Are you the owner-operator of a trucking company? Whether you are starting up a new business and require insurance, or you are simply looking for a better deal on trucking insurance than what you have right now, you have come to the right place.
In order to get a good deal on semi-truck insurance, you need to understand the range of potential costs, the average cost, and the factors that can impact the quotes you receive.
In this guide, we will go over all of the above. Once you understand how to price insurance for commercial trucks, we will point you in the direction of companies that offer competitive quotes. Let’s get started.
What Types of Semi-Truck Insurance Are There?
The first important thing to know about semi truck insurance is that there are multiple types of insurance available.
Basically, what type of insurance you needs depends on your status.
Owner-operators operating under their own authority need to insure both trucks and drivers in full.
Owner-operators who have a lease with a motor carrier need physical damage and bobtail insurance, but do not usually need to cover much more than that. Why? Because the motor carrier is already doing it.
For owner-operators who are newly under their own authority, insurance can be extra pricey.
So, what are the average costs for each of these?
Well, there is a bracket for each rather than just one dollar amount we can give, because there are also other factors that can impact the cost to insure semi trucks. We’ll get into that shortly. Here are the average costs:
The average semi-truck insurance cost range if you have a lease with a motor carrier is $2,000-$4,000 per truck.
The average semi-truck insurance if you are an owner-operator operating under your own established authority is $9,000-$15,000 per truck. This range is assuming you have a good track record.
The average semi-truck insurance if you are newly operating under your own authority is $12,000-$18,000 per truck.
You may sometimes find costs above or below these ranges.So, you can see that if you are leased to a motor carrier, you have some major cost saving benefits when it comes to insurance.
But if you are a new authority, you are going to be paying extra for a few years until you are established. So, it becomes extra critical to shop around to find the right deals (we can help you with that).
We can also provide you with a breakdown of average costs for different types of insurance coverage.
Primary Liability $5,000-$12,000
General Liability $500-$800
Umbrella Policy $500-$700
Physical Damage $1,000-$3,000
Bobtail Insurance $350-$600
Occupational Accident $1,600-$2,200
Cargo Insurance $400-$1,200
The bottom end of the ranges we have listed is consistent with what we have seen through most of our research. But we chose to give a higher upper range for some of these (i.e. primary and general liability) than some sources give.
Why? Because our research revealed that some of these upper range prices are pretty common.
Basically, we don’t want you to be surprised by higher prices. So, we chose to give a broader range than some other sources. But don’t worry—we are going to give you some advice to help you to qualify for one of the less expensive policies if possible.
What Factors Impact the Cost of Semi-Truck Insurance?
Okay, so now you know how your status as an owner-operator can influence what you will pay for trucking insurance to the tune of thousands of dollars per truck. But what are the other factors that impact where you end up within the average cost ranges—or outside of them?
How many years you have been operating, and what your track record has been over that span of time. As with any other form of auto insurance, a clean record with few claims over a long time period can lead to better rates. A short record or one tarnished by a lot of claims will result in you having to pay more to insure your trucks and drivers.
The vehicles themselves can impact insurance costs. The types of trucks as well as how old they are may raise or lower the price to insure them. Newer, more valuable trucks will cost more to insure than those that are older and would not fetch as high a price.
If you have a high credit score and a strong credit history, you may qualify for lower insurance rates than you would otherwise.
The payment plan you pick may impact your costs. The more you are willing to pay upfront at a time, the cheaper your rates may be.
The routes that your drivers travel along can influence what it costs to buy semi truck insurance. Longer, more intensive routes are going to result in higher prices than shorter, less strenuous runs.
The cargo you haul can influence how much you pay to insure your trucks.
Specific details regarding your drivers will impact their insurance costs as well. How old the driver is and how many years of CDL experience they have are factors that insurance companies will consider when making a decision.
Some semi-truck insurance companies have higher or lower rates in general than others. One company may offer you a more competitive quote than another, even with all other factors being equal. That is why you should request multiple quotes and not just go with the first insurance company you stumble across.
Earlier, we talked about some of the specific types of insurance coverage you can get for semi-trucks. But we didn’t mention that there are some additional types of insurance you may only need to purchase if you are hauling specific types of freight.
For example, if you are hauling hazardous materials, you will need to purchase hazmat insurance. This is appropriate for hauling fuel, chemicals, fertilizers, and so forth. These materials are riskier to carry than non-hazardous materials. For that reason, insurance companies need you to pay a bit more.
Another type of cargo that requires additional coverage is livestock. Animals can sometimes pose a hazard because they are unpredictable. They may also face hazards along the way that other types of cargo would not, so insuring them makes sense.
Tips for Saving Money on Semi Truck Insurance
Think for a moment about how many trucks are in your fleet. Now consider the difference of thousands of dollars per truck you may find between one policy and the next.
Multiply that difference across your entire fleet, and you will realize just how vital it is to shop around for affordable semi-truck insurance.
It can make a massive difference in your profit margin.
Reading the list of factors above, you may already have a pretty good idea what you need to do if you want to bring down your semi truck insurance rates. Either way, let’s go over some recommendations now.
Establish a history. As a new owner-operator, your costs for insurance are going to be high. But as you establish your record, they can drop significantly. The thing to keep in mind is that in order to establish a safe track record for your business, you need safe and reliable drivers. So, the hiring decisions you make are going to impact the rates you pay over time.
Commit to ongoing training and support for your drivers. You do not have to leave it up to chance and good hiring alone to determine your drivers’ records—you can be proactive in helping them to drive safely. If you have the resources for it, consider offering ongoing paid training. Many drivers will probably appreciate this, and over time it may help you reduce your rates or keep them low.
Get on a yearly payment plan. If you pay for your insurance every month, it is going to cost you more than if you are willing to pay more upfront. You may be able to save up to 20% if you are able to pay for a year at a time.
Raise your deductible. The size of your deductible will also have an impact on trucker insurance costs. If you have a small deductible, you will be paying higher premiums. But if you have a large deductible, you will be paying smaller monthly costs for semi truck insurance. So, if you think you will be okay with a higher deductible, you can raise it, which should in turn reduce what you have to pay each month. You might think about doing this if you feel pretty confident in your drivers.
Find out if there are any discounts available to you. Your insurance company may automatically apply discounts as you reach the thresholds where you qualify for them. But sometimes companies don’t do this, or forget, and you have to contact them and ask about discounts. So, you may as well ask if you haven’t yet. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Regularly check for new deals on truck insurance. Do not “set and forget” with your semi truck insurance. While something may have been the best deal available to you at the time you applied for it, that might not be the case a few years down the road. You might find that a different policy now is more affordable, or even a different insurance provider altogether.
Get Quotes for Semi Truck Insurance Now
You now have had a chance to learn what the average rates for different types of semi-truck insurance are, what types of coverage are available, and what factors can influence costs. You also have discovered some of what you can do to keep your costs as affordable as possible.
Now it is time to find the best truck driver insurance costs you can. To save you time and money, we have made it easy for you to receive quotes from multiple insurance companies.