As a new commercial truck driver, it can be difficult to find good insurance coverage for your vehicle. Insurance companies often see new drivers as risky and only provide coverage to those who have been driving trucks for two or more years.
Additionally, the companies that do offer insurance for new drivers often charge high rates. This means you may end up paying two or three times more than experienced drivers. However, there are ways to find affordable insurance coverage if you know what type of coverage you need and how to search for cheaper options.
What Type of Coverage Do New Truck Drivers Need?
The type of commercial trucking insurance coverage you need as a new driver depends on the category of commercial truck drivers you belong to. There are two main categories of commercial truck drivers:
Company drivers work for a trucking company as employees or independent contractors. You don’t need commercial trucking insurance if you’re a new truck driver directly employed by a trucking company. The company is responsible for insurance coverage.
However, you may need insurance coverage if you’re an independent truck driver working for a trucking business.
Owner-operators have their own trucking business and operate their commercial vehicles. There are two types of owner-operators: those who work under the authority of a motor carrier (leased owner-operators) and those who operate on their authority.
Leased owner-operators are covered by their motor carriers’ commercial truck insurance coverage.
Depending on the requirements of a motor carrier, an owner-operator with leased authority may need to purchase motor truck cargo or bobtail commercial truck insurance. If you fall under this category, read your lease agreement carefully to determine which additional insurance coverage you need.
Own Authority Owner-operators
Own authority owner-operators are solely responsible for purchasing all the mandatory commercial truck insurance policies they require to thrive. This includes some or all of the essential truck insurance coverage options outlined below.
What does Commercial Truck Insurance for New Drivers Cover?
Commercial auto policies for new drivers offer various essential and optional insurance coverage.
Essential Commercial Truck Insurance for New Drivers
Essential trucking insurance for new drivers is coverage all new truck drivers should consider to protect their ventures from significant financial losses. These coverage options include:
Trucking Primary Liability Coverage
Primary liability coverage is the minimum commercial truck insurance all trucking companies and owner-operators must have to operate in nearly all states. It includes bodily injury and physical damage coverage if you cause an accident. With a primary liability cover, your insurance company pays for the injured parties’ medical expenses and covers any damages to their vehicles.
Physical Damage Liability Insurance
Physical damage coverage protects your commercial trucks from all losses and damages they are exposed to on the road. Most commercial insurance companies offer this coverage in two parts:
Collision coverage: This insurance helps pay for repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive coverage: This cover includes compensation for non-collision losses such as theft, fire, vandalism, and harsh weather conditions.
Unlike primary liability insurance, physical damage coverage is not required by law. However, it’s critical commercial truck insurance for new drivers as it protects the main asset, providing business security.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
Non-trucking liability coverage protects you if you get into an accident when driving your commercial truck for errands unrelated to work.
General Liability Insurance
Motor truck general liability insurance coverage pays for bodily injury and physical damages unrelated to driving your commercial truck but involving your business. This includes bodily injury compensation for accidents on your business property or those for-hire truckers caused away from your location.
Motor Truck Cargo Coverage
Motor truck cargo coverage protects the goods you haul. It’s an essential coverage option for most leased owner-operators as some motor carriers require truck drivers under their lease to carry cargo insurance.
Optional Commercial Truck Insurance For New Drivers
As a new driver, you should get more coverage to reduce risk and ensure you succeed. To do this, consider the following optional commercial truck insurance for new drivers:
Loss mitigation: Used to cover any losses that exceed your truck insurance policy limits.
GAP protection: GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance is optional. This coverage covers any “gap” between the actual cash value of your vehicle at the time of loss and what you owe on your auto loan or lease.
How To Find Affordable Commercial Truck Insurance For New Drivers
There are three steps you can take to find affordable truck insurance for new drivers.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Business Needs
Evaluating your business needs will help you identify the coverage you need to avoid purchasing excess or unnecessary coverage. To do this, assess the common factors insurance providers use to set their commercial truck insurance premiums. These include your operating radius, vehicle and cargo type, FMCSA requirements, location, etc.
Step 2: Compare Quotes From Multiple Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
Get quotes from several commercial truck insurance companies and settle for one with high-quality coverage at an affordable rate.
Look at how the rates of different commercial truck insurance providers fare compared to the national average rates. Here’s a guide to help you understand the average commercial truck insurance cost for various coverage options.
Also, evaluate different commercial truck insurance companies based on their reputation, customer support, and availability to get the best insurance company.
You can get quotes from multiple commercial truck insurance providers at once through commercial trucking insurance brokers like Evolution Insurance Brokers.
Step 3: Negotiate Best Deal
Once you’ve identified the best commercial truck insurance providers, negotiate with each and settle for the best deal. Major insurance companies might be reluctant to offer discounts to new truck drivers, but it’s worth a try.
Getting the right commercial truck insurance policy gives you the financial stability and peace of mind you need to grow your venture. You might lose thousands to millions of dollars in settlement claims without insurance.
For additional peace of mind and security for your trucking business, we’ve partnered with TrüNorth™ to provide comprehensive commercial truck warranty protection. We can also help finance your commercial truck purchases to help you grow, even if you’re a first-time buyer. Contact us to learn more.