How Much Does Truck Cargo Insurance Cost? (2023 Rates)

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

The cargo you carry in your truck is your livelihood. If anything happens to it, it could negatively impact your business. That’s why it’s crucial to secure the proper insurance to protect the cargo you haul.

The issue: Truck cargo insurance can be costly.

This article will explain how much truck cargo insurance costs, what factors impact premium prices, and the steps you can take to control policy costs.

How much does truck cargo insurance cost?

Based on extensive research, insurance premiums for truck cargo insurance typically range from $400 to $1,800 per year. That breaks down to $35 to $150 per month.

Truck cargo insurance policy limits play a big part in how much you’ll pay for coverage. Here are some benchmark premium costs for cargo insurance at different limits:

Truck cargo insurance coverage limits Costs
$50,000 policy limit$400 – $700 a year
$100,000 policy limit$800 – $1,400 a year
$250,000 policy limit $1,000 – $1,800 a year

Quite simply, if you typically haul fewer inexpensive items as cargo, you’ll pay less than if you carry a lot of expensive goods.

These are just the averages. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker or agency like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to compare several quotes before making your final decision.

How much is the average truck cargo insurance cost per month?

The average truck cargo insurance cost per month is $95. The actual cost varies by the policy’s coverage limits.

Truck cargo insurance coverage limitsAverage monthly costs
$50,000 policy limit$46 per month
$100,000 policy limit$92 per month
$250,000 policy limit$117 per month

How much does $1M cargo insurance cost?

Most shippers and brokers would require a $1M cargo insurance policy to transport their valuable goods. It is actually quite expensive to get $1M cargo insurance coverage and sometimes it may not be as easy as you would think.

Based on our intensive research, the average $1M cargo insurance policy costs $410 per month or $4,920 per year. Most owner-operator truckers pay between $350 and $620 per month for a $1M cargo insurance policy based on the cargo types that they haul and other factors.

Lear more at how much does $1M cargo insurance cost and other details.

What factors go into calculating truck cargo insurance premiums?

The top three factors that insurers use to calculate truck cargo insurance premiums are:

What’s being transported.

Insurers consider the risk and value of what you haul.

  • Risk: It’s much riskier to haul natural gas than plastic goods, so you’ll pay more for truck cargo protection if you carry natural gas.
  • Value: You’ll pay more for cargo coverage if you carry expensive furniture rather than cheaper things like canned goods.

Cargo policy limits

As covered in the previous section, the higher your truck cargo policy limit, the more you’ll pay for coverage. The most common limit for cargo coverage is $100,000. If you haul cars, your limit may need to be $250,000 or more. Some truckers require $1,000,000 of cargo insurance, which can be pricey. 

Loss history

Claims on your truck cargo insurance over the last three years will be factored into your premium prices. A large claim or several smaller ones could up your costs.

How can I reduce truck cargo insurance costs?

Below are a few ways you can reduce your truck cargo insurance costs:

Compare several quotes

A final way to lower your insurance costs without sacrificing coverage is to shop around. Get quotes from at least three insurers to compare coverages and premiums. Different insurance companies evaluate risk in different ways, and you may find one willing to cover your unique risks at a lower price.

Choose higher deductibles

One way to reduce your truck cargo insurance premium is to choose higher deductibles. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. If you decide to do this, you always need to have enough cash to pay your deductible if you ever experience a cargo-related loss. 

Maximize your discounts

Another option is to take advantage of all the discounts due you. You can earn them by bundling multiple types of insurance with a single provider, maintaining a clean driving record, implementing safe driving programs, and paying for your coverage up-front annually rather than in installments.

Prevent losses

You should also take care when loading and unloading your cargo and while transporting it. This will help prevent losses that could cause your insurance premiums to increase. 

Reduce unnecessary coverage limits

Not only does your insurance come with an overall policy limit, but the individual coverages also have their own limits, as well. Some standard coverage limits are:

  • General cargo insurance: $100,000 to $300,000
  • Pollution liability: $10,000+
  • Debris removal: $10,000 to $25,000
  • Earned freight: $1,000 to $25,000

You must always have enough coverage to protect the cargo you haul and your livelihood. However, you can control your truck cargo coverage costs by working with your agent or insurance company representative to eliminate unnecessary protection and reduce limits that are too high.

What coverages should be included in a truck cargo insurance policy?

The cost of cargo insurance also depends on what the policy covers. Some cut-rate policies may be tempting, but they could lack essential coverages, putting you at significant risk. Work with your agent or insurer when you get quotes to ensure you are covered for all the risks you face. 

Here are some common coverages you may want to include in your truck cargo insurance policy:

  • Pollution liability covers costs to clean up environmentally harmful spilled cargo, such as gasoline.
  • Debris removal pays the costs of clearing cargo dropped onto roadways and into waterways.
  • Theft pays for stolen cargo.
  • Hijacking covers costs associated with highjacked cargo.
  • Sue and labor coverage pays to prevent further losses to damaged goods after an incident has occurred.
  • Earned freight coverage pays income lost because damaged cargo can’t be delivered.
  • Infidelity/dishonesty coverage pays for losses when a driver steals cargo.
  • Water damage pays for losses resulting from trailer leaks and other sources of wetness.
  • Loading and unloading covers cargo damage that happens when placing it on and removing it from your truck.
  • Reefer breakdown pays for losses that occur when refrigeration equipment breaks down.

Always review your truck cargo insurance quotes carefully to ensure all the risks you face are covered adequately.

Best truck cargo insurance companies

Hundreds of insurance companies offer truck cargo insurance. It can be confusing trying to find the best ones for you. We have done the research and here are our recommendations for the best truck cargo insurance companies for your consideration:

  • Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes from multiple providers
  • Progressive: Best for discounted coverage
  • Sentry: Best for personalized service 
  • Great American Insurance Group: Best truck insurance specialist
  • NITIC: Best for affordable motor truck cargo coverage

What’s important is that you get at least three quotes from different carriers to compare coverages and costs to find the best combination for you. Truck cargo insurance is too important to take chances.

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Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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