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Trucking Insurance Options: Commercial vs. Owner-Operated

Truckers know better than most the importance of staying safe on the roads. But even when taking the best precautions, it’s not always possible to avoid an accident—and the fact is that the more time you spend on the roads, the greater the chance that something will go wrong.

While there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of a road accident, such as limiting the amount of hours you drive per day and ensuring that your vehicles are in tip-top condition, it’s also important that you have insurance for when circumstances beyond your control cause trouble.

Certain types of truckers insurance are legally required if you’re in the trucking industry, but insurance is also just a good investment in the long run. After all, running a trucking business isn’t cheap, and if you’re left to cover costs of pocket should something go wrong, that will set you back financially.

Given the amount of money that can be lost due to an accident on the road, one serious incident could spell the end of a trucking business if they’re not sufficiently insured. 

Just as important as getting insurance in the first place is making sure you’re getting the right type of insurance for your business and needs. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the difference between commercial trucking insurance and owner-operator trucking insurance and when you might need each.

What Is Commercial Trucking Insurance?

Commercial trucking insurance is a tailored insurance policy that covers the needs and liabilities most common in the trucking industry.

A commercial truckers policy can include specific coverages such as general liability, primary auto, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, physical damage, and more for your entire fleet, depending on your needs.

It may not always specifically include cargo insurance, but additional truck and cargo insurance can be added to protect the products you carry.

What Is Owner-Operator Insurance?

Owner-operator insurance is really a subset of commercial trucking insurance; it’s a policy that is tailored for an owner-operator who manages their own truck instead of a company managing a fleet of rigs.

Because it’s geared toward owner-operators as small business owners, this type of plan may provide additional coverage in some areas related to your business, while not requiring you to carry an unnecessarily high amount of coverage in other areas, since your one-truck operation won’t require the same coverage as a large company with multiple operators.

Essentially, this type of insurance will help to protect you, your trucks, and your business against heavy costs resulting from an accident or damage to your vehicle. To make sure that you get the best insurance for your needs, it’s recommended that you work with an agent that specifically deals with owner-operator insurance.

How Much Does Trucking Insurance Cost?

As with all types of insurance, the cost that your trucking insurance will cost you can vary widely. There are numerous different factors that are taken into account when the insurance agent will be coming up with the final cost.

Some key factors include:

  • The number of trucks and drivers in your fleet. (This is where there will be a substantial difference between the price of owner-operator insurance and commercial trucking insurance for a large trucking company.)
  • The age, driving record, and experience of your drivers
  • Where the trucks are being driven (prices can go up if trucks are often being driven over difficult terrain or in poor weather conditions, as well as if they will be driving internationally)
  • The type of cargo you carry (hazardous items require more expensive policies)
  • State requirements for your insurance
  • Any past claims that have been made against your company
  • The amount of coverage you need

There are things you can do to lower your insurance quotes. The first step is to ensure that all of your vehicles are kept in top condition. Being proactive and paying your insurance up front or raising your deductibles can also help to lower the costs.

Why Truckers Need Comprehensive Insurance

Ultimately, all types of trucking insurance exist to make the roads safer and fairer for everyone—not just the trucking company, but other citizens on the road, too. With the right insurance, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re protecting both your business and others on the road.