Just like auto insurance, premiums are high for first-time drivers. When starting a new venture, trucking insurance rates can be shockingly expensive. Finding the right coverage is a challenge, but with a bit of research and help from an independent insurance agent, you can obtain the coverage you need and start earning money – without breaking the bank.

What Kind of Trucking Insurance Do I Need?

Owner-operators who lease their own rig need at least $750,000 in primary trucking liability insurance. However, companies that act as shippers or freight brokers will need a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage.

New venture trucking companies also need motor truck cargo coverage to protect loads hauled. This is a requirement of most motor carriers who work with for-hire operations. Make sure you have enough coverage before taking on your next load as new ventures requires a little more time to secure coverage at a competitive rate. 

If you have a loan or lease on your rig, you will also be required to carry physical damage coverage. While liability insurance will pay for damage to other people’s property (including trucks), your own property is excluded. Physical damage insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of your truck in the event of an accident. 

How Much Does Commercial Truck Insurance Cost?

New venture trucking insurance is some of the most expensive on the market. With experience, your rates will lower. However, when you’re just starting out, expect to pay anywhere between $8,000 to $25,000 per year. The costs will also be impacted by the state(s) you operate in and the type of cargo you haul. Be mindful of the types of cargo you will want to haul. Hazmat, automobile, and heavy haul trucking cost more to insure.

Experienced truckers who have worked under other carriers for years are often shocked at how much they’re charged for new venture coverage. While it may seem exaggerative, the risks are much higher when you’re an owner-operator versus a for-hire driver. Purchasing the right insurance not only protects your name, but also your business avoid financial ruin in the wake of an accident. 

What Type of Trucking Insurance Must I Buy?

The type of commercial truck insurance you’re legally required to maintain will depend on the nature of your business. To understand your needs better, you can take a review the FMCSA insurance registration requirements.

If you file a BMC-91 or BMC-91X form, you will need public liability, motor carrier insurance, and freight forwarder coverage. Drivers who file a BMC-34 or BMC-83 form are required to have cargo insurance that covers a minimum of $5,000 for each vehicle and $10,000 per incident.

You may also need to purchase:

  • Freight forwarder insurance
  • Freight brokerage insurance
  • Household goods motor carrier coverage
  • Household goods freight forwarder coverage

If you transport any hazardous materials, you will also be required to purchase cheap health insurance and secure a DOT hazmat safety permit.

Required Limits

All new venture trucking policies cost more than regular primary liability. The exact cost of your insurance will vary depending on the cargo you transport. General freight coverage has a minimum requirement of $750,000. Oil has a $1 million minimum. Hazardous waste haulers must have at least $5 million in auto liability coverage.

Without the right insurance, you not only jeopardize your business, but also compromise your likelihood of finding good work. Brokers and shippers are highly scrutinous with the trucking companies they work with. Working with an independent insurance agent who specializes in the trucking industry is a great first step in securing the right coverage for most competitive premium.

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