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Commercial trucking is a difficult business to get into and be successful at. The day-to-day operations of driving a commercial truck are also problematic for many owner-operators who drive their own vehicle.
According to federal data, over 400,000 crashes in the U.S. involved commercial vehicles in 2015. Over half of those crashes were caused by the driver’s error or negligence—making it harder for commercial truckers to get insured.
Commercial truck insurance is necessary for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s required by law. It also protects drivers and owners in a loss of cargo situation, liability in an accident, or even during overhaul repairs if a rental truck is temporarily needed to continue operations.
On this page:
- What is Required to be Eligible for Commercial Truck Insurance?
- How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
- Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
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What is Required to be Eligible for Commercial Truck Insurance?
Trucking companies must file proof with the state and federal government that they have enough coverage on their trucks to cover both the value of the truck itself and the cargo, as well as protect against any liability claims, such as an accident that was the trucker’s fault.
Making that a bit difficult, especially for new drivers, is the “two-year rule,” an unofficial policy that many commercial trucking insurers have against insuring drivers with less than two years of commercial driving experience.
There are, however, a few companies that will still insure a new driver.
How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?
Like consumer auto insurance, commercial truck insurance has no set price. Each policy cost is dependent on individual risk factors such as any traffic tickets, convictions for driving while under the influence, past accidents, operating radius, and what your typical cargo is.
Car haulers, for instance, need more coverage than the minimum. Several companies offer commercial truck insurance for all types of cargo.
Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
Compare the top commercial truck insurance companies to find an option that best fits your needs.
CoverWallet claims to be the easiest way to understand, buy, and manage business insurance. The entire process is free and can be completed online in a matter of minutes with plans starting as low as $39 per month.
By utilizing state-of-the-art technology, CoverWallet is able to help businesses understand and buy customized coverage, get significant savings, and conveniently manage their insurance online.
To ensure you are covered for all of your needs, CoverWallet has businesses complete a quick assessment so the company can explain what you need to minimize exposure to risk.
CoverWallet is the best option for comparing multiple best-in-class insurance carriers. These carriers include Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Berkshire Hathaway, Chubb, Travelers, and more.
If you are looking for an easy way to quickly compare affordable commercial truck insurance plans, CoverWallet is right for you.
Progressive specializes in owner-operators, motor carriers, and private carriers. The insurer has been providing coverage to truckers for over 40 years.
The company offers general liability, non-trucking liability, rental reimbursement, trailer interchange, and cargo insurance, including state and federal filings so that you can prove that you are covered. They also have a robust heavy truck claims department.
For features, Progressive is hard to beat. All claims are processed in-house by their own adjusters and they have a wide variety of coverages. Their customer service, however, leaves much to be desired, only earning a 1-star rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Aside from their consumer, home, and life policies, State Farm also has commercial vehicle coverage. Their policies include bodily injury, liability, and more – but they don’t cover your cargo, which would be a deal-breaker for most commercial trucking companies.
Their commercial coverage mostly offers the same protections you would get with a consumer auto policy without many of the additional things that Progressive has specifically for large trucks.
State Farm misses the mark in terms of both features and customer service. Consumer Affairs rates the company at only 3 stars based on over 3,000 reviews. If you need to insure a commercial truck, you’ll want to go elsewhere – especially if you’re hauling cargo.
EIB Direct, or Evolution Insurance Brokers, is a lesser-known company that specializes in trucking insurance to include both long- and short-haul trucks, fleets, motor truck cargo, and more.
EIB Direct has coverage for truck liability, physical damage, hired and non-hired vehicles, motor truck cargo, and even non-owned trailer liability for companies that rent or lease trailers. Coverage exceeds the federal limits of $750,000, and they’re partnered with such high-end insurers as Lloyd’s (formerly Lloyd’s of London).
EIB’s strength is in their ability to do specialized policies for “difficult risk,” or those who may not be able to get insurance elsewhere due to past legal issues, hazardous cargo, or other situations that make insurance procurement difficult.
The flip side of that coverage availability, however, is the price. EIB can be more expensive than other insurers. For those who can’t get a standard commercial trucking policy with a more traditional insurance company, however, EIB should be considered as a viable option.
In the area of customer service, however, Better Business Bureau only gives EIB a C+ rating due to the company not answering its complaints.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association offers several policies and coverage options for small business truckers.
Whether you’re an owner-operator with authority or a lease, OOIDA has a full range of options. All underwriting is in-house with fast turnaround and competitive rates.
Since its total focus is commercial truck insurance, OOIDA has some of the best and most specialized policies on the market. Their A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau, however, may not give the best picture of their customer service. In fact, they have an entry at Ripoff Report from 2004.
Recap of the Best Commercial Truck Insurance
|Company||What stands out|
|CoverWallet||Compare best-in-class carriers for free|
|Progressive||Over 40 years of experience|
|State Farm||Offers most standard auto coverages|
|EIB||Excess coverage is available|
|OOIDA||Works on your behalf through its advocacy efforts|
Before choosing any truck insurance policy for your commercial trucking needs, make sure to look at customer ratings, offerings, and any price quotes. A little work now in comparing truck insurance quotes can save hours and money later.
Author: Dave Rathmanner