Driving an 18 wheeler takes a love for the road and a commitment to safety. An accident can cause you to suffer significant financial burdens: truck repair or loss, medical bills, lost cargo, loss of a trailer – not to mention potential lawsuits and more.
Insurance can help you mitigate these risks and provide peace of mind that if an accident occurs, you will be made whole again.
How Much Is Insurance for an 18 Wheeler?
An 18 wheeler insurance policy has many coverage options, which are discussed in greater detail below. You can adjust your policy limits and deductibles to save money on premiums, but you can expect costs to be between $8,000 and $12,000 annually.
Additional factors that impact policy costs are:
- Travel distance
- Driving record
- Cities you drive in
- Truck cost
- Driving record
- Past claim history
- Policy add-ons
- Type of goods hauled
If you haul chemicals or hazardous goods, insurance costs will be higher. You’ll also need coverage for cleaning up the site of the accident. For example, if you’re hauling gasoline and are in an accident, special cleaning requirements must be followed.
Securing a quote from one or multiple providers and considering the additional coverage options are your next steps.
18-Wheeler Insurance Coverage Options
Insuring an 18 wheeler comes with a lot of coverage options. While some are necessary, others are nice additions that provide more well-rounded coverage.
Liability insurance falls into two main categories:
A must-have part of your coverage is primary liability insurance. If you’re in an accident with your truck and it’s during work hours, you can file a claim for bodily injury.
In the event that you’re injured while not on the road, general liability will cover the damages. However, this form of insurance is designated for fleet owners or may only be necessary if you have a physical office and staff.
For example, if you have a staff member who slips and falls when walking into the office, general liability will cover any related costs.
Businesses that operate an 18 wheeler need liability insurance to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
If you’re in an accident, bodily injury coverage will protect the other driver and you from potential lawsuits. This coverage includes:
- Paying for the medical bills of the opposing driver
- Paying for the medical expenses of the other driver
Policies are drafted with a per incident maximum that covers the opposing driver’s medical bills, tests, x-rays, medication, surgery, therapy and nearly any other medical-related expense so long as it stems from the accident.
Property damage can also occur during an accident, such as the other driver’s vehicle being damaged in the accident. If you’re found at fault, you will be liable for these expenses. In addition, you will be held liable for damage to fences, buildings, mailboxes and the like.
Insurance will cover repairs or replacement of these items.
Physical damage insurance protects against financial burdens and losses that result from damage to an 18 wheeler you own or lease.
If you have financed your truck, have a lease or have a lien, physical damage will provide the most protection.
Medical payments insurance will protect the driver of the 18 wheeler along with any passengers in the rig.
If the other driver was at-fault for the accident, their insurance should cover the cost of medical care. However, their policy may not offer enough coverage for the care your driver or passengers need. Medical payments coverage, in this case, will cover the cost of medical payments, regardless of who is at fault.
Medical payments coverage will vary from one state to the next, so it’s important to discuss what this policy offers with your insurance agent.
Comprehensive and Collision
18 wheelers can also have collision and comprehensive coverage, which will cover losses in case of:
- Non-collision, non-rollover hazards that damage the truck.
- Damage to the truck when involved in a collision.
For well-rounded protection, 18 wheelers should have both collision and comprehensive to cover losses from more unusual circumstances.
If your 18 wheeler is involved in an accident with another driver who is at fault and doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have adequate coverage, an uninsured/underinsured insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs or the difference in coverage from the other driver.
An uninsured/underinsured policy will cover:
- Bodily injury: If the uninsured driver is at-fault for the accident, your policy will cover the cost of medical care and hospital expenses. With this coverage, there is a maximum amount per person in your truck and a maximum for the total accident.
- Property damage: If the uninsured driver is at fault for the accident and it damages your 18 wheeler, property damage protection will cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
Trailer insurance covers repairs or replacements of owned trailers being hauled at the time of an accident.
Trailer interchange coverage offers physical damage protection against trailers that you haul but don’t own. It covers damage and losses caused by vandalism, theft, fire, explosion and collision.
If your 18 wheeler becomes undrivable due to an accident or breakdown, towing insurance will cover the cost of having the vehicle towed.
Trucks with reefer equipment must have reefer breakdown coverage. If this equipment malfunctions and the cargo is spoiled, reefer breakdown insurance will cover the loss.
Cargo insurance will protect against losses if the cargo is damaged or destroyed while in transit.
Unattended Truck Coverage
When truckers stop to rest or eat while on the road, they must leave their truck unattended, and this leaves their vehicle subject to theft or vandalism. Unattended truck coverage will protect against losses in these scenarios.
As a professional driver, you understand the power and size of your 18-wheeler. It can do some serious damage in an accident or in any kind of collision. Having the right insurance coverage is crucial to ensure that you are protected against financial risk and that your rigs can get back up and running as soon as possible after an accident.
If you’re unsure of which type of coverage is right for you, consult with your insurance agent. Your agent will know your business, the types of risks you face and the types of coverage you need to protect against them.