The cost of Commercial Truck Insurance varies by state, how your filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT), driving record, previous insurance, and your credit score. The average cost is $8,500 for experienced owner operators and can run beyond $20,000 for startup trucking companies. The variables listed above are the main factors in determining your Commercial Truck Insurance rate.
Insurance Carriers must file their rates with each states Department of Insurance (DOI). Then the DOI will determine if they accept or deny the rates submitted by the insurance carrier. This can often be a game between the Insurance Carrier and the DOI. The Insurance Carrier needs enough premium to cover potential losses and maintain profitability. The DOI also wants to make sure the carrier is collecting enough premiums to pay losses and be profitable, but they also want to protect the consumer from price gouging.
How You Filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT)
How you file with the DOT will greatly impact your insurance costs. If a Trucking Company wants to cross state lines the DOT will require a them to get a Motor Carrier Number aka MC #. Since the MC # gives you, the operator, the rights to cross state lines the insurance carrier will want to rate you with an unlimited radius of operation if you are a new trucking company. Why? With a MC # you can basically travel all 48 states where as without a MC # you are restricted to the state that you filed with the Department of Transportation. With this unlimited radius of operation comes a great chance of loss, so the insurance carrier will charge a higher price.
As a professional driver handling a 48,000lb+ rig, your driving record will matter along with your check point inspections. Every time you go through an inspection check point information is gathered concerning the rig and driver…this information then is logged into a system referred to as the Central Analysis Bureau. Central Analysis Bureau uses this information to compile a report referred to as a CAB Report. The CAB report is readily available to the insurance carriers and gives the underwriter a picture of how well you are maintaining your truck and any driver violations.
We did an excellent YouTube video on “The Secret CAB Report” that you can find by clicking the picture below.
How long you have maintained continuous insurance will have a large impact on your insurance premiums. The more years of continuous insurance with no losses or low losses will bring down your rates. Why? More insurance carriers will compete for your business since you are considered a low risk operation. The more carriers competing to win your business, the lower your rates could be.
When we say, “continuous insurance” that means no lapse in coverage. If your policy is cancelled for even one day the carrier will deem you as a startup company and you will pay a substantially higher rate.
One the biggest factors not known by many owner operators is your Credit Score will affect your trucking insurance rates. The higher your credit score the lower your rates. This is a very controversial practice used by insurance carriers, but it is acceptable to most Department of Insurance branches when the carrier submits the insurance rates. Basically, the insurance carriers did a study and found that people with higher credit scores have less losses. Your credit score will play a factor in your overall Trucking Insurance Rates.
Length of time with a Commercial Driver License
Most carriers require you to maintain a valid CDL for at least two (2) years before allowing us to write you a Trucking Insurance policy.
The type of cargo you file to haul with the DOT will impact your trucking insurance rates. You want to be accurate when filing Cargo Hauled, but you don’t want to mark everything because you want to haul everything. You need to specialize and stick to a specific type of cargo.
Age of Equipment
Advances in technology has made it a safer operating environment. Majority of newer rigs have lane warning, digital displays, and automatic braking which has led to fewer claims. The insurance carriers are pricing in these advances in technology and discounting the policies to match the reduced chances of a claim.
Setting up and managing you DOT Number is a big part of Transportation Insurance. We have developed a whole host of educational videos to help you through the process.\
Barbee Jackson Insurance Transportation Division is the leading authority on Transportation Insurance. With two offices in Florida they service the Southeast and parts of the West. They have been awarded Top Growth Agency for the past two years and their educational series featured on YouTube has tens of thousands of views.