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Owner Operator Insurance Cost — Commercial Trucking

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    Commercial Truck Insurance
    Owner Operator Insurance Cost — Commercial Trucking

    Owner operator insurance is crucial to safeguard the interests of trucking countries and shield them from the costs that occur as a result of an accident.

    According to 2018 statistics from the National Safety Council, 4,862 commercial and non-commercial large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, which is a 1% increase from 2017 and a much higher 51% increase since 2009.

    Tractor-trailer trucks are among the largest vehicles to be driven on public roads, making any accidents more severe in nature. However, the high costs of damage to property and bodily injury can be covered by trucking insurance companies with high limits.

    Types of Insurance Coverage for Commercial Trucks

    Types of Insurance Coverage for Commercial Trucks

    Depending on the type of insurance prioritized by owner-operators, there are different truck insurance options that come with specific liability features. Choosing higher deductibles or lower limits can help an operator make the most o their insurance rates by being prepared for any accidents.

    General Liability Coverage

    Operating a trucking business comes with the typical risks faced by other businesses. General liability insurance covers accidental injuries suffered by a customer or any damage to customer property, in addition to copyright infringement and libel.

    Primary Liability Coverage

    Primary liability insurance tends to include both bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance. This commercial insurance policy covers injuries and faults caused by an operator in terms of other people or property.

    Trucking Physical Damage Coverage

    Trucking physical damage coverage includes collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, or fire and theft with combined additional coverage (CAC) insurance.

    Collision insurance provides protection for an owner operator's vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, such as when a semi-truck collides with another vehicle or overturns.

    Comprehensive insurance provides protection for a semi-truck if it is damaged by something other than another vehicle or object, or if it is stolen.

    Lastly, fire and theft with CAC is similar to comprehensive insurance but doesn't cover windshield damage to the vehicle of an owner.

    Non-Trucking Liability Coverage

    Non-Trucking Liability comes in handy when an owner-operator or driver uses a vehicle for non-business purposes. If damage to a property or bodily injury happens during personal use, it is covered by insurance.

    Bobtail Insurance Coverage

    Bobtail insurance covers owner-operators if they are driving a truck under someone else's trucking liability without a trailer. It does not cover any damage to a vehicle but helps pay for legal fees and medical bills during an accident.

    Cargo Insurance Coverage

    Motor Truck Cargo insurance provides semi-truck insurance on the freight or items inside a for-hire semi-truck. It provides coverage for items that are either lost or damaged due to fire, collision, and other events.

    Top Benefits of Owner Operator Insurance

    Top Benefits of Owner Operator Insurance

    Investing in owner operator insurance can help businesses stay afloat and get the best coverage for their trucks and drivers per year. Commercial insurance typically comes with higher costs compared to non-commercial insurance but also has much higher policy limits.

    It provides total coverage

    For a business owner, being covered by common instances like theft and fire or poorly paved roads can help make sure that they save money in the long run instead of having to pay out of pocket costs.

    It helps protect drivers

    Drivers are one of the most important parts of motor carriers, so protecting them in the event of an accident with a semi-truck can help cover expensive medical bills and vehicle damage.

    It can protect a business' image

    In the event of a collision or accident, having an insurance policy in place can make a motor carrier appear more reputable to those involved compared to a company that lacks coverage.

    Possible Issues Covered By Owner Operator Insurance

    The Department of Transportation states that having liability insurance is crucial for commercial trucks to operate under an owner-operator. 

    In commercial truck accidents, both the trucking company and the truck driver may be found liable by a local authority, which is why having owner operator insurance can come in handy.

    • If a trucker is at fault, pedestrians and motorists involved in an accident will get medical, death, and other benefits
    • Liability coverage takes care of the wrong delivery of goods, damaged goods, or accidents during loading and unloading

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that require that inter-state owner-operators should be covered with cargo insurance. Most shippers will not want to do business with owner-operators without this.

    In addition, physical damage insurance can take care of any business disruptions by paying for repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, helping drivers get back on the road.

    Examples of Reputable Insurance Providers

    For the best semi-truck insurance, companies should make sure to look at a range of insurance coverages and insurance quotes to get the best quote on a per-year basis. Factors such as cost, minimum premiums, discounts, additional services, and a substantial length of operation can help businesses find the best insurance company to suit their needs.

    1. Progressive Commercial

    Progressive Commercial offers extensive coverage to small businesses, owner-operators, and motor carriers, making it one of the best commercial trucking insurance companies. Their major strengths include positive customer reviews, many discounts, and easy online application. However, they don't currently offer online chat assistance.

    2.EIB Direct

    EIB Direct, or Evolution Insurance Brokers, specializes in trucking insurance including trucks and fleets. They offer specialized policies for those who may have legal issues or hazardous cargo, but this can be a bit more expensive than traditional policies.


    For those who are new to the truck insurance industry, Nationwide's intuitive online quote tool offers customizable and pre-packaged quotes. They also have multiple-policy discounts and a learning center to address any issues.

    4.Strong Tie Insurance

    With 20 years of experience, Strong Tie Insurance specializes in commercial truck insurance quotes in California, including non-trucking liability insurance, trucking general liability, commercial truck physical damage, and more. They offer affordable packages for smaller companies that are just starting out.

    5.Farmers Insurance

    Farmers Insurance is a well-established firm that has many positive customer ratings and offers nationwide coverage along with 24/7 claims reporting. However, some customers report relatively high premium rates when it comes to truck insurance.


    Esurance has a user-friendly website and digital tools, offering lots of discounts for auto insurance. However, they only accept electronic payments, which excludes other forms of payment such as checks or cash at a local post office. They also charge monthly transaction fees if you do not pay in full, which can be a dealbreaker for some owner-operators.

    Before choosing an insurance company and settling on a quote, it is best to shop around for different options and look for the policy that provides the most comprehensive amount of coverage. Semi-truck insurance can vary greatly in price and quality, so owner-operators need to be wary when they get primary liability insurance and other essential types of insurance.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I need owner operator insurance?

    Those who work under their authority need to purchase commercial truck insurance coverage that covers both body injury liability and property damage coverages to start with. Other insurance coverages can also further supplement these to protect drivers and vehicles, improving a business' bottom line.

    How much does owner operator insurance cost on average?

    Insurance can be a rather hefty business cost for owner-operators, typically costing anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000 on a yearly basis. To reduce this figure, having drivers with clean driving records will make competitive premiums more likely.

    How much will owner operator insurance cost me?

    While owner operator truck insurance can vary from business to business, there are various factors that can raise or lower this price. Coverage needs, driving history, operating radius, type of cargo, and location can all have a significant impact on the total cost.

    How does owner operator truck insurance different from regular liability coverage?

    Owner operator truck insurance is typically more comprehensive in range compared to regular liability insurance coverages.

    This includes bodily injury liability and property damage coverages, physical damages for a truck if it is damaged in an accident, motor truck cargo coverage for loss or damage to a load, and commercial truck general liability for damage related to business activities that do not involve a truck.

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    Additional Resources

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - Company Safety Records

    The FMCSA provides users with access to safety-related information, requiring a company's name, USDOT number, or Motor Carrier (MC) Number to perform a search.

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - Frequently Asked Questions

    The FAQ section of the FMCSA addresses common questions to do with carrier and vehicle safety, laws and regulations, registration, and licensing and insurance.

    The Importance of Owner Operator Truck Insurance

    An owner-operator may need to add additional types of insurance to their standard plan to fully protect themselves and their business. If an accident occurs, they might be held fully responsible and have to shoulder legal fees, medical bills, and other damages on their own.

    While it may appear to be a significant and costly business expense at first, lacking the right kinds of coverage might be extremely costly in the long run. Businesses need to learn that having an insurance policy in place can give them peace of mind in the future.

    When they compare a quote with another quote, it is best to check whether each policy gives them the types of coverage they need given their local regulations, fleet size, load type, and more. In addition, one company might appear to have a more competitive rate at first but have poor customer service that can cause a delay in processing claims.

    For more information on the type of insurance that companies should purchase as a motor carrier or owner operator, feel free to check out detailed quote comparisons on Assured Standard.

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