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Tractor Trailer Insurance: Cost, Companies & Quotes from $15

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It is estimated that there are 5.6 million tractor trailers on U.S roads today. In 2021, there were federal reports of over 400,000 crashes involving commercial truckers, including tractor trailers. Drivers' error and negligence caused a significant number of these crashes; as such, it's a no-brainer you need to find the best tractor trailer insurance possible. 

Similar to commercial auto insurance, tractor trailer insurance provides coverage for accidents, vehicle physical damage, and driver injuries. But note that it’s more comprehensive because it offers specialized insurance policies specially underwritten for the risks associated with using tractor trailers commercially. 

Tractor trailers are quite the investment, and a simple accident could jeopardize the livelihoods of those that rely on their tractor trailers for financial freedom. 

As a tractor trailer driver or owner, you are required by law to carry minimum amounts of commercial tractor-trailer insurance policies. Specifically, you are required to file proof with the state and federal government that you have sufficient coverage for the tractor trailer. The idea is that you must prove that you have sufficient coverage for the trailer and the cargo you’re transporting. 

 

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When Do You Get Tractor Trailer Insurance?

Tractor trailer insurance is a coverage for a tractor trailer having a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more. In insurance lingo, a tractor-trailer is any motor vehicle attached with a trailer, and wherein such trailer is permanently attached or can be detached.

Not all businesses can get the coverage. For you to get tractor trailer truck insurance, your business needs to fall under one of these categories:

  • For-hire motor carriers-In insurance lingo, a for-hire motor carrier is a business providing freight or cargo transportation services to other companies as well as itself

  • Private carriers-Private carriers are businesses th

  • Owner-operators-Owner-operators are not businesses per se. These are individuals who own a tractor-trailer and use it to transport cargo or freight. Independent truckers seasonally hired by companies and those who get gigs via load/freight boards are the most common examples. \


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What Are The Policies In Tractor Trailer Insurance?

Tractor trailer insurance isn’t a policy that functions on its own. It’s actually composed of different business insurance policies that cover exposures unique to truckers. The features of tractor trailer insurance vary from one company to the next. But still, all of these will be common inclusions:


Auto Liability Insurance for Tractor Trailers 

This is a very basic tractor trailer insurance coverage. Suppose you cause a wreck that results in third party bodily injury or property damage having auto liability insurance protects your business by covering the costs that you will likely end up having to legally pay, particularly medical expenses and refunds for the damaged property. Since the matter will surely be taken to court, your tractor trailer’s auto liability insurance also functions to cover attorney fees, administrative costs, settlements, and other legal expenses. 

Understand that there’s a minimum amount of auto liability coverage you need to purchase for your tractor trailer. Always ask the carrier about how much coverage their auto liability insurance provides so that you don’t risk being underinsured. 

Also, auto liability insurance has exclusions. Its terms don't apply if you caused an accident due to involvement in a criminal activity. Examples are:

  • Driving under influence

  • Driving in pursuit of authorities

  • Driving while the tractor has defective headlights or any other features required by law for safe driving conditions 


Tractor Trailer Physical Damage Coverage

Consider a situation where you get into an accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the tractor trailer will sustain major or minor damages. Either which, you’ll have to pay for parts repair or replacement costs so that the tractor-trailer is operational once again. 

Speaking of which, physical damage coverage is a type of commercial insurance for tractor trailers that will take care of parts repair or replacement expenses. Providers underwrite this as a collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. Collision physical damage coverage will cover parts repair or replacement expenses if your tractor trailer got damaged after crashing into something.  On the other hand, comprehensive physical damage coverage helps you pay for expenses if your tractor trailer sustained damage due to theft, fire, vandalism, and other covered perils. 

Just like auto liability insurance, physical damage coverage has exclusions. For one, coverage doesn’t apply if your tractor trailer sustained damage due to rollovers. Also, any aftermarket parts that got damaged aren’t covered by this tractor and trailer insurance. 


Roadside Assistance Coverage

Roadside assistance coverage covers resulting expenses when your tractor trailer sustains defects during a trip. But note that your tractor trailer must have covered a specific distance for the policy to take effect. Particular costs covered by roadside assistance coverage are:

  • Lodging

  • Fuel delivery

  • Tire delivery

  • Tire replacement

  • Tire repair

  • Battery jump start

  • Towing 


Truckers Downtime Insurance 

Truckers downtime insurance is a specialized form of business interruption insurance for tractor trailer owner-operators and motor carriers. This will reimburse lost income if you can’t provide freight or cargo transportation services because the tractor trailer is being repaired or needs to be replaced after getting totaled. 


MedPay and Personal Injury Protection Insurance for Tractor Trailers 

Medical payments coverage and personal injury protection can be included in tractor trailer insurance. The two functions to cover medical expenses if the driver and the passenger sustain injuries or die after the tractor trailer causes an accident or gets involved in an accident. There’s no need to purchase both. Buy medical payments coverage if you’re in a “fault” state. Opt for personal injury protection if you’re in a “no-fault” state. 


Debris Cleanup and Towing Coverage

When your tractor trailer causes or gets involved in a vehicular accident then becomes totaled and leaves debris on the road, debris cleanup and towing coverage will pay for the expenses required to haul the tractor. The insurance will also pay for the resulting fees required to clean after the debris. 


Trailer Interchange Insurance for Tractor Trailers 

Do you hire or borrow a trailer under a trailer interchange agreement? If so, consider getting trailer interchange insurance

Under a trailer interchange agreement, you’re liable to pay for repairs or provide a refund if a borrowed or hired trailer sustains damage or becomes lost under your custody because of fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils. The job of trailer interchange insurance is to take care of such a responsibility by giving $200,000-$300,000 to cover costs. 

Having a trailer interchange insurance is important, especially if you’re an owner-operator. Know that no one will allow you to hire a trailer if you don’t have the coverage in place. 

 

Truckers General Liability Insurance

Consider a situation whereby in carrying out your business's service, you cause injury to another or cause property damage. In today's litigious society, there's quite the possibility that you will end up getting sued. The truckers' general liability insurance pays all the costs that you are legally obligated to pay, including settlement. The policy also covers any arising legal fees that way, you do not have to pay for anything out of pocket. Think of tractor trailer general liability insurance as the foundation of your trucking business insurance coverage that protects you from bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and advertising or personal injury liability. 

 

Bobtail Insurance

As agreed upon by the client, you might end up leaving behind the trailer at a designated destination. If an accident were to happen while driving without the trailer being attached, you will not be covered by your auto liability insurance.

What provides coverage instead is bobtail insurance. Bobtail insurance will cover medical expenses or refund the value of damaged properties if you caused an accident while driving a semi-truck without a trailer (bobtailing or deadheading). But note that for coverage to apply, the accident must have happened while you’re deadheading to get another load. In other words, bobtail insurance can’t help if you’re using the semi-truck for personal purposes. 


Non Trucking Liability Insurance

You or an employee will use the tractor-trailer to go to a nearby retail store, visit relatives, etc.  And if the tractor-trailer causes an accident while being used for such purposes, know that bobtail insurance and auto liability insurance can’t help. 

Since it’s inevitable not to use a tractor trailer for personal activities sometimes,  insurance companies underwrite non trucking liability insurance. Non trucking liability insurance covers the medical expenses or property damage of third parties who got involved in an accident you caused while driving a trailer for personal purposes. Coverage kicks in regardless if the semi-truck is attached to a trailer or not. 


Unladen Insurance

Do you plan to get bobtail insurance and non trucking liability insurance? Instead of doing that we recommend you get unladen insurance. Doing so saves time and money. Policy management is also easier. 

Unladen insurance is an inclusion in tractor trailer insurance that has the function of bobtail and non trucking liability  insurance. In other words, it will:

  • Cover medical expenses or refund the value of damaged properties of third parties resulting from an accident you caused while driving a semi truck for personal purposes, which was attached with a trailer or not attached with a trailer

  • Cover medical expenses or refund the value of damaged properties if your tractor trailer causes an accident while deadheading or bobtailing to get another load 

 

Cargo Insurance

As a trucker, you will be hired to haul freight or load from one point to the other. Suppose you get into an accident or a disaster such as a fire or theft that causes damage to the cargo you are transporting. The cargo insurance covers you in case something was to happen to the cargo while it was on the road. Different insurance providers will offer different types of cargo insurance. Some of what is on offer include earned freight coverage and reefer coverage

 

Pollution/Hazmat Coverage

It goes without saying that in running your trucking business, whether you have just one tractor trailer or an entire fleet, you will cause pollution. To cover your business from the legal obligations of rectifying the pollution you'll inevitably cause, it would be best that you get pollution coverage. 

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Tractor Trailer Insurance Cost  

Tractor trailer insurance rates will vary greatly depending on a number of factors. The insurance company will often insist on examining a couple of details before they can determine the tractor trailer insurance cost of a customer. Some of the factors they will look at include:

  • Your driver, including their driving history 

  • Your trucks, specifically the make, model, and year 

  • The kind of business you are involved in 

  • Insurance records, including the number of accidents and claims filed before, among others 

  • The location of your business and the radius of your operation 


Granted, you might be a bit wary of the cost of tractor trailer insurance. While usually expensive, you can find cheap tractor trailer insurance quotes by comparing online. Start by clicking the "Get Quotes" button.

On average, leased owner-operators will often have to get a policy costing between $2,000 and $4,000 per year ($166.66 and $333.33 per month). With newer authorities, however, you will typically have to pay between $12,000 and $18,000 for the first year of the tractor trailer insurance. However, after the first year, and subject to the number of claims filed within that year, you will be able to negotiate lower insurance premiums. 

Below is a breakdown of insurance cost for tractor trailer based on some of the coverage types you'll need. 

Type of Coverage
Average annual cost
Truckers general liability
$600
Physical damage coverage
$1,000-$3,000
Non trucking liability insurance
$400
Cargo insurance
$400-$1,800
Auto liability insurance
$5,000+
Pollution/hazmat coverage$2,500+

 

Here’s another table showing the rates of the best tractor trailer insurance companies:


Cost per Month Cost per YearBest for
CoverWallet $125$1,500Wider travel radius
Commercial Insurance$163.76$1,965.12Working closely with agents for a comprehensive tractor trailer insurance program
Progressive$210$2,520Tractor trailer insurance discounts


Requirements for Business Owners 

If you operate the tractor trailer between states,  your business is subject to federal laws as it pertains to insurance. A regulation you ought to be aware of is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations that mandate that you get a minimum amount of insurance in preparation for an accident. Based on the tractor trailer's weight and cargo, there's a minimum amount of coverage you are expected to purchase. 

 

Here's a breakdown of federal minimum liability requirements for tractor trailers based on the types of cargo being ferried. 

 

Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements 

Types of Freight
Minimum Liability Coverage
Hazardous material or explosives transported either by for-hire or private carriers
$5,000,000
Oil transported either by for-hire or private carriers
$1,000,000
Non-hazardous freight hauled in vehicles over 10,001 lbs.
$750,000
Non-hazardous freight hauled in vehicles less than 10,001 lbs. 
$300,000

Compare Cheap Tractor-Trailer Insurance Quotes Online

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

Best Tractor Trailer Insurance Companies 

Finding the best tractor trailer insurance companies depends largely on you and the specific needs that your tractor trailer business has. If you are looking for the best all-around semi tractor trailer insurance companies or carry out a search for the best tractor trailer insurance, here's a review of companies you must consider. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate for a $1 million auto liability coverage.


Progressive Tractor Trailer Insurance  

Pros

  • Progressive is a top commercial vehicle insurer in the United States

  • Tractor-trailer insurance is offered to businesses throughout the 50 states, including Washington, DC

  • State and federal insurance filing is free and done within 24 hours 

  • A number of discounts are offered, including a 10% discount for businesses that bundle together several policies 

Cons

  • There's a pattern of customer complaints 

  • There's a limit on the number of vehicles within a fleet that can be covered

  • There's a limit to the travel radius covered within the tractor trailer insurance

Progressive is among the largest U.S commercial insurance carriers. It offers a variety of commercial tractor trailer insurance attracting trucking businesses with multiple discounts. 

Arguably, Progressive takes the first spot when it comes to the tractor trailer insurance coverage due to the sheer range of coverage and features it offers. Besides, the insurer offers flexible coverage and payment options. Further, you will enjoy both state and federal insurance filing, which is done within 24 hours and at no cost. 

Some of the discounts that you might enjoy include those designed for businesses that hire drivers with CDL certificates, those given to businesses that invest in electronic logging devices (ELDs), and discounts for bundling together different policies. To get a quote on tractor and trailer insurance, you will have to get in touch with a local agent. They will then work in-house with their adjusters to determine how much you will pay for the policy. If you are looking for a robust heavy truck insurer with extensive experience, be sure to check out Progressive as they come with 40+ years of offering commercial insurance for tractor trailers. 

Best for: Tractor trailer insurance discounts

Average cost: $210 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


CoverWallet Tractor Trailer Insurance

Pros

  • Instant quotes available online

  • You can purchase a policy and get a certificate of insurance in just a few minutes 

  • For drivers with bad or poor driving records, it's still possible to purchase tractor trailer insurance even though it might be for pricier premiums 

Cons

  • CoverWallet is not an independent carrier but instead an aggregator platform 

Granted, CoverWallet is not an independent insurance carrier. Still, even as an aggregator, it provides a suitable platform through which tractor trailer businesses can purchase basic insurance coverage. The latter starts at $125 per month and 1,500 per year depending on the type of tractor trailer, the travel radius you anticipate, location, and route taken, among other factors. 

A visit to their official website will yield an instant quote. You can similarly purchase the policy from their website and proceed to get the proof of insurance which will be shared to your email. In some instances, CoverWallet will insist on the provision of additional information, including information on the drivers, before they can process a quote. Still, this will take a maximum of two to three business days. 

Best for: Wider travel radius 

Average cost: $125 per month 

Our rating: 8/10 

 

CommercialInsurance.Net Tractor Trailer Insurance

Pros

  • Sells insurance it underwrites and also sells those underwritten by partners

  • Get covered online

  • Work closely with an agent to come up with the most comprehensive cover as a motor carrier or tractor trailer owner-operator 

Cons

  • Specialized tractor-trailer insurance policies come from Progressive

Commercial Insurance.net provides specialized coverage for tractor-trailers in partnership with Progressive commercial. Policies you can include in your tractor trailer insurance plan are trucker’s general liability, bobtail, and non-trucking liability insurance. Note that you can also buy policies Commercial Insurance.net sells on its own such as general liability, workers compensation, umbrella liability, and commercial property insurance.  

Note that you can also buy the business insurance for tractor trailers from this company through its partners, Thimble and NEXT

Call CommercialInsurance.Net now to compare quotes over the phone. 

Best for: Working closely with agents for a comprehensive tractor-trailer insurance program

Average cost: $163.76 per month 

Our rating: 8/10

 

How To Find Tractor Trailer Insurance Near Me?

So how do I find tractor trailer insurance near me? - We suggest you use our online quote generator tool. All you have to do is click the “Get Quotes” button and it will give you the quotes of insurance companies, which some might be near your address. 


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