How Much is Trucking Insurance in California?

Strong Tie Insurance July 5, 2021 Our Blog

Quality auto insurance is vital for every car on the road, including trucks. Not only is commercial insurance legally required, but it also provides enough coverage to make sure you are financially protected in case you become involved in an incident. 

Large trucks can cause equally large amounts of damage, so it’s important to stay covered and choose the insurance options that make sense for you. Read on to learn about the types of insurance available to truckers and the cost of being adequately insured. 

What Kind of Trucking Insurance Is Required In California?

Every state has legal requirements for the amount of insurance coverage truckers must have. In California, the required amount depends upon the type and size of the truck. 

The numbers mentioned here will refer to the combined single limit, meaning the combined total for the coverage of both property damage liability and bodily injury liability. 

The requirements for passenger carriers depend upon the capacity of the vehicle. Vehicles with a larger capacity must meet a higher minimum coverage amount. Depending on the number of passengers, these vehicles should have anywhere from $750,000 to $5 million in commercial insurance coverage. 

Property carriers start at $300,000 required for smaller trucks under 10,000 pounds, and the lower limit reflects their lower risk. Large trucks, including semi-trucks, need to have a minimum policy of $750,000. 

Trucks that carry potentially dangerous cargo will require higher insurance coverage. Truck insurance claims are likely to be higher for a petroleum-carrying vehicle than one carrying fruits and vegetables, for example. 

Trucks carrying hazardous substances must have insurance coverage anywhere from $1 million to $5 million, depending on the specific substance. 

The necessary amount of insurance coverage varies widely across the trucking industry. Those working with potentially dangerous or expensive cargo will have to get more coverage to account for what they carry. The same applies to trucks that are in a position to cause more harm because of their size or how frequently they operate near people. 

What Kind of Insurance is Available? 

General liability insurance for truckers makes sure that you meet the basic legal requirements. Beyond the minimum required forms of insurance, there are several other options designed to help truckers feel as protected as possible. 

These insurance policies may be required for certain truckers, depending on what they do. We’ll get into those details in this section. 

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Truckers are hired to haul other people’s property via truck. They often cross state lines and drive hundreds of miles to deliver goods. This form of insurance makes sure that the items you haul are covered by insurance. 

This form of insurance is required for any trucker who hauls goods. It keeps the cargo insured in case it gets stolen, damaged, or even vandalized. That way, the insurance company pays for the damaged or missing goods, instead of the money coming out of your pocket.

Bobtail Insurance

Bobtailing refers to the time spent driving your truck without a trailer attached. Trucks are meant to be driven with heavy cargo attached, so bobtailing is a little riskier than your usual driving. 

General liability insurance doesn’t cover the period of time when you are driving without a trailer, after dropping off cargo, or on your way to pick up another load. Bobtail insurance is meant to provide coverage for this situation. 

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

This form of insurance is designed to keep you covered even when you aren’t working. Normal insurance should cover your trips home, even after you drop off cargo, but it doesn’t always cover significant detours. 

Non-trucking liability insurance protects you in the instances when you’re using your truck for personal use, including driving to restaurants or visiting friends. It’s easy to end up using your truck even on your days off, so why not stay prepared by getting insurance coverage for those times?

This form of insurance is required for those who are leasing their trucks from a motor carrier. 

What Determines the Cost of Insurance?

It’s not easy to find one definite dollar amount that insurance will cost you, and that’s because the number is so subjective. There are several factors that go into determining what the cost of insurance will be for your particular situation. 

Some factors are related to you as a driver, and others are related to the kind of work you do and the vehicle you drive. Here are some of the biggest factors that will affect how much you pay for insurance. 

Your history as a driver is an important factor that will affect the cost of insurance for a commercial trucking company. Any violations of road law will likely lead to higher premiums, to account for the likelihood of risky behavior from that driver. 

Aside from driving violations, the age of the drivers will also contribute. Very young and very old drivers are riskier to insure, so insurance will likely cost more for them. Drivers under 25 or over 65 usually have higher premiums. 

Some trucks are more expensive than others, with more features and the latest technology. These will cost more to insure because they’ll cost more to repair or replace. Consider the risk profile of your trucks as you add new ones to your fleet.

Trucks that carry hazardous or high-risk cargo, like petroleum or hazardous materials, will have higher insurance premiums. Those loads can potentially cause a lot of damage. Trucks carrying expensive cargo will also cost more to insure because the items will be more costly to replace than something like produce or lumber.

The average distance you travel also affects the cost of your insurance. Longer drives tend to be riskier, so frequent cross-country trips are likely to raise the cost of insurance for truckers. 

On a related note, you can save money if you get insurance for multiple trucks in a single bundled policy. Insurance companies tend to offer discounts for a full fleet of trucks, as opposed to individual trucks.

We offer a variety of insurance options and can work with you to create a package that best fits your needs.

To get a free quote for truck insurance, contact us at Strong Tie Insurance today.