Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions are not answered below, you can contact one of our Commercial Trucking Insurance Specialists and we are happy to help with anything you may need.

Whether you are new to For-Hire trucking or if you have been in business for some time insurance is one of the largest expenses you may have. There are many factors that impact the price of insurance and every insurance company is different in how they assess and price the risk. Based on our experience in 28 states a good range might be $12,000 to $20,000 per truck for a 12 month For-Hire policy, but could be more or less depending on many factors. Some factors include but are not limited to your age, driver history of accidents and moving violations for past three years, years CDL experience, radius of your operation, cargo being hauled, If the owner is a driver, state of domicile, coverage limits, years in business, age and value of equipment. Some insurance companies also pull credit to determine policy premiums. Also, If you are under 25 years of age you will be considered high risk and pay higher premiums.  

There are only a couple commercial truck insurance companies that will insure you with less than 2 years of CDL experience. And your age and credit history will also play a part in your insurance premium. Reach out to us at NIS and we are happy to explore your options.   

Yes, however, not all insurance companies will insure a new trucking company where the owner is not the driver (owner operator). Premiums are generally higher for these non-CDL owned trucking ventures. Reach out to NIS and we can look more closely at your options. 

Yes, we only sell and service commercial truck insurance and work with over 40 insurance companies. We can help you get your new venture off the ground with the lowest possible insurance premiums for the coverages you need to be legally compliant with the FMCSA and to start making money fast. 

Auto liability, AL is the insurance coverage that your insurer will pay for the combination of bodily injury and property damage to third parties. Auto Liability is considered third party protection and is the insurance mandated by the FMCSA for you to be ‘financially responsible’. AL is required to be legally compliant as a for hire trucker with the minimum coverage being $750,000. Often, however $1,000,000 in auto liability is required depending on the cargo you haul and vendor requirements. Very few truckers run anymore with $750,000 in AL. Additional coverages you likely need, but are not required by law include cargo insurance, physical damage in the way of collision and comprehensive insurance, and general liability insurance.

If you run a for-hire trucking business as an owner operator or trucking company with multiple trucks, you must carry certain insurance coverages to be both legal and to get loads. Those insurance coverages are as follows:

Auto Liability: This is paid to third parties for bodily injury and property damage you may cause. This is the coverage required by the FMCSA to meet financial responsibility legal requirements.  The minimum coverage limit is $750,000 but it is more common to carry $1,000,000 in coverage since most brokers / vendors require the higher limit. 

Cargo: Insurance which pays for damage or losses to the cargo your hauling. This coverage is not required by law but is always required to get loads from brokers and vendors. A common coverage limit is $100,000 for general freight but can vary based on the type of cargo and vendor/broker requirements.

Physical Damage: If there is damage to your equipment including the tractor and trailer, and regardless of fault, this coverage pays to repair or replace your equipment. There are two categories of physical damage which are collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision typically pays for colliding with something as the name implies. An example is someone runs a red light and hit the side of the truck. Whereas, comprehensive generally covers acts of god. An example here would be hail damage, or a deer running into the road and damaging your car.  

General Liability: This coverage is optional but is sometimes required by brokers and vendors and is recommended by NIS to be more properly insured. An example of general liability coverage is ‘you are delivering colored pellets and you off the pellets in the wrong bin and leave the premises. The bin is run through the machine with the wrong pellets and destroys the entire line of product’. Motor Truck General Liability Insurance provides the following coverages:

      • Bodily injury and property damage liability
      • Personal injury and advertising injury liability
      • Medical payments
      • Products and completed operations
      • Damage to premises rented to you
  • Commercial Auto Liability
  • Physical Damage Coverage
  • Motor Truck Cargo
  • Deductible Non-Owned Trailer Coverage

Call one of our agents to learn exactly what your trucking company will need.

You will probably need commercial auto liability, physical damage coverage, motor truck cargo insurance, bobtail insurance, occ/acc insurance, and non-owned trailer coverage. Every situation is different for every trucker and trailer so it is important that you work with an agent who is experienced in providing trucking insurance.

Although they are often used interchangeably, bobtail insurance and non-trucking liability insurance are different. Leased operators generally need non-trucking insurance but many people still refer to this type of coverage as bobtail insurance.

Non-trucking liability insurance is generally used by owner/operators who are leased onto a motor carrier. When you are dispatched for the motor carrier, their primary liability trucking insurance will cover you. However, if you are your own trucking company with your own customers or if you have your own authority, you will need to get your own primary liability trucking insurance.

Physical damage insurance protects truck drivers in the event of an accident. This type of insurance is also called collision insurance.

We make every effort to insure every type of truck driver, regardless of your past driving record. Sometimes, the premium may become prohibitive so we will work with the driver to make sure we find the policy that works for you.

Intrastate – You travel only within a single state.
Interstate – You cross state lines for commercial purposes.

If you travel interstate, then you are required to have an authority with an insurance filing.

Yes. Many of the insurers have an option to include coverage for these items. It is done through the physical damage coverage

That will depend upon which insurance company you are insured through. Some policies can be transferred. Please notify us as soon as you can.

For approximately three years.

FMCSA MC Authority with a DOT number. Truck registration requires IRP, Single State Registration (SSRS) and IFTA. Depending upon which states you operate in, there may be individual state permits needed also.