might be concerned about its safety. Any damage done
will cost you a lot. However, if you are driving on road your truck is prone to
damage. So, what should be done. The best way to keep expenses on check is to
buy a commercial truck insurance. With an insurance you can rest assured of
several risks involved while driving on road. Accidents can happen even if you
are extra careful. A commercial truck insurance can help you get prepared to
handle unpleasant situations.

Keeps Inconvenience Away

Those running a truck
operation business know that even smallest of issues may halt the operations.
Small accidents, broken windshield and smallest violation of laws make the
operation standstill. The beauty of commercial truck insurance is that it
covers even smallest of incidents. With an insurance you can relax as the issue
can be resolved shortly and your truck start operation soon.

Safeguarding Your Employees

As a truck owner you
have several things to do. Looking for finances, ensuring smooth operations and
looking after the mechanical aspects of the truck. Apart from it, there is one
more thing that remains largely overlooked. What is this? It is welfare of
truck drivers. What if one of your drivers got badly injured in an accident?
You don’t need to worry as commercial truck insurance packages have enough
provision to support injured truck drivers as well. Isn’t it a good thing?

Meets Medical Expenses

Collision and
accidents can cause bodily injuries. But if you have taken the right insurance,
you can rest assured that those injured from your side will get better
treatment. Commercial truck insurance can foot the medical bills.

Paying for lawsuit

As your truck rams
into some other vehicle or property or some other vehicle hits your truck you
may find yourself into a legal tangle. You have to hire a truck accident lawyer
to fight your case. You have to pay to the lawyer. Here an insurance package
has provision for paying the fee of the lawyer. Check if the legal expenses are
part of your insurance package.

Also Read

Truck Accident Lawyer – Win the Insurance Claim and Trial

Paying for the Lost Wages

As your truck meets
and accident it takes days or weeks to resume the operations. It puts you in a
serious financial strain as your business suffers. If your insurance package
provides downtime coverage then you will get compensated for lost wages.

Improved Credibility

The benefits of truck
insurance go beyond the visible benefits. These days businesses and shipping
firms are also making sure that the truck they are hiring has a valid insurance
so that their interests can be safeguarded in the hours of need. Having a commercial
truck insurance boost your credentials and employability.

Cost Saving

Cost saving is another
benefit of having a commercial truck insurance. If your truck meets an accident
and it gets damaged you don’t have to bear the complete cost of repair as your
insurance company will pay most part of it. So, it is highly useful for big and
small truck companies. It is also useful for individual truck drivers as they
are not resourceful enough.

Peace of Mind

Perhaps it’s the least
talked about benefit of a commercial truck insurance. Individual drivers and
companies who have bought insurance remain confident and at peace as there is
someone to provide help in the hours of need if there is an accident and
resultant downtime.

It Offers Additional Services

More than coverage,
some insurance companies provide additional services also. Roadside assistance
like towing, fuel service, mechanical services and tire replacement services
are prominent among them. Taking it to the next step some other facilities like
restaurants and stay are also provided.

Best Commercial Truck
Insurance Companies

When it comes to
commercial truck insurance, truck owners have various options at their
disposal. Here we list some of the major truck insurance companies in the US,
along with their pros and cons.


Founded in 1937, and
headquartered in Mayfield, Ohio, Progressive offers several kinds of insurance
options including commercial truck insurance.


  • The company offers
    many discounts and policy bundle options for truck owners.
  • The company offers
    free online quotes to prospective customers.

  • The insurance prices
    are highly competitive.

  • The insurance policies
    are open for new drivers and different make of truck.

  • This is one of the top
    10 commercial truck insurance companies.


  • You can’t expect
    personalized attention and support given the large size of the company.
  • New drivers may not
    get much discount on some insurance policies.

State Farm

State Farm insurance
company was founded in 1922 by Founder: George J. Mecherle. The company’s
headquarter is situated in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. State Farm is one of the
most popular companies as far as commercial truck insurance and auto insurance
is concerned.


  • You are buying an
    insurance from the largest vehicle insurer.
  • The company is known
    for great customer service.

  • Insurance prices are

  • The company also
    provide coverage to new drivers.

  • You can also expect
    discount on certain products.


  • They don’t offer
    online quotes even when the world has gone digital.
  • You can only buy it
    through an agent.

  • You can’t buy a cargo
    insurance here.


CoverWallet is now a
part of Aon, a global management company that deals in investment, insurance
and risk management. Aon that was founded in 1982 in Chicago, United States is
now headquartered in London, United Kingdom. CoverWallet is not an insurance
company, instead it is a brokerage firm where you can get commercial truck
insurance quotes from multiple insurance providers.


  • Since it is an
    insurance brokerage firm you can get quotes from several insurance providers at
    one place.
  • It offers valuable
    tips on how to buy appropriate insurance cover at a reasonable rate.

  • Here you can compare
    policies from different insurance providers.

  • Using its platform,
    you can pay premium of different insurance providers.

  • Good place for new
    drivers to find an insurer.


  • Since it’s a brokerage
    firm it bears no responsibility towards your insurance coverage.
  • As it is an insurance
    brokerage firm, buying an insurance through it may cost slightly higher than
    buying it directly.


As a truck insurance
provider, Nationwide hardly needs an introduction. This one of the leading
insurance companies was founded in 1926. Its headquarter is situated in
Columbus, Ohio, United States.


  • It commands the glory
    of being the largest and most trusted insurance companies.
  • It ranks highly in
    surveys of several agencies that include Moody’s, A.M. Best and Standard &

  • It offers custom
    packages, hard to find elsewhere.

  • Customer services are

  • It offers special
    packages to new drivers as well vehicles with augmented security features. 

  • This is one of the top 10 commercial truck insurance companies.


  • You can buy it only
    through an agent as it doesn’t offer online commercial truck insurance quotes.
  • This insurance is not
    available in all states of the United States.

Sentry Insurance

Founded in 1904,
Sentry Insurance can be termed one of the oldest insurance companies in the United
States. The company has headquarters in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA. It has
assets of more than $23.9 billion and 4,500 employees work here.


  • It’s available in all
    states across the United States.
  • They specialize in
    commercial insurance.

  • Customer service is

  • It’s affiliated to
    American trucking association.

  • You can avail most of
    the services online.

  • They are highly
    flexible while offering insurance cover.

  • A vast range of
    insurance options for new and experienced drivers.


  • They don’t provide you
    online quotes.
  • You can only get the
    insurance through an agent.

In addition, there are
some other insurance companies that deal in commercial truck insurance that
include Liberty Mutual Commercial, Travelers Commercial, Farmers Commercial,
The Hartford Commercial, Allstate Commercial, USAA Commercial and Geico among

Requirement of
Commercial Truck Insurance

As you go to buy a
commercial truck insurance, it’s not only the money you need. You need to have
an array of things. Here, we list the major requirements for commercial truck

Vehicle Details

You should keep your
vehicle details ready while planning to buy a commercial truck insurance.
Details like make, model, year of purchase and VIN are information your
insurance provider might ask from you. This information is needed to calculate
the premium of your insurance.

Driving Records

Apart from the vehicle
details, insurance companies may seek your driving records to know whether
insuring you could be good or a financial risk. Drivers with clean records has
been seen paying less premium. On the other hand, if you have been fined or
your license has been confiscated, you may end up paying more.

FMCSA Authority

Whether you are
carrying the cargo independently or have delegated it to employees, you require
to have been authorized to do it from Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA). Once you apply for the authority you are required to
get sufficient insurance.

Commercial Driver
License (CDL)

Persons carrying a
load of 26,001 lbs or more are required to have a commercial drivers’ license.
This license is essential for getting commercial truck insurance.

How to Select the Right
Truck Insurance

As you are the owner
of a fleet of commercial trucks, you might be concerned about the right
insurance company for your trucks. But finding it is not easy. Here we give
valuable tips to help you find the right truck insurance.

Reputation of Insurance

You may be wondering
why we have started this topic with reputation. It is not surprising.
Reputation plays a great role while trusting a product of service. It is so
important that one of the thinkers have gone to the extent to say that
reputation is everything guard it with your life.

So, while choosing a
truck insurance company you should know about its reputation. You can assess it
on various counts like for how long they are into existence or what is their
claim settlement ratio. Don’t trust a company for your truck insurance that has
recently started operations.

Ability to Pay Claims

While trusting a
company for a commercial truck insurance, you should check whether the company
is financially strong to pay the claims. If the company is not financially
sound then you should rethink your decision. The financial ratings of the
company can be checked online. You can also get the services of a broker to
check it.

Check its Previous Claim Records

Checking the previous
claim record of the company is an important consideration while choosing a
truck insurance company. Reputed commercial truck insurers adopt a transparent
approach while granting claims. You should know what is their modus operandi for
processing claim. Does your insurance agent have a role in dealing with the
insurance claims. Do they work in a round the clock environment as the accident
can happen anytime.

Cost of Insurance

It goes without saying
that the cost of insurance is an important factor while looking for an
insurance company. Every truck owner or head of the truck company understands
what he wants to pay for a particular type of coverage. Saving some bucks on
commercial truck insurance is OK but you should also be concerned with the
quality of services. You should see whether there is any hidden fee. You should
read the policy document before signing it and paying. It is essential to make
sure whether the insurance holds value for money. If you want cheap commercial
truck insurance then you should invite quotes from different insurance companies
and compare them.

Type of Truck You Have

The cost of insurance
depends a lot on the type of truck you have. Broadly, trucks can be divided
into light duty, medium duty and heavy duty. Decide what category your truck
falls in and select a truck insurance accordingly.

Area of Expertise

Your prospective
commercial truck insurance company should have expertise in specific area you
are seeking coverage for. Do they have a team of experienced professionals? Do
they have an eye on changing trends in the truck insurance industry? You must
seek answer of these questions.

Good Customer Service

Customer service is
the backbone of any customer facing industry and insurance industry is no
exception. A responsive customer service is a prerequisite for an insurance
company. Imagine a situation where you have met with an accident and your
insurance company is not picking your phone. While choosing a truck insurance
company you should know how responsive they are.

Commercial Truck
Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have tried to give
a background on all aspects of commercial truck insurance. But some aspects
might have left untouched. Here we are covering them in FAQs section.

What is the cost of
commercial truck insurance?

It is a difficult
question to answer as the cost of commercial truck insurance depends on a lot
of factors including types of coverage sought, size of the vehicle and area it
operates among the others. The types of good it is transporting, age and
experience of the driver and distance covered are other considerations. But on
an average the annual premium for a primary liability insurance costs in the
range of $9,000 to $15,000.

What insurance
coverages I should by for commercial truck operations?

To start commercial
truck operation, you must have a primary liability coverage. How you can get
further add-ons like cargo insurance if you are transporting valuable consume

How can I find a
commercial truck insurance policy?

Finding a truck
insurance is easy as most insurance companies are offering this insurance. What
you have to do is to figure out your requirements, and then contact an
insurance agent. You can contact multiple brokers, seek quotes from them and
compare them. Based on this you should take decision.

Which state has the
most affordable truck insurance?

The state which offers
most affordable commercial truck insurance is Mississippi. But to get this you
have to meet requirements of age, driving records and primary liability

In Mississippi you can
get annual cover for operating within state for $3,552 and for operating
between states for $4,664.

Which US state has the highest cost for commercial truck insurances?

As per the reports of Coverwallet – an insurance brokerage firm – the state with the highest average premium for the commercial truck insurance is New Jersey. The average premium in New Jersey is $20,763.

Do commercial truck
insurance companies ask for CDL?

Yes. Most insurance
companies ask for it. There are only a few commercial truck insurance companies
that can provide you an insurance with less than 2 years of CDL experience. In
addition to this your credit history is also needed.

Is it possible to
start a trucking company without a CDL?

Yes, you can. But most
insurance companies don’t insure trucking companies whose owner doesn’t have a

I am starting a new
trucking company, what kind of insurance do I need?

You can start with
commercial auto liability, physical damage and motor truck cargo insurance. However,
a commercial truck insurance agent can better guide you on this.

Does commercial truck insurance covers personal uses?

Commercial truck insurance policy doesn’t cover personal uses. If you
want to get it covered you have to add a non-trucking use liability coverage
also called the bobtail.

Explain the difference between freight and cargo insurance.

There is a difference between these two. The freight insurance covers
the financial losses to the persons or organization involved with dispatch of
good. While cargo insurance pays for the actual damage to cargo.

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