When you use your trucks for business, having commercial trucking insurance is a non-negotiable part of operations. The rules vary per state, but generally, any truck that is used to transport goods or people, haul equipment, or to fulfill any transaction is required by law to have insurance coverage. Because of the high value of the cargo being moved, not to mention the cost of the truck itself, the right insurance policy will protect the business, the vehicle, the goods transported, and the person driving.
This article compares five of the best commercial truck insurance for new drivers, discussing what each covers and their cost ranges. But before we dive into that, let’s talk about requirements.
Commercial Truck Insurance for New Drivers: General Requirements
Before getting into any business involving commercial trucks, owners or operators must show proof that they have enough coverage on their vehicles to cover both the cargo and the truck’s value in case of any incidents.
Drivers should also have protection against liability claims in case an accident is due to their fault. Insurance providers usually have an unofficial rule requiring new drivers to have at least two years of commercial driving experience before they are approved. Most providers make this a hard and fast rule, but there are companies that offer insurance policies for new drivers regardless of their driving history.
Examples of the commercial truck insurance for new drivers include liability insurance and physical damage coverage, both of which take care of the driver in case of damage to the truck itself and to other drivers. The specific requirements vary per provider and the type of insurance purchased so it’s best to compare your options first before signing anything.
Best 5 Commercial Truck Insurance Providers for New Drivers
We’ve compiled the five best commercial truck insurance providers in the country to help you decide whether or not they work to your advantage.
InsurA provides customized trucking insurance coverage for any type of commercial trucking scenario, including common policies necessary for all commercial operations, such as liability coverage, overall accident coverage, and third-party liability. When it comes to policies designed for large equipment, InsurA also provides truck-specific coverages, such as motor truck general liability coverage, motor truck cargo coverage, and non-trucking liability coverage.
Old and new owner-operator insurance costs vary, but final quotes will be influenced by factors such as vehicle type, coverage requirements, USDOT authority, operating radius, driving history, and cargo. You can discuss your needs with a dedicated insurance agent and determine which ones will work best for your type of commercial trucking business. For example, if you are operating refrigerated trucks, you will need liability protection for your perishables on top of the usual coverage.
2. State Farm
State Farm is one of the biggest insurance providers in the country, offering a wide range of home, life, and consumer policies — commercial trucking included. Its trucking policies cover mostly the same protections as an auto policy, such as liability, collision, bodily injury, and comprehensive coverage. However, while they do have insurance that can shoulder drivers’ medical bills in case of accidents, they don’t offer coverage for your cargo.
Progressive has been in the insurance business for more than 40 years and specializes in vehicle coverage to private owners, owner-operators, and commercial fleet carriers. It provides a wide array of policies, including general liability, rental reimbursement, cargo, non-trucking liability, and trailer interchange. If that’s not sufficient, you can customize your policy according to what you need from its robust roster of commercial trucking products. Progressive also assists with state and federal filings.
Nationwide is one of the oldest insurance companies in the country and has a long list of policies that include commercial trucking insurance, medical payments, collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It also covers cargo liability. Nationwide insures pickup trucks, box trucks, utility trucks, and farm trucks. However, it does not have insurance for tractor trailers and semi-trucks. It also offers special pricing for newer drivers and companies, as well as those who reinforce their own vehicles with anti-theft devices. As with the majority of insurance providers, the cost of commercial trucking policies in Nationwide is customized.
5. The Hartford
The Hartford began as a fire insurance company in the 1800s but has evolved to include a wide list of home, business, and auto insurance products. A Fortune 500 company, it has quite an impressive commercial trucking insurance offering, like CDL insurance for new drivers and even for those who are considered high-risk. Coverages beneficial for commercial truck owners and operators include motor truck cargo, property in transit, trailer interchange, and livestock transit. One notable feature that The Hartford has is the FleetAhead program, which installs special devices in vehicles that report data on driver performance and safety in real-time. Rates are customized.
What Commercial Truck Insurance Does Not Cover
Not everything surrounding commercial truck operations is covered by insurance. Each provider will have a list of exclusions, so be sure to ask before signing up. Many of these exclusions are the same as the list for commercial auto policies, including:
- Intentional Damage: These refer to injuries or damages resulting from deliberate harm to another person or property
- Other People’s Property: Many providers will not cover damages on items that belong to other people, even if the person who is taking care of the property is covered. If your business involves transporting other people’s property, you can ask about additional coverage.
- Specific Cargo Types: Some types of cargo are not part of commercial truck insurance policies, such as pharmaceuticals, jewelry, money, alcohol, live animals, and explosive materials. In sensitive cases, you need more coverage from the likes of livestock cargo insurance, Hazmat insurance, or others.
- Damages Beyond Policy Limits: Every policy will set a maximum coverage limit, and any damages or bills that go above this limit will no longer be covered. Some insurance providers offer additional coverage for new drivers and commercial trucks that handle sensitive items.
Protect Your Commercial Trucks with Insurance
Commercial trucking is a high-risk and high-investment business that deserves the right type of insurance coverage to shield against unfortunate events. InsurA has a comprehensive range of products that will keep your assets, your people, and your cargo protected when it matters the most. When you get in touch with our team, we will assign a dedicated agent to you so that we can deeply understand what your needs are and provide the best policy for your investment.