How to Purchase the Best Semi Truck Insurance
TLTR: Semi-truck insurance is mandatory in almost all 50 states in the country. It’s tempting to purchase the minimum requirements and be done with it. But is it worth it? Let’s talk about why choosing the right insurance is more than just choosing coverage options.
At Agency Height, we believe that insurance is very personal—yes, even commercial auto insurance for semi-trucks. If you’re careful about what health insurance and dental insurance you purchase, why not take the time to curate your commercial truck insurance? Your trucking business is your bread and butter. Don’t let one nasty collision bankrupt you.
An insurance company offers personalized policies to businesses and individuals alike, but most times, the documents are laden with insurance jargon that you can’t make heads or tails of. You might find purchasing insurance to be confusing and scary.
If it’s your first time purchasing semi-truck insurance, then you most definitely need an agent to help you out. Of course, you can request insurance policies from companies on your own, but do you have the time to compare multiple quotes yourself? Even if you have purchased policies in the past and decide to stick with your provider, are you sure you’re not overpaying for your coverage?
Insurance agents work night and day to bring competitive, easy-to-read, and affordable insurance to you. Let’s talk about the many ways that insurance agents can help you find the right semi-truck insurance.
In this blog
What is Semi-Truck Insurance?
Insurance providers designed semi-truck insurance to protect truck drivers against various liabilities while driving or storing them. Much like tow truck insurance or box truck insurance, the policy covers liability, property damage, collision, and comprehensive liability.
Of course, in most states, liability insurance is essential, with the rest being optional. However, we recommend you talk to an agent to get the proper coverage for your company. Here are some types of coverage offered by semi-truck insurance:
Primary Liability Coverage
Primary liability insurance covers any third-party damage that occurs when you’re driving—the average coverage limit for primary liability. For instance, you damage someone’s car while driving out of a parking lot, and their vehicle needs repairs. Your semi-truck insurance will pay those expenses on your behalf. The usual limit for primary limit is $7,000.
Physical Damage Coverage
It covers damage to your truck in case of collision, theft, vandalism, accidental fires, natural calamities, and more. The limit for physical damage coverage is $3,000.
Medical Expenses Coverage
Regardless of who caused an accident, you and your passengers will need medical attention. Your passengers will rely on you and your insurance to cover their medical bills.
General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance is usually essential for all companies in the United States. It will cover not only your truck but also your business. You may pay around $1,000 yearly for general liability insurance.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Sometimes, the usual coverage limit amount for your trucking business may not be enough. For instance, your truck driver runs into a number of vehicles in a parking lot. Your primary liability insurance may only cover a fraction of the repairs. Commercial umbrella insurance, if you’ve purchased it, will cover the rest of the expenses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
It’s not unusual to get into an accident with someone who turns out to be uninsured. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in case of a collision with such drivers. Uninsured motorist property damage will pay for your truck’s repairs. Similarly, uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance will cover any medical expenses that the third party requires as a result of an accident with you.
Insurance policies may not cover your truck isn’t at work or hauling any load. Bobtail insurance will cover you when you’re traveling between jobs.
Why Do You Need Insurance Agents to Purchase Semi-Truck Insurance?
Semi-trucks are heavy machinery with lots of liabilities tied to them. If you’re driving one, you’ve also purchased some amount of insurance on it. Without an insurance agent, many important fine print items may go over your head, or you may lose out on discounts. Here are some reasons why you must get an insurance agent to help you purchase semi-truck insurance...
Right Amount of Semi-Truck Insurance Coverage
When you purchase insurance on your own, you’re likely to be overwhelmed by way more information than you’d like. It can be hard to navigate those muddy waters. And you may not be sure how much coverage is enough for you.
An insurance agent usually fields multiple trucking business insurance queries in a day. They have insider knowledge about which businesses require what coverage. An agent can help you buy the right policy without skimping on coverage options or coverage limits.
Semi-Truck Insurance Fine Print
Did you know that every year your insurance provider can increase the price of your insurance? It means that you’re paying extra for your loyalty! There are so many fine print loopholes in your policy that could be robbing you in broad daylight. Insurance agents are aware of these issues, and they want to help you.
Moreover, there are different insurance terms and coverage options that might seem alien to you. Insurance agents know these terms inside-out and can help you understand them better.
Affordable Semi-Truck Insurance Quotes
Independent insurance agents work with many insurance providers to bring you multiple quotes. If you were to purchase semi-truck insurance alone, you could be wasting hours daily requesting policies and comparing them.
But insurance agents can request quotes on your behalf and compare them so you can easily purchase one that works for you. They can also help you get the best quotes at the most affordable rates.
Semi-Truck Insurance Bundling
Insurance providers will offer exclusive discounts if you purchase multiple policies from them. Allow an insurance agent to curate the perfect bundle for you so it can protect you, your trucks, and your trucking business all at once.
For example, you may purchase primary liability insurance on your own. Of course, it’s an important coverage. However, it won’t cover damage to your truck. An insurance agent will bring you general liability insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and more.
Collision coverage will pay out in case of collision, regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive coverage will cover any damages other than instances of collision, such as theft, fire, and more.
Local Semi-Truck Insurance Agents
Insurance agents are usually from your local area, which means that they’re experienced in the insurance market in your state. They’re able to understand your vulnerabilities better and bring you the right policies.
Furthermore, they’re available to you at any time, whether for purchasing insurance or for after-sales services. You can ask for help when you have issues, need to file a claim, or want to make changes to your policy.
Industry Secrets to Lowering Your Semi-Truck Insurance Costs
According to TBS Factoring Service, LLC, a new high-end semi-truck costs about $200,000, while a used one will cost around $180,000. Repairs and maintenance costs could add a few thousand dollars more to your expenses. If you want to add to your fleet, you could spend at least a million dollars on trucks alone.
Fit Small Business claims that owner-operators usually pay between $8,000 and $12,500 per year for insurance. International Used Trucks reports that the insurance for a used semi-truck costs about $9,000 to $15,000 per truck.
Of course, your insurance agent can help you get discounts, but most insurance providers will only allow a small percentage off. Some agencies, like Renegade Insurance, offer up to 20% off for all commercial truck insurance policies. However, there are some things you can do to lower your prices.
Experienced Drivers for Your Semi-Truck
Many factors affect your semi-truck insurance policy, one of them being your drivers. Insurance providers love low-risk clients, and they consider responsible, experienced drivers to be low-risk.
If you are the one driving your truck, make sure you’ve been a responsible driver for the past few years. If you employ drivers, make sure they have a valid driver’s license and are responsible drivers.
Pay Your Semi-Truck Insurance Premium on Time
Your company could be under the weather sometimes, with little money to invest in insurance. However, one missed premium can result in your coverage being canceled. Some providers may also raise your rates if not drop you.
If possible, agree on paying higher deductibles as well. A deductible is the amount of money you pay in case of a claim before your provider pays out.
Map Out Your Fleet’s Routes
While carrying cargo, your drivers can spend many hours driving. The longer they drive, the higher their chance of getting into an accident. Insurance providers consider your business route as one of the factors for deciding on your premium. Avoid high population areas, locations with high rates of robbery, areas prone to bad weather and natural calamities, and more.
Stay in Business
Newer businesses may pay higher prices for semi-truck insurance than those who’ve been in the industry longer. Of course, during the off-season or between jobs, you may be tempted to halt or permanently close your business. However, the longer your business operates, the higher the chances that an insurance provider considers you low-risk.
Compare Multiple Semi-Truck Insurance Quotes
When you’re looking for insurance quotes, try to find more than three insurance providers. Compare their coverage limits and prices before settling for one. This way, you can find out what policies you need, how much to pay, and which companies offer the right coverage options.
Usually, national insurance providers won’t sell to individuals and will require an agent to communicate with.
Purchase Semi-Truck Insurance Online
Most providers offer exclusive discounts for paperless purchases. Moreover, purchasing insurance online saves you time and money. You can simply request a quote and receive one in less than ten minutes.
Talk to A Semi-Truck Insurance Expert
Visit your nearest insurance agency, or simply consult with your insurance agent. You could be paying more for insurance that you don’t need. For instance, you may be shelling out thousands on reefer liability insurance when you don’t have the attachment on your truck at all.
An insurance agent will investigate your situation, inspect your truck, and give you a detailed assessment of the policies you require.
Insurance agents help you find insurance, cut costs on your policies, and educate you on your policies. Moreover, insurance agents are free! They’re paid by the insurance companies on every successful sale. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by having an agent help you!
If you’re not sure where to look for agents, take a look at our insurance directory to pick a local insurance agent for yourself.
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Semi-Truck Insurance FAQs
Is commercial auto insurance the same as semi-truck insurance?
Commercial auto insurance is similar to semi-truck insurance in many ways. They both cover primary liability, property damage, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage. However, only semi-truck insurance covers bobtail coverage and motor truck cargo coverage.
Of course, you can just get auto insurance and not get into legal trouble. But you will be inviting financial calamity when an accident occurs and your insurance denies your claim.
Which companies offer semi-truck insurance policies?
Many national and regional insurance companies offer semi-truck insurance policies. Here are some of them:
- State Farm
Is semi-truck insurance necessary?
Yes! In most states, it’s illegal to drive any kind of vehicle without liability insurance. However, the limits and essential policies vary by state. Make sure to contact your insurance agent for more information.
Is semi-truck insurance tax deductible?
In the U.S., any expenses relating to vehicle operation, such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance, are tax-deductible. Talk to an insurance expert for more information.