Traffic accidents in California are becoming more deadly. In 2022, 312 people were killed in car crashes, according to the Los Angeles Times. This is the highest rate of deaths in the past 20 years.
The danger of severe accidents is prevalent in the tow truck business as well. In this era of accidents for tow truck businesses, finding a good tow truck insurance policy can help keep your workers safe and reduce their liabilities.
In this article, we will look at the answers to common questions and thoughts people have about California tow truck insurance, including:
Definition of tow truck insurance
What policies are included
How much premiums cost
The best companies for California tow truck insurance
Commercial tow truck insurance policies in California include several options catering to the unique challenges of driving a tow truck. These insurance packages consist of:
Commercial auto insurance
General liability insurance
Professional liability insurance
Garage keeper's liability insurance
Tools and equipment insurance
On-Hook Towing Insurance
Commercial property insurance
Business owner's policy
These insurance policy options will be explained further in their own sections. They are each important to keeping your trucks running and avoiding expensive pitfalls that risks might bring.
Tow Trucks require a commercial auto insurance policy with limits that reach a minimum coverage. This coverage varies depending on the situation.
|Per Person||Bodily Injury per Accident||Property Damage|
|Minimum $15,000||Minimum $30,000||Minimum $5,000|
While these are the minimum requirements set forth by the California DMV, it is a good idea to try to get the best limits possible. Tow trucks carry a higher inherent risk than other types
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||Hiscox||The Hartford|
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$300,000/$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit||$100,000||$100,000||$5,000||$100,000||$1,000,000|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Included||Can be included||No|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Excluded||Can be included||Can be included|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Yes||Can be included||Can be included|
General liability insurance is an essential component of California tow truck insurance. This policy covers damage to customer property, body injuries, and personal injury claims by third parties. It is sometimes required to get a lease or contract. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best general liability insurance for tow trucks in California.
The common amount of coverage for general liability insurance is around $1 million-$2 million. You can use this to pay for the claimant’s medical expenses and financial losses. The policy is also designed to cover your attorney fees, investigation fees, and other legal expenses.
Example situations where this insurance would apply include:
Your tow truck’s brake gets faulty and causes the vehicle to smash on parked cars
If a tow truck damages customer property, like when loading or unloading their car
Your tow truck crashes on a building by accident
While the cost of insuring your trucks will dig into your potential profits, you will actually be saving money with the right policy. Tow truck companies usually see around a 70% profit margin after purchasing general liability and other types of business insurance.
|CoverWallet (Best)||NEXT||Thimble||Hiscox||The Hartford|
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
Professional liability policies cover any errors or omissions that your tow truck drivers make during their job. Perils covered under this policy are negligence, failure to transport a load in good condition, overcharging for one’s services, and misleading advertisement. Limits on professional liability insurance will vary between $250,000 and $2 million. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best professional liability insurance for tow trucks.
Here are some of the situations where this insurance can help your tow trucking business in California:
If your worker is unable to show up to a call, you might need to cover expenses if the client decides to sue you
A tow truck driver delivers a car to the wrong address, opening you to liabilities
A booking mistake costs a client lost time and causes them to be injured. Professional liability may help cover the costs related to this
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
|Covers hired and borrowed equipment?||$3,000/$10,000||$2,500/$5,000||No|
|Miscellaneous equipment also covered?||$5,000/$10,000||No||Yes|
|Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Tools and equipment insurance is an insurance policy that covers possible damages or theft of tow trucking tools and equipment as caused by fire, theft, vandalism, lightning, and other covered perils. Some situations where you might use this coverage include:
If a tow truck driver’s air pump is damaged or stolen, this policy could help cover the costs of replacing it
If your tow truck’s wench is damaged by lightning, this can cover the cost of replacement and installation
Coverage limits for tools and equipment are usually covered for any movable item that is under $10,000. It can also replace the cost of borrowed gear if you loan out a piece of equipment. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best tools and equipment insurance for tow trucks in California.
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||The Hartford||Hiscox|
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$320,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$25,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$35,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$15,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||$1,000||Excluded||Included|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Excluded||Excluded||Included|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included||Excluded||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Excluded||Excluded||Included|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||$10,000||Excluded||Excluded|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||$2,500||Excluded||Excluded|
Commercial property insurance protects your business inventory, goods, gear, and buildings. Perils covered are fire, theft, vandalism, lightning, sinkhole collapse, sprinkler leakage, riot, and volcanic action.
Policy limits for commercial property insurance will depend on how much you are willing to pay. Typically you might see a hundred thousand dollars in coverage limits for a decent-sized policy. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best commercial property insurance for tow trucks in California.
You can use this coverage when:
Your building catches on fire, damaging your vehicle bay. Commercial property insurance would help cover necessary repairs to get your vehicle bay back in working order
Someone breaks into your commercial building and causes damage to your towing equipment
Your tow trucking business’s air condition busted. Commercial property insurance can be used to cover its replacement
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||The Hartford||Hiscox|
|General liability aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$300,000/$2,000,000|
|Commercial property coverage limit||$50,000||$320,000||$25,000/$500,000||$35,000||$25,000|
|Optional policies can be added?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds for free?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Business owner’s policy combines commercial property insurance and general liability coverage into one. This allows you to get the best of both worlds. Business owner’s policy insurance is good for small to mid-sized tow truck businesses, while a higher-risk company may need separate policies. Examples of when you can use this policy include:
If debris falls onto your tow truck while it is in a garage, the business owner’s policy will help cover the damages
Your tow truck causes some injuries during a loading operation. Business owner’s policy can cover the victim’s medical expenses
Your tow truck business’s office is damaged during a storm. Business owner’s policy can cover the cost of repairing the windows, roof, or any other structure
Because a business owner’s policy has several different policy options and add-ons available, the coverage options may vary widely. It can be as low as $300,000 or as high as $4 million. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best business owner’s policy for tow trucks in California.
Commercial auto insurance will include coverage for things like medical bills and property damage during a toW truck accident. It will also cover physical damage to your vehicle. The components of commercial auto insurance for tow trucks are listed below.
Auto liability covers damages that your tow trucks cause to others' bodies and their property. Tow truck insurance in California uses auto liability coverage to ensure that tow trucking businesses meet their responsibility for accidents involving the public.
Any medical expenses that you or your passengers incur while riding the tow truck. This can include things like getting into an accident that injures your driver, customers, or both.
Comprehensive covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle for practically anything but a collision. This includes things like falling rocks, fires, and vandalism. This coverage is optional in California based on California Department of Insurance guidelines.
Collision refers to any damage your vehicle sustains in an accident that needs to be covered. A collision insurance policy would help pay to repair costs that result from a collision with another non-stationary vehicle.
Roadside assistance covers the costs to schedule and pay for assistance if your tow truck becomes stranded on the roadways. This can be an invaluable option for helping get your tow trucks up and running quickly after an unfortunate breakdown.
If you get into an accident with a motorist who does not have insurance or lacks enough to pay for the damages, this insurance kicks in to help cover the gap.
Garage keepers liability offers coverage for when a tow truck owner keeps customer vehicles at a business location for storage, repairs, or another business-related function. This insurance option protects against things like vandalism, theft, storms, and fire. The coverage limits will vary depending on your policy. However, it typically maxes out at $2,500 per occurrence.
Garage liability insurance protects business property from liability that occurs during normal garage operations. It includes costs from bodily injury or property damage.
Garage keeper’s liability insurance covers customer vehicles that are in the process of being stored or repaired. Garage keeper’s insurance is an add-on policy that tow truck owners will want since they will have customer vehicles parked in their shop or garage.
On-hook towing insurance covers just what it sounds like. If a vehicle you don’t own is damaged during the ordinary course of business, it will help repair or replace that vehicle. Situations where this policy can be used, are listed below.
A customer’s vehicle is damaged in an on-road collision while in your care. On-hook towing insurance can help you not have to pay to repair or replace it out of pocket
While you are loading a customer’s vehicle, it gets caught in a fire and is severely damaged
Typical policy limits for on-hook towing are $15,000. You will often see around a $500 deductible for this policy limit, but it will vary by policy.
On-hook coverage covers loaded vehicles into a tow truck. On the other, hand cargo insurance covers anything from loaded cargo to personal items carried through a tow truck. Cargo insurance is comprehensive.
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Deductible|
|General liability insurance||$148||$1,776||$0-$500|
|Professional liability insurance||$151||$1,812||$500-$1,000|
|Commercial property insurance||$170||$2,040||$1,000-$2,000|
|Business owner's policy||$310||$3,720||$1,500|
|Tools and equipment insurance||$158||$1,896||$500-$1,000|
|Oh-hook towing insurance||$350||$4,200||$500-$1,000|
|Garage keeper’s liability insurance||$159||$1,908||$500-$1,000|
|Commercial auto insurance||$200||$2,400||$500-$1,000|
California tow truck insurance is $148 per month or $1,776 per year for a $1 million general liability coverage. Factors that might affect your actual rates are location, business history, claims history, revenue, location, and number of employees. Here’s a table showing the rates of the recommended carriers:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Month||Best For|
|NEXT||$40||$480||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for tow trucking businesses in California|
|CoverWallet||$49||$588||Comparing California tow truck insurance quotes online|
|The Hartford||$60||$720||Coverage for high-risk tow trucking businesses|
|Thimble||$70||$840||Short-term tow trucking insurance|
|Tivly||$80||$960||Comparing California tow truck insurance quotes over the phone|
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
Tow truck insurance in California is loaded with different insurance companies, all vying for your business. To help you sort through the right insurance policy for you, we have reviewed each of the best companies below. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate for a $1 million general liability insurance.
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Fastest general liability insurance
Great customer service and reputation
Outstanding value for money
Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies
Couldn’t find any
NEXT Insurance is a bit newer on the scene, having only been founded in 2016, but they offer a competitive policy offering for tow truck insurance. They are also headquartered in California, giving them an edge in the market there.
They have commercial auto, general liability, professional liability, tools & equipment, and business policy options for your tow truck business. They are lacking some of the finer policies like on-hook coverage and garage holder liability.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for tow trucking businesses in California
Average cost: $40 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Lots of options
Small business focus
Great resource list
Accident forgiveness has to be earned
The Hartford is an insurance industry leader that was founded in 1810. They have an A+ rating from AM Best and claim to serve over one million small businesses.
They offer some of the best options for tow truck owners. They have bodily injury, property damage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments, rental car, business owner’s policy, professional liability, and general liability insurance options. On top of this, they offer deeper customization that will work with your specific business needs for more policy options.
Best for: Coverage for high-risk tow trucking businesses
Average cost: $60 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Variety of coverage through partners
Online dashboard to track everything
East to generate quotes
Need to call to get a quote
CoverWallet is a digital marketplace where you can compare different tow truck insurance quotes between top insurance providers. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The advantage of choosing CoverWallet is getting a quote in minutes for various policy options. This is further helped by their 24/7 policy experts, that can help you choose the right policy.
Best for: Comparing California tow truck insurance quotes online
Average cost: $49 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Helps connect customers with insurers
Quotes are easy and quick
Lots of partners to choose from
Doesn’t write policies
Another excellent option for California tow truck owners is Tivly. They are an insurance platform with over 200 partners that allows you to compare their most competitive quotes. You can get quotes quickly to get on your way to a certificate of insurance. Call a representative now to compare quotes over the phone.
They have a good selection of options, including professional liability, general liability, commercial property, commercial auto, and business owner’s policy. They also have business insurance specifically geared toward California.
Best for: Comparing California tow truck insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $80 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Detailed online resources make picking coverage easier
Thimble is a notable insurance seller for their high customer reviews and A rating from AM Best. They are highly experienced and offer policies for 300 professions. 75% of their customers are first-time buyers.
Tow truck policyholders will be excited to find and offer a variety of policies like general liability, collision, and comprehensive that can be further customized with state-specific coverages that will automatically make you compliant with California law.
Best for: Short-term tow trucking insurance
Average cost: $70 per month
Our rating: 10/10
14-day refund policy
Works with you to reduce risk
Bundle discounts for multiple products
Their business owner’s policy is heavily geared toward small businesses to the detriment of other businesses.
Hiscox has many options that are crucial to a good tow truck insurance policy. They have tailored insurance with options like commercial auto, business owners, professional liability, general liability, and many more.
They are trustworthy insurance purveyors, having been around since 1901 and having an A ranking from AM Best. They serve over 500,00 customers per year and are an international insurance group.
Best for: Risk protection
Average cost: $89 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!