Commercial Truck Insurance: Guide to Getting The Right Coverage

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The United States’ most regulated industry, the commercial trucking industry, is one of the largest and most varied. This is because commercial trucks are used for so many different purposes that each truck insurance policy will cover. Trucking companies transport standard and household goods, waste, building materials as well hazardous materials and fuel commercial trucking insurance.

This high degree of specialization can be seen in the commercial truck insurance industry. Some insurance is required because of the many uses for commercial trucks. Here’s a list of all the most commonly used policies.


Primary truck liability insurance covers all commercial trucks that are required to be insured by the United States Department of Transportation. It provides financial coverage for truck drivers in case of injury or damage to their vehicle.

This coverage is often offered to employees by motor carriers. Even independent operators are eligible for this coverage, provided they have a contract. They may need additional coverage to cover their personal assets, as well as for the time they are off work.


The truck is an independent trucker’s most precious asset. It is important that the truck is maintained properly and that it can be repaired when something happens.

The cost of physical damage insurance will cover you regardless of who caused the accident.


Additional liability insurance must always be purchased. Liability coverage is mandatory for all trucks while they are on the road. This coverage can be provided without the driver having to pay any additional costs.


Comprehensive truck coverage is similar to a continuation policy for physical damage insurance. You can think of comprehensive coverage as including primary truck liability, property damage, and other clauses that cover against catastrophes such theft, fire, vandalism, and others. Comprehensive insurance usually provides the most comprehensive coverage.


It is rare for an independent owner/operator to actually own and manage their own trailers. Trailers are usually owned by the trucking company, or actual shippers. Because trailer insurance is often a commodity, it’s best to include it in your motor carrier insurance policy. Trailer insurance is still important so truckers understand that they are not typically covered by basic truck insurance.


The same holds true for cargo insurance. It is typically something motor carriers or fleets will be able to carry as an additional coverage for their business. Independent truckers don’t typically benefit from cargo coverage as they usually fall under the truck and trailer insurance of their hired fleets, in the event of cargo damage.


Motor carrier insurance is usually the same as regular truck insurance but will cover all vehicles that they use. Bundling general and truck, cargo, or trailer insurance with policies like workers comp within one company is a great way to save trucking companies, motor carriers, and other businesses a substantial annual premium.