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    Semi Truck Insurance: Costs, Coverages, and Requirements

    Semi-truck insurance provides coverage against legal issues and financial costs related to injuries and damages if a truck driver is at-fault in an accident. While it is simply a blanket term for a collection of different policies, semi-truck insurance costs average between $2,000 to $18,000 a year for owner-operators. 

    To fully understand the value of semi-truck insurance and how it works, it’s important to understand the filing requirements, factors that can raise or lower its cost, as well as the top companies that offer this type of insurance in your area. 

    What Semi-Truck Insurance Covers

    Insurance on semi-truck is made up of two main types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. This is usually covered by basic semi-truck insurance costs. 

    Typically, bodily injury liability covers the legal settlement fees and medical costs for third parties in an accident. Since both medical bills and legal fees can rack up quickly, it’s a good idea to have high coverage limits to account for this.

    On the other hand, property damage liability covers the cost of damage related to third-party property such as another vehicle, fences, signs, and other items that may be damaged in a truck accident. 

    However, other types of coverage can be added for further protection, such as cargo insurance, physical damage insurance, and bobtail liability coverage. Depending on your needs, it may be a wise idea to invest in these as well. 

    How Semi-Truck Insurance Works

    Running a commercial trucking business or fleet takes a lot of work — and if you are an owner-operator, you will understand that one of the first things you need to do is secure trucking insurance. One specialized type of insurance that you should look into is semi commercial trucking insurance. 

    So how does semi commercial trucking insurance work? Semi-trucks are tractors that can be considered a combination of trucks and semi-trailers. They are usually used for hauling freights for commercial purposes. 

    If you are an owner-operator leasing to a motor carrier, you may have likely obtained coverage through the liability insurance of the trucking company. However, this usually takes into effect when you are on dispatch. You will be offered protection from liabilities should there be any third-party property damage or injuries. 

    Other types of policies you should look into related to semi commercial trucking insurance include general liability insurance — which is a mandatory type of coverage should an accident occur and damage another person’s property. Primary liability will keep your fleet protected in the event of a third-party injury. 

    There is also non-trucking liability insurance, which makes sure that you are still protected if you are driving your work vehicle for non-business purposes. Physical damage insurance can protect you from potential damages or losses that occur from an accident. This is beneficial for owner-operators and motor carriers. 

    To add to physical damage insurance, you may also get equipment coverage for your business’ other materials.

    If you are under lease to a motor carrier, you will likely pay a lot less for your commercial trucking insurance. If you are under your own authority, the amount you will have to pay is far more expensive.

    Average Cost of Semi-Truck Insurance Policies

    How much is semi-truck insurance? This can be a complicated question to answer since the average semi-truck insurance cost per month can change based on a number of factors, such as driving records, location, size of your fleet, and the insurance company you choose to work with. 

    Generally, the monthly costs of semi-truck insurance range between $700 to $1000. 

    For other types of policies, the average annual cost is as follows: 

    Type of PolicyAverage Cost per Year
    General Liability$750 to $7000
    Non-Trucking Liability$450 to $5000 
    Physical Damage2.5% to 5% of truck value 
    Motor Truck Cargo$500 to $1000 
    Bobtail Liability $350 to $450

    Factors That Affect Semi-Truck Insurance Costs

    If you’re thinking of getting insurance on semi-truck vehicles, keep in mind that semi-truck insurance costs can vary based on various factors. 

    • Driving History: Drivers with a number of legal violations like speeding tickets and driving under the influence can lead to higher semi-insurance costs. Because of this, it is a good idea to hire drivers with plenty of experience and a history of good behavior. 
    • Years of Operation: If your company is relatively new, insurance companies are more likely to view this as a risk compared to more established businesses, thus raising your semi-insurance premiums. 
    • Type of Cargo: If you are transporting extremely valuable hazardous goods, you are more likely to be charged higher truck insurance fees compared to those transporting lower-risk products. 
    • Safety of Trucks: Insurance companies are more likely to want to work with companies that have well-maintained trucks that have safety features to prevent accidents. Poorly maintained trucks can lead to higher insurance fees. 

    To save money on truck insurance, you can potentially do so by implementing safety policies, hiring drivers with a good driving record, and conducting pre-trip vehicle inspections. Take note as well that insurance for small semi-truck companies is higher.

    Importance of Semi-Truck Insurance

    When you look at how much semi-truck insurance costs compared to its benefits, you can easily see why investing in semi-insurance in the first place can provide you with greater peace of mind down the line. 

    Without semi-truck insurance, you’ll end up having to pay any legal fees, medical fees, and repair fees out of your own pocket. Natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and accidents can occur when you least expect them, especially for new trucking businesses. Over time, these costs can quickly add up and negatively impact your business.

    Finally, having semi-truck insurance can help your business uphold its reputation and reassure your clients that their cargo will be as protected as possible. 

    Semi-Truck Insurance Requirements

    To check how much semi-truck insurance is for your specific situation, you can consult the FMCSA requirements. You will need to have specific coverage limits depending on the type of cargo you transport and register for these before FMCSA will authorize your ability to operate as a motor carrier or freight forwarder.

    Insurance for semi-truck owners should include public liability insurance (bodily injury/property damage/environmental restoration) with coverage limits between a minimum of $750,000 up to $5,000,000, depending on the commodities transported.  

    You should also purchase at least $300,000 worth of coverage if you are transporting from-hazardous freight in vehicles weighing under 10,001 lbs.

    In addition, cargo insurance should be equal or greater to $5,000 per vehicle or $10,000 per occurrence if you operate as either a Household Goods Motor Carrier or a Household Goods Freight Forwarder. 

    Filing Requirements for Semi-Truck Insurance

    Before you find out how much insurance is for a semi-truck, you will need to figure out the semi-truck insurance requirements and process for filing. 

    Applicants contact their agents to request filing of the required forms as soon as possible after obtaining their designated docket number. These filings must be received within 90 days after the FMCSA has published public notice of intention to register the applicant through the FMCSA Register.

    Insurers that wish to file insurance forms online including BMC-91,91X, 34, and 84 will need to sign up for an account with the FMCSA via mc-ecc.comments@dot.gov

    As per the FMCSA website, requirements for signing up include: 

    • Letter on the insurance company’s letterhead requesting a filer account
    • Whether you will be filing BIPD, Cargo, Surety Bond, or Trust Fund coverage
    • Home office address of the insurance company
    • Billing address, if that address is different from the home office address
    • Name of a contact person with that insurance company
    • Contact person’s telephone and fax numbers
    • Billing contact person’s telephone and fax number if it is different than the home office contact person
    • E-mail address of the contact person if available
    • Preferred user name for the account (if any)
    • Copy of the insurance company’s state license
    • Subject line: "Insurance Filer Account Request"

    Best Insurers for Semi-Truck Insurance in 2022

    To reduce your average semi-truck insurance cost per month, it pays off to work with reputable companies that process claims more efficiently and respond to customer issues and complaints in a timely manner. 

    The best insurers that offer semi-truck insurance include:  

    • The Hartford - Unlike other insurance companies, The Hartford provides insurance for semi-truck owners in all 50 states. However, they don’t provide online quotes so you have to call them to speak to a representative. They mainly provide coverage for fleet owners but can cover single vehicles as well. 
    • Progressive - Progressive provides limited pricing information on their website, which is why it may be best to contact them to get an idea of how much semi-truck insurance will cost. They are the largest auto insurer on the market and offer plenty of discounts for companies with a good history of doing business. 
    • State Farm - Known for their high quality of customer service, State Farm is another reliable choice. They cover both individual trucks and fleets and are known to have strong financial ratings. 
    • CoverWallet - CoverWallet partners with different insurance companies to provide customized quotes. They offer convenient management of claims online and they can provide several quotes to give you the most competitively priced option. 
    • Sentry - For business owners who own a single truck, Sentry provides highly personalized service. It is a smaller company, and they process claims with their own claims adjusters instead of using a third-party provider. 
    • OOIDA - OOIDA offers highly competitive rates for truck owners even though their website may look a little more dated compared to their competitors. It is membership-based and provides discounts to plenty of manufacturers and providers. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you still have questions like how much is insurance on a semi-truck or how much is truck insurance, this section can help shed some light on the most common issues related to semi-truck insurance. 

    How much does semi-truck insurance cost on average?

    Insurance on a semi-truck can range between $2,000 to $18,000 or greater per year for owner-operators. Many factors can impact this cost, so you may find yourself paying a higher or lower amount. 

    Is semi-truck insurance necessary?

    Having semi-truck insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses depending on the area in which you operate. It provides financial and legal protection for your trucking business. 

    How much semi-truck insurance does my company need?

    How much semi-truck insurance coverage you should get is based on your company’s needs, with coverage limits between ​​$750,000 and $5,000,000. When in doubt, it is best to purchase more coverage than you’ll think you need. 

    Semi-Truck Insurance In A Nutshell

    Prior to purchasing semi-truck insurance, compare different quotes from various insurance companies to see which one is the most cost-effective in terms of price and coverage terms. 

    If you are found to be operating without basic semi-insurance, you may face certain consequences, such as having to pay fines or more serious ones as well. With the proper coverage, you’ll face less of a burden when it comes to legal and medical fees down the line. 

    Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of commercial truck insurance and explore our other articles on Assured Standard today! 

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