Working as a commercial trucker has many demands, and one of them is to ensure you take proper care of your vehicle. Regular maintenance is an important part of working as a driver, but choosing the right insurance can also have a significant impact on your ability to upkeep your vehicle in case of unforeseen circumstances. With quality insurance coverage, you can protect yourself from liabilities and continue your work operations as usual, allowing for consistent income despite unplanned circumstances.
Keep reading to learn all about the different types of truck insurance, what they cover, and how much they cost so you can make an informed decision when choosing the insurance package for your business needs.
What Is Truck Insurance?
Truck insurance exists to cover liabilities and other unexpected costs that can arise while operating a commercial semi-truck. The insurance you pay for a truck is almost always going to be higher than that of a standard car, as the risks and repair costs associated with trucks are much higher. Choosing the right truck insurance can make a significant impact on your business, especially in the wake of an accident. What would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, medical treatment, and even income replacement should you become incapable of working can be covered by the right insurance.
What Types of Truck Insurance Are There?
Here are some of the typical types of insurance coverage you may encounter when shopping for the perfect truck insurance package:
- Primary Liability: Primary liability insurance covers any damages to other people or property that occur because of your driving. If you’re the main cause of the accident or liability, this type of insurance can cover these damages for both yourself and others.
- Physical Damage: Physical damage insurance can help cover damages that result from driving accidents, theft, vandalism, or weather conditions that can affect the operation of your vehicle.
- Cargo: Cargo insurance helps protect the actual goods that you haul as a commercial truck driver. Should there be any damage to the cargo on your truck during transit, this insurance can protect you from having to pay for it yourself.
- General Liability: General liability insurance is a type of truck insurance that covers anything your primary liability or physical damage packages don’t. This typically includes outside injuries because of the accident, along with any additional property damage.
- Occupational Accident/Workers’ Compensation: Occupational accident insurance, commonly known as workers’ compensation, is a type of insurance that protects you if you get into an accident while on the job. This insurance can cover costs related to your work injuries, including medical treatment and temporary income replacement as you recover.
How Much Does Truck Insurance Cost?
According to Schneider, the average per year cost of truck insurance by category comes out to the following approximation:
- Primary Liability: $8,000 to $14,000
- Physical Damage: $1,000 to $3,000
- Cargo: $400 to $1,200
- General Liability: $500 to $800
- Occupational Accident/Workers’ Compensation: $1,600 to $5,000
While these are general cost estimations, there are several other factors that can influence how much you pay for truck insurance, including:
- Driving History: Of course, your driving history can make a significant impact on how much you have to pay for truck insurance. Those with safe driving records can often get much better deals on insurance than individuals with excessive driving citations or accidents.
- Truck Type: The type of truck you’re operating can also make a difference in how much you pay for insurance. Larger, heavier trucks will almost always have higher insurance costs than smaller ones due to the increase in safety risks and repair costs.
- State: Your location can also influence your insurance costs. Each state in the U.S. has its own pricing protocols for vehicle insurance, so you may pay more or less depending on where you register your trucking license and business.
- Operating Radius: The wider your driving and business radius, the more you’ll likely pay in truck insurance. This is because the longer distances you drive, the more chances there are for damages to occur, making for increased risk and subsequently higher insurance costs.
Tips for Saving on Truck Insurance
Here are some tips you can follow to help lower your monthly insurance premiums and save you money:
- Practice safe driving: The best way to lower your monthly insurance premiums and save money in the long term as a truck driver is to always practice safe driving. A clean driving record can prove to insurance companies that you’re a reliable and safe driver and can therefore result in lower monthly premiums because of the decreased risk of the company having to cover you in case of liabilities.
- Pay your full premium up front: Another tip for saving on your truck insurance payments is to pay the entirety of your annual premium at one time. While this method will cost more at the moment, insurance companies add interest to monthly payments, so you can actually end up saving anywhere from 10 to 20% on your total truck insurance costs.
- Increase deductibles: You can also decrease your monthly truck insurance costs by opting to increase your deductibles, which means you pay more in the event of liabilities, but can also pay less on your monthly payments. This, in combination with safe driving practices, can significantly reduce your monthly premiums and save you money as long as you avoid liabilities.
No matter the circumstances or practices of your business, it’s important that all trucking professionals understand the importance of truck insurance and the different types available to them for various scenarios. With proper truck insurance, you can ensure that both people and property receive the best care and attention possible in the case of liabilities. With proper coverage, you can feel confident taking on trucking projects, knowing that your insurance packages are there to help you. And by practicing safe driving and making smart financial decisions, you can even end up saving a significant amount of money in premiums.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.