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Transport Safely With the Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies

Whether you’re a independent owner or a fleet manager, these providers offer insurance solutions to meet your coverage needs

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BYRyan Tronier/ LAST UPDATED ON May 16, 2022
Transport Safely With the Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies

Trucking companies, for-hire drivers, and private carriers have different insurance needs, which is why the best commercial truck insurance companies offer a blend of flexible and affordable protections to create a policy customized for your business. In many ways, commercial truck coverage is similar to commercial automobile coverage, except that trucking professionals require higher policy limits to cover their valuable cargo and more expensive vehicles. You’ll also find insurance specifically designed for commercial trucking, including motor truck cargo, motor truck liability, and non-truck liability — policies to protect every mile of your journey.

With federal guidelines for cargo and state regulations governing vehicle coverage, finding the right provider to insure your truck can be complicated. With this guide to the best commercial truck insurance companies, you'll find a policy that will keep you focused on the road.

This article may include references to products or services where The Drive has an affiliate relationship with the providing company. The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

Best Commercial Truck Insurance Providers

Best Overall: Progressive

Best for Owner Operators and Single Trucks: OOIDA

Best for Motor Carriers and Fleets: The Hartford

Best for Industry Knowledge: Sentry

Best for Customer Service: State Farm

Best Value: CoverWallet

Best Overall: Progressive

Pros

  • Savings with multiple discounts
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Online quotes available

Cons

  • Not for businesses with more than 20 vehicles 
  • Not all discounts available in all states

Summary

Businesses and independent owner operators might find what they’re looking for with this insurance underwriter’s proven track record. Not only does Progressive offer award-winning performance, but it also extends numerous opportunities to lower your premiums with discounts and telemetric programs. Fleet managers may need to look elsewhere, however, since Progressive limits its multi-line policies to 20 commercial vehicles. 

Progressive is the largest commercial auto insurer in the nation, servicing more than 15 percent of the market, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This large footprint allows Progressive to insure a variety of commercial trucks in all 50 states with a selection of policies, including general liability, comprehensive, collision, motor truck cargo, trailer interchange, and non-trucking liability, to name a few. Progressive rewards safe driving and experience by discounting the premiums of those who have been in business for three or more years and those who have held a commercial driver’s license for more than two years. Drivers can also save money when they pay their entire premium in full, enroll in EFT payments, and insure their personal vehicles with Progressive.

The provider’s Smart Haul program promises to save eligible truckers even more money when they use an electronic logging device to track driving data. Fleet managers also have a chance to reduce their premiums by up to 5 percent when deploying Progressive’s Snapshot ProView, which, like Smart Haul, monitors driving data but for an entire fleet of company vehicles. Progressive enjoys top marks for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, and it has few complaints, according to the NAIC.   

Best for Owner Operators and Single Trucks: OOIDA

Pros

  • Advocacy for independent truckers
  • Competitive premiums

Cons

  • Membership fee of $45
  • Quotes unavailable online

Summary

Both owner operators with authority and leased owner operators have a lot to like about OOIDA. Its coverage is designed with independent owners in mind, and OOIDA’s pricing also reflects this commitment to the little guy. This provider might not be ideal for large-scale private carriers and motor carriers. 

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) specializes in commercial truck insurance for independent operators and small businesses. Originally founded in 1973 as an advocacy group, OOIDA continues to represent the needs of its members with federal and state legislature. Keep in mind that you’ll need to become an official member to purchase a policy, and dues are $45 per year, but OOIDA membership has its perks. Subscribers can take advantage of a host of rebates and discounts on fuel, tires, mechanical repairs, legal representation, weigh station pre-passes, and more.

Standard coverage usually includes primary and general liability, physical damage, motor truck cargo, and passenger accident. OOIDA also offers other types of insurance to its members, including term life, disability, and dental and vision. OOIDA reports having more than 150,000 registered members, and the NAIC reports less than five complaints between 2019 and 2021.

Best for Motor Carriers and Fleets: The Hartford

Pros

  • Specialized for fleets
  • Driver-safety program
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • Limited coverage options for single vehicles
  • Quotes not available online
  • Limited information on website

Summary

Fleet managers and multi-vehicle businesses may find a lot of value with an underwriter that specializes in commercial coverage for mid- to large-sized fleets. But independent owner-operators and single-vehicle carriers may have better luck with another company. That’s because The Hartford’s area of specialization is multi-line policies for five or more vehicles. 

Although The Hartford was established in 1810, this provider has kept up with the times. Not only has it helped businesses scale their services with loss-prevention engineering, The Hartford’s risk management team is well regarded for using technology and driver data to reduce employee accidents. The Hartford’s FleetAhead program helps managers promote employee safety and reduce claims losses by providing real-time insights from telematic devices. Both policyholder and provider can monitor driver behavior to identify risks and suggest safer strategies before problems arise.

It also includes a number of complementary protections at no additional cost, including gap coverage for leased and loaned vehicles, electronic device insurance, and up to $2,500 to replace a total loss vehicle with a hybrid, electric, or natural gas vehicle. The Better Business Bureau gives The Hartford an A+ rating, and it ranks well in J.D. Power’s latest customer satisfaction survey.

Best for Industry Knowledge: Sentry

Pros

  • In-house claims adjusters
  • Optional cyber-theft coverage
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • Few policy discounts available
  • Limited information on websites
  • Quotes unavailable online

Summary

  • Those who want expertise when it matters most — after an accident or when filing a claim — might find the authority they’re looking for with Sentry. Whether you’re managing a fleet of trucks or your own single-vehicle enterprise, Sentry offers flexible coverage for businesses of all sizes.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, then you know how frustrating the claims process can be. Rather than arguing with insurance providers over policy payouts, many prefer to work with an insurer that understands the pain points for trucking professionals. Sentry doesn’t outsource its claims process to a third party. Your claims will be handled by an experienced, in-house claims team dedicated to the needs of those in the trucking industry. Similarly, Sentry promises your agent will also specialize in trucking insurance. It only works with a select pool of insurance agents with a demonstrated background in commercial truck coverage.

It’s this type of insider knowledge that is recognized by the American Trucking Association and other industry groups. Furthermore, both the Better Business Bureau and AM Best have awarded this underwriter an A+ rating. Sentry provides the customary coverage one expects to see, including commercial auto liability, physical damage, motor truck cargo, and non-trucking liability insurance. But it also provides one unique option. Sentry’s cyber liability insurance protects your company data against hackers, and it will pay upwards of $50,000 in the aftermath of a data breach. It's a piece of mind in an era of aggressive cyber crime.

Best for Customer Service: State Farm

Pros

  • Nationwide network
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • Limited information on websites
  • Quotes not available online

Summary

Professionals who prioritize in-person customer service over online account management should take a look at State Farm. With access to a nationwide network of some 19,000 agents, clients come to this carrier for a personal touch.

Policyholders who value personal interaction might find State Farm is just what they’re looking for. This provider offers an extensive network of agents across the U.S., and filing a claim is just a phone call away. This traditional level of service may also be a drawback to those who want quick, easy online access without the hassle of dealing with an insurance agent. It comes down to individual and business preferences. Still, State Farm is committed to customer safety, and it offers tools and services to help businesses reduce losses. Its Simple Insights program draws on State Farm’s 100 years of experience to coach both fleets and owner-operators in risk-reduction strategies. Similarly, it works with the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) to provide road safety resources and member-only benefits to policyholders and their employees.

Since State Farm is a service-forward company, you’ll need to contact an agent directly for a quote or details about its commercial truck insurance. Coverage is available in all 50 states, which means you’ll have a local agent easily within reach. Not only does State Farm hold an A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau, but it also boasts the highest rating possible with AM Best, an A++. 

Best Value: CoverWallet

Pros

  • Compare prices from multiple underwriters
  • Coverage available for those with bad credit and bad driving records
  • Quotes available online

Cons

  • Not an actual insurance underwriters
  • May charge a broker fee in some situations
  • No brick-and-mortar locations

Summary

Most will find quality, competitively priced commercial insurance to fit any budget. Yet, if you prefer the personal touch of an agent, this online-only broker might not be your best option.

While CoverWallet is an insurance marketplace, rather than a provider, this platform may fetch your best price on commercial truck insurance by pulling quotes from multiple underwriters. It’s a one-stop shop that allows you to compare numerous price points and ensure you’re getting the coverage you need at the price you want.  Though the cost of your policy will vary, plans on CoverWallet start at $125 for basic cargo coverage. Standard policies for vehicles begin at $500 for non-trucking liability, physical damage, and primary liability. You can also find just about any other type of commercial truck insurance, too, such as bobtail, hired and non-owned auto, generally liability, trailer interchange, and more. CoverWallet can also help find policies for drivers with bad credit and bad driving records.

You can easily pull quotes in minutes, but you’ll want to have your documentation handy to complete the application (driver’s license, VIB, and DOT). Keep in mind that while you’ll purchase coverage through CoverWallet, your policy will be underwritten by a licensed commercial provider. As such, if you have specific questions about coverage or pricing, then you’ll need to follow up with individual providers directly. It’s like Expedia or Orbitz, but for commercial truck insurance. CoverWallet has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and it only works with insurance providers that hold an AM Best ranking of A or better. 

Average Cost of Commercial Truck Insurance

The average cost of commercial truck insurance, according to Progressive, ranges between $642 to $982 per month —  about $7,000 to $12,000 annually — depending on the type of truck and whether the owner operator is leased or private. 

Generally, if the owner operator is leased to a motor carrier, then most of the coverage is provided by the carrier’s primary fleet insurance. This results in leased owner operators paying less for insurance out of pocket. Yet independent owner operators and private carriers will end up paying higher-than-average rates because they are solely responsible for their own commercial truck insurance needs.

How to Save on Insurance

Most industry analysts will emphasize the importance of quality commercial truck insurance, but that doesn’t mean you have to overpay for your policy. In reality, when you save a few thousand dollars on your premiums, that money can be invested into other areas of your business. Furthermore, saving money on your insurance costs doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. It simply means that you shop around, take advantage of discounts, and find a provider that offers the best coverage for your situation. 

Make Insurance Companies Compete

You can make underwriters compete for your business by shopping your commercial insurance rates around with three to five companies. Comparison shopping is a proven way to find your lowest rate. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your lowest quote to an insurance agent and asking them to beat it. 

Comparison shopping and price negotiating take a bit of extra time, but your wallet will thank you.

Raise Your Deductible

As a rule of thumb, higher deductibles result in lower monthly premiums. Raising your deductible can be an effective way to keep your insurance costs low, especially if you’re an experienced driver with a clean driving record. Although you will pay more out-of-pocket when filing a claim, you can apply the money saved on your lower premiums to cover this expense.

Reduce Your Policy Limits

Similar to the relationship between your deductible and premium, higher policy limits result in higher monthly costs. While it’s not recommended to carry less coverage than you need, it’s also a waste of money to over insure your rig. By lowering your policy limits to match the value of your vehicle and cargo, you can better align your coverage with your budget.

Look for Discounts

Discounts are price reductions that insurance companies offer to encourage loyalty and safe driving habits. Though the amount of savings and eligibility will vary by carrier, here are common discounts to look out for and which ones we’d recommend. 

  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Discount: Commercial truck drivers who’ve held a CDL for between two and three years might discount their liability coverage
  • Business Experience Discount: Owner-operators who've been driving professionally (usually between three and four years) save on their premiums
  • Pay In-Full Discount: Policyholders can reduce their premium when paying their entire policy upfront rather than splitting it into monthly payments
  • Prior Insurance Discount: Many providers offer loyal customers additional savings when renewing their policies or when they’ve held one for 12 months or more

Essential Cost Variables for Insurance

As with everything, there are a host of variables that will affect the cost of your insurance. 

Driving History

As with personal auto insurance policies, providers will use driving history to establish a policyholder’s risk. But because the value of a commercial truck and its cargo is so much higher than a residential automobile, moving violations and traffic accidents can have a more dramatic influence on the cost of premiums.

Cargo

In addition to cargo value, its weight will also impact pricing. Heavier cargo is potentially more dangerous in an accident and will cost more to insure. Other types of cargo — livestock or flammable or explosive chemicals — are not typically covered under standard commercial policies. In these cases, additional costs are required to purchase separate policies.

Location and Operating Radius

Though there are some federal guidelines around commercial truck insurance, for the most part, each state establishes its own requirements. Thus, the state in which an owner operator or motor carrier resides will have an effect on insurance costs.

Moreover, a trucker’s operating radius also impacts prices. Long-haul truckers who travel nationwide or across regions will pay more than delivery drivers who only venture to several ZIP codes.

Vehicle Storage

How truckers choose to park or store their rigs also affects policy costs. Underwriters will often charge lower rates to those who park their cars in garages or other secured areas, rather than a residential street or otherwise publicly-accessible area.

Age, Weight, and Type of Truck

Insurance carriers examine a commercial truck through multiple lenses to determine not only its accident risk, but also how expensive it is to repair and replace. Older vehicles can be cheaper to insure, while heavier trucks are more expensive.

Type of Coverage

As with any type of insurance, the more coverage a policyholder carries, the higher the costs will be. In most cases, state regulations determine how a trucker insures their vehicles, but federal rules govern coverage to cargo.

Guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), require commercial trucks to carry minimum insurance coverage amounts consistent with the type of cargo being hauled. Thankfully, most providers reflect these federal minimums in their policy limits. You should be able to purchase an off-the-shelf policy for your truck that already accounts for cargo guidelines. Here are some of the more standard types of commercial truck coverages:

  • Motor Truck Cargo Insurance: Covers non-hazardous freight and commodity for cargo during transit, loading, and unloading. Generally, only for-hire truckers who drive box trucks, car haulers, dump trucks, flatbeds, semis, tractors and trailers are eligible this type of coverage
  • Motor Truck General Liability Insurance: Provides both motor carriers and for-hire truckers with coverage for advertising injury liability, bodily injury, medical payments, personal injury, property damage liability, product and completed operations, and damage to leased properties
  • Non-Trucking Liability Insurance: Covers damages to trucks when used for non-business purposes on days off
  • Bobtail Insurance: Covers damages to tractors operated without trailers
  • Trailer Interchange: Covers damages to leased or otherwise non-owned trailers

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. What is commercial truck insurance?

A. Commercial truck insurance is coverage that protects a for-hire operator and their cargo. Professionals who drive trucks for business purposes need commercial insurance to legally operate their vehicles. Commercial providers offer a selection of policies designed for a variety of trucks, industries, and haulage. As an example, an interstate trucker who transports non-hazardous cargo will need different protections than a box-truck driver delivering furniture. 

Q. How does commercial truck insurance work?

A. Commercial truck insurance is similar to commercial auto insurance, except that it’s specifically designed to protect truck drivers and their cargo, both of which are usually more expensive to insure than commercial cars and vans. Businesses and private owners purchase truck insurance to cover both their vehicles and drivers listed on their policies.

Q. How much commercial truck coverage do I need?

A. Commercial trucks are required to carry minimum insurance coverage consistent with the guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. States, companies, industries, and specific cargo may all require additional minimums.

Q. What are truck filings?

A. Government regulators require commercial truck filings to prove that motor carriers and some owner operators have sufficient liability insurance to meet federal and state minimums. It’s generally recommended to purchase coverage from an insurer that provides documentation and may even file on your behalf.
Private carriers and leased owner operators are typically exempt from filing, but all other for-hire truckers need to submit a federal filing. However, each state has its own requirements for commercial filing. So be sure to speak with your insurance agent about your state’s regulations.

Our Methodology

To choose the best companies and products for this list, I looked at a large number of financial products from various providers. I focused on cost, product features and options, ease of use, customer service, and past customer ratings as the most important factors in our ratings.

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