If you drive a semi-truck or operate a company that hauls freight, trucking insurance is necessary to meet legal requirements and to protect yourself and your business.
In this post, we will introduce you to the best commercial trucking insurance companies. But before we do, let’s discuss who needs to purchase trucking insurance and what some of the factors are you should consider when you are choosing a company for trucking insurance.
You may need to purchase trucking insurance if any of the following describe you:
- Private carriers (especially if you are driving a vehicle you own, not one your employer owns).
- Owner-operators. Most owner-operators need to purchase insurance. The exception would be if you are leasing your truck(s).
- Motor carriers. You must purchase insurance for your fleet.
What to Consider When Choosing a Trucking Insurance Company
Here are some factors you need to think about when you are choosing a company from which to purchase trucking insurance:
- What you are hauling. This may affect the types of coverage you need. For example, someone who is hauling hazardous materials is going to need different coverage than someone who is hauling gravel. Likewise, someone hauling refrigerated goods will need different coverage than someone hauling livestock.
- Your routes. You may need different insurance coverage if you are hauling on interstate routes versus within a single state.
- Your record. The safety record of the driver as well as their CDL experience will impact qualification and rates. Note that if you are a new driver, you might have a challenging time finding coverage.
- Coverage. There are a number of different types of trucking insurance policies: primary liability, physical damage, uninsured/underinsured motorists, medical, general liability, motor truck cargo coverage, non-trucking liability, rental reimbursement with downtime, and more. You can purchase policies individually or shop for a combined trucking insurance policy.
- Federal and state laws. Check federal and state laws to find out the minimum coverage you need to operate, and purchase at least that much. Then, submit proof to the appropriate regulators.
- Claims process. You may want to check into how the claims process typically works at the company you were considering. Make sure that it is generally smooth and timely.
- Customer service. Try and find some information about how reliable customer service is before deciding on a company. If you have to submit a claim, having friendly and responsive customer service can make a huge difference in your experience.
- Reputation. Look up the experiences of other trucking professionals to find out whether they have had a good or bad time dealing with the company.
- Cost. Finally, consider the costs of different policies at various companies as well as their coverage limits and deductibles. A typical policy cost ranges between $600-$1,000 a month. Try and choose the policy that offers you the best value within your budget.
How to Buy Truckers Insurance
When going to purchase trucker’s insurance, you may be afraid that the process is long and tedious. But it’s no different than getting your personal vehicle insured, for the most part. And if you drive for a company that provides a truck to you, It’s likely that you won’t need to secure your own insurance.
But if you do own your own truck, getting insurance is a requirement.
There are also options for insuring fleets that act as an umbrella coverage for all of the vehicles under one policy. There are two ways to go about getting the insurance you need:
- Broker: A broker will work to find you the best insurance option to meet your specific needs. Brokers may work with one or multiple companies and aim to take the hassle out of getting insurance.
- Direct: Nothing is stopping you from directly contacting potential insurance companies and seeking insurance. Most companies have an online quote system which allows for a fast and easy way to get prices for your desired policy.
But the hardest part is scouring through all of the commercial truck insurance companies and making a choice. It’s all about policy limits and premiums.
Tips On Getting The Best Rates
When getting a quote or talking to a broker, you’ll find that the initial policy figures are not set in stone. There are a lot of different things you can do to lower your premiums, and a lot of this starts with your coverage maximums and policy requirements.
A few tips that will help you save money when trying to obtain commercial trucking insurance include:
- Haggle: When talking to a broker, don’t be afraid to mention other quotes you’ve received and ask if they can be matched or beaten. You lose nothing by haggling for a lower price.
- Pay in Full: It may not be realistic for everyone, but if you have the ability, you can pay for your premium in full to save a decent chunk of change in the process.
- Cargo Insurance: What type of cargo do you haul? You’ll want to look at your cargo insurance limits to ensure you’re not covering $1 million of goods when you haul $200,000 worth of goods normally. If you have a special haul in the future, you can often work out coverage increases on a one-off basis.
- Raise the Deductible: All policies have deductibles, and raising your deductible can save you money. Just remember that in the event that you’re in an accident, raising premiums will require more out of pocket expenses, which isn’t always ideal.
- SAFER Scores: The FMCSA data can be wrong, and these errors can cost you a lot of money. SAFER scores that are misrepresented can cost you money. Insurers want clients that are safe drivers and a lower risk.
- Experience: The CDL experience you have can lower your premiums. The more experience you have, the better it will be when trying to negotiate cheaper insurance rates.
- Logbook Violations: The dreaded logbook needs to be filled out properly at all times. Errors in your logbook can cause you to pay inflated premiums.
Working with reputable commercial truck insurance companies will give you peace of mind that you and your rig are covered in the event of an accident. Discussing your options with a broker or representative is the first step in securing trucking insurance.
Best Commercial Trucking Insurance Companies
Now that you know a bit more about shopping for tracking insurance, we can take a look at some of the top trucking insurance companies.
Progressive is a big and well-established company which has been covering trucking businesses for four decades. Here are some reasons to consider choosing Progressive:
- Progressive has a large range of policies for protecting semi-trucks, box trucks, flatbed trucks, front loaders, tank trucks, dump trucks, auto hauler trailers, and many other types of trucks.
- If you are willing to share the data from your Electronic Logging Device (ELD), you can get 5% off through the Smart Haul® program.
- There are also other discounts available through Progressive. Some examples include a discount for bundling policies and another for signing up for autopay.
- Progressive will file with the federal and state governments for free for you to prove you are meeting the minimum coverage requirements.
- Claims processing takes place in-house.
Are there any drawbacks to Progressive? Their customer service is arguably not the best. They also set a cap on fleet size, so some larger fleets may require a different insurance company.
There is no larger insurance company for commercial auto in the US. With their wide variety of policies and their numerous discounts, we can see why Progressive is the top choice for so many trucking professionals. They are our top recommendation as well.
2. The Hartford
The Hartford is another long-established company for commercial auto insurance. Indeed, the company has been in business for over two hundred years.
- There are numerous policy options for covering semi-trucks, dry freight trailers, refrigerated trailers, and other vehicles.
- You can customize your policies through The Hartford. The company works hard to make sure that individual needs are met.
- The Hartford offers extra business auto protection for free when you purchase a policy. This consists of gap coverage for leased vehicles, 10% actual cost value if you replace vehicles in your fleet with greener alternatives, and coverage for your electronic devices.
As far as drawbacks go, you cannot get a quote online. This company also is not always the most suitable option for those with just one truck (see below).
The Hartford is well worth thinking about as your insurer if you operate a fleet with multiple vehicles. But if you have only one truck, you will find The Hartford does not offer as many options. If you find what you need at The Hartford, great. Otherwise, consider shopping elsewhere for your policies.
Another situation in which you may want to consider The Hartford is if you are insuring a high-risk driver. The Hartford is often willing to consider insuring high-risk drivers. At the same time, they incentivize safer driving through the discounts they offer.
3. Liberty Mutual
It’s true—Liberty Mutual may have the most earworm-y advertising jingle known to man. That said, they have been around for over a century, and are a great option to consider for insuring commercial trucks.
- Liberty Mutual focuses on making the claims process fast and easy by providing customers with a number of tools to help the process move forward.
- This company works hard to customize insurance policies to customers based on their industry, the size and nature of their fleet, their geographical area, and more.
As far as drawbacks go, some customers complain about customer service at Liberty Mutual. The company also offers less in the way of information on their site about their policies than some competitors. Also, that advertising jingle will keep getting stuck in your head.
Liberty Mutual is a good choice if your priorities are customizing your policies and having as much control over the claims process as possible.
Gallagher may not have as big a name as Liberty Mutual or Progressive, but they are well-established and put their focus strongly on commercial insurance. The company takes pride in constantly evolving what they offer to stay on top of what its customers require. More than 275,000 trucks around the world rely on Gallagher for protection.
- It is hard to beat Gallagher’s selection of policies. These go beyond the standard owner-operator policies to include third-party logistics coverages such as truck broker liability, contingent cargo, logistics errors and omissions, warehouse legal liability, and more. They also offer specialty coverages for pollution, crime, employment practices, and more.
- Sophisticated accident avoidance technology helps Gallagher to score driver safety “in a more meaningful way.” You might find this refreshing if you have been frustrated by how safety is scored in the past.
- The company has a special focus on worker’s compensation issues. If that is a concern to you, you will appreciate the extra expertise.
Are there any reasons not to go with Gallagher? The sheer number of options Gallagher offers might be overwhelming to someone just shopping for basic trucking insurance. Aside from that, it is hard to come up with many drawbacks.
We recommend Gallagher to anyone who needs the types of specialty insurance products that other transportation insurance companies simply do not offer.
If you operate a smaller trucking business, you might consider turning to Sentry for your commercial transportation insurance needs. This company has been operating since 1904. Here are a few reasons to choose sentry:
- You can get a fully personalized policy at Sentry that fits your trucking business.
- Single owner-operators sometimes may not find a suitable policy at larger trucking insurance companies, but can find one here.
- Mid- to large-sized trucking companies can also find policies at Sentry.
- The certified safety directors who work at Sentry have the specialized experience you are looking for.
- Claims are processed entirely in-house.
In terms of drawbacks, you do need to go through a local agent to get Sentry insurance.
If you have a small trucking business—especially if you own just one truck—Sentry may be an ideal fit for you.
6. State Farm
State Farm is one of the biggest names in insurance since its foundation in 1922. While State Farm may be most famous for its auto, home and life insurance policies, it also offers commercial insurance for trucks.
- At State Farm, you can apply for a wide range of coverages. Some of these include comprehensive, collision, property damage liability, bodily injury, and more.
- State Farm is pretty good about helping customers to keep their costs down with competitive discounts.
- State Farm receives better ratings and reviews on average than a lot of competing commercial truck insurance companies.
In terms of drawbacks, State Farm does not offer a lot of detailed information specifically about their policies for commercial trucks on their website. You will need to contact an agent to find out if what they are offering will meet your requirements.
Also, you cannot get insurance to cover your freight at State Farm.
If you want to do business with a major insurance company that other customers have expressed consistent satisfaction with, State Farm is a great option. Just be aware you are going to need to tack on coverage for your cargo elsewhere.
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is one of the industry’s most trusted associations for everything trucking – not just insurance.
But the company does offer low-cost options to drivers and has done so since the mid-1970s.
The company offers two main tiers of insurance:
Owner-Operators with Authority
If you have authority over your truck, you can secure insurance under this classification. This coverage provides:
- Primary Liability (FMCSA requires $750,000 coverage)
- Commercial General Liability
- Motor Truck Cargo
- Physical Damage
- Passenger accident
You’ll be able to adjust your coverage limits accordingly to your needs.
For Leased Owner-Operators
If you’re currently leasing a truck, you’ll need coverage that is a little different and provides further protection to safeguard you against liability claims. Coverage offered includes:
- Physical damage
- Unladen liability
- Bobtail liability
- Non-trucking liability
- Passenger accident
And there are several optional coverage options that can be added to either policy. These optional coverage options include:
- Downtime coverage
- Limited depreciation coverage
- Gap insurance
- Trailer interchange
- Personal property
- Rental reimbursement
- Supplemental towing and clean up
- Roadside breakdown coverage
All of the optional components will add to your overall premium, but they’re well worth the cost in most cases.
8. Great West
Great West is all about the experience, and the company has over 50 years of experience helping policyholders. Insuring semi-trucks, the company offers a wide range of coverage options.
The base policy provides coverage that trucks of all types need:
- Auto liability
- General liability
- Physical damage
- Inland marine
- Workers compensation
As you can see, some of the options are geared towards company owners and other specialties.
Owner-operator Specific Options
Owner-operators have special needs, and as a result, there are several coverage items that are provided to owner-operators specifically:
- Lease/finance reimbursement
- Occupational accident
- Rental reimbursement
- Equipment coverage
The company does provide online quotes and will contact you about coverage options and concerns.
9. 1st Guard
A trucking specialization company, 1st Guard Commercial deals with just trucking insurance, so the company’s policies are often tailor-made to your specific needs. The company is better able to accommodate the needs and concerns of their policyholders as a result.
The company offers three product packages for truckers:
PD Insurance (Physical damage)
Physical damage coverage ensures your truck is covered in the event of an accident. Your vehicle is covered whether it’s driven for business or personal use. Coverage includes:
- Extended towing
- Loan gap
- Emergency expense reimbursement
- Truck rental reimbursement
- No deductible glass
- Roadside assistance
- Traps, chains and binders
NTL Insurance (Non-Trucking Liability)
A unique insurance that acts as a form of limited liability coverage when permanently leasing a truck.
Occupational Accident Insurance
Coverage for owner-operators for work-related injuries that may occur. This insurance also has the options for:
- Worker’s compensation insurance
- Passenger accident insurance
You’ll be able to get a personalized quote right on the company’s website.
Want to simplify your search for commercial trucking insurance even more? You might consider using the popular aggregate CoverWallet.
- If you have never shopped for trucking insurance before, you might find that CoverWallet helps you understand what you are doing. In fact, you can even take an assessment CoverWallet provides to help you figure out what coverages to buy.
- This aggregate can bring customers some really low pricing.
- If you have issues with your driving record or your credit, CoverWallet can help you hung down an insurance company willing to work with you.
- You can not only view quotes online, but also apply for your insurance online.
Although CoverWallet makes it easy to compare quotes from a range of truck insurance companies, it could still end up taking you longer to complete the process since it does add an extra step. Of course, if you are contacting insurers directly, you might not find what you need on your first go. So, whether CoverWallet takes up more time or less really just depends on your situation and luck.
If you do not want to call around to different companies and just want to handle your entire search online in one place, CoverWallet can streamline the process for you.
You should also consider CoverWallet if you want to get your costs as low as possible, especially without a perfect record.
Get the Truck Insurance You Need to Protect Your Business Now
If you are ready to insure your trucking business now, any of the companies we have recommended above is worth considering. Once you have the insurance you need, you will be ready to get out on the road and start hauling cargo.