Commercial Truck Insurance Tips

Commercial Truck Insurance Tips Considerations Florida

Minimum Insurance Requirements for Truck Registrations in Florida


In order to register a commercial truck in the state of Florida you need to provide current proof of Florida Personal Liability Protection or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL), including the insurance company’s name and policy number.

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. That means, that regardless who is at fault if you are injured in an accident, your car insurance will pay your medical costs up to your policy’s limits.


Primary Liability Insurance

When the truck liability insurance is under your or company name and you are the owner of the truck, the only insurance you will required is Primary Liability Insurance.


Secondary Liability Insurance

It is a coverage that is not required by Florida Law but by the motor carrier that you have a lease with, and only covers you while you are under their lease.


The minimum limits in Florida for insurance coverage are:

  • (PIP) Insurance = $10,000
  • (PDL) Insurance = $10,000

Sometimes the State of Florida also requires you to purchase additional vehicle insurance or “high risk insurance policies” SR-22 or FR-44


PIP Coverage:

The PIP insurance will cover:

  • Your portion of medical expenses and income loss that result from a vehicle accident even if the accident is in someone else’s vehicle.
  • Any members of your household result from a vehicle accident.
  • Members of your family when he or she are riding any other vehicle.
  • You when you are a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in a vehicle accident.
  • Any passengers in your vehicle who do not own a car and do not have their own PIP insurance
  • Anyone in your car who has PIP car insurance will be covered by his or her own policy if you get in a car accident.

PDL Coverage:

PDL insurance in Florida will cover you for damages you cause in a vehicle accident to someone else’s property, like their vehicles, signs, business, home, etc


Types of Commercial Auto Insurance

There are many different types of commercial vehicles, hazardous considerations and coverage.


Some types of commercial auto insurance can be:

  • Business auto insurance.
  • Truck insurance.
  • Cargo insurance.
  • Pickup truck insurance.
  • Tow truck insurance.
  • Van insurance.
  • Dump truck insurance.
  • Non-owned/hired liability insurance.



 Truck Cargo Insurance

Truck Cargo Insurance is the insurance on the freight or commodity hauled by a For-hire trucker.  It covers your liability on the cargo itself because of an accident and also it may cover other expenses that are consequential to the accident like for example the removal expenses and / or the for freight charges because the customer lost the load to be delivered.

Truck Cargo Insurance is not required by the Florida Law, but the fmcsa (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) in Article 387.303 requires a minimum limit for the protection of the public that differs based on the cargo and the majority of the shippers, brokers and agents also require truckers to insure their cargo.



Truck Insurance


Commercial truck insurance is required for Vehicles with a GVW over 26,000 Lbs or if you carry any hazardous material or more than 15 people.


The section 320.01, of the 2015 Florida Statutes defines a:


Light Truck Insurance, Florida
(9) “Truck” means any motor vehicle with a net vehicle weight of 5,000 pounds or less and which is designed or used principally for the carriage of goods and includes a motor vehicle to which has been added a cabinet box, a platform, a rack, or other equipment for the purpose of carrying goods other than the personal effects of the passengers.

Truck insurance, florida

(10) “Heavy truck” means any motor vehicle with a net vehicle weight of more than 5,000 pounds, which is registered on the basis of gross vehicle weight in accordance with s. 320.08(4), and which is designed or used for the carriage of goods or designed or equipped with a connecting device for the purpose of drawing a trailer that is attached or coupled thereto by means of such connecting device and includes any such motor vehicle to which has been added a cabinet box, a platform, a rack, or other equipment for the purpose of carrying goods other than the personal effects of the passengers.

semi truck insurance, Florida
(11) “Truck tractor” means a motor vehicle which has four or more wheels and is designed and equipped with a fifth wheel for the primary purpose of drawing a semitrailer that is attached or coupled thereto by means of such fifth wheel and which has no provision for carrying loads independently.


commerical truck insurance, Florida, Refrigerated Truck


(25) “Commercial motor vehicle” means any vehicle which is not owned or operated by a governmental entity, which uses special fuel or motor fuel on the public highways, and which has a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or has three or more axles regardless of weight, or is used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight.

 Bobtail Insurance


If you are an independent contractor and own a semi truck or 18 wheeler when you drive without the trailer is considered bobtailing or more commonly called deadheading.  Under this circumstances you may need insurance beyond what your motor carrier offers you.


Minimum $ Coverage based on GVW


So for the purpose of this article the Minimum levels of Combined Bodily Liability Insurance and Property Damage Liability Insurance (Combined Single Limit-CSL) required for Commercial Truck Insurance based on the declared GVW according to the Procedure Manual RS-33 are:


Truck Insurance, Semi Truck insurance, Florida

  1. 26,001-34,999 lbs GVW = $50,000 coverage
  2. 35,000-43,999 lbs GVW = $100,000 coverage
  3. 44,000-80,000 lbs GVW = $300,000 coverage
  4. 10,000 or more which transport hazardous materials or
  5. 10,000 or more that are for-hire interstate carriers  = $ $750,000 CSL coverage
  6. Car hauling operations require a min of $1,000,000 but it varied

You can split the limit policy if the policy limits meet or exceed required coverage.

Commercial Auto Insurance vs Commercial Truck Insurance

So if you own a Truck that has a GVW over 26,000 Lbs you will need to purchase Commercial Truck Insurance, but what happened to any truck that has a GVW under 26,000 Lbs

Then you need Commercial Auto Insurance

So if you are operating a truck or any vehicle for any business-related purposes, or if your vehicle is registered or titled to a business, rented or leased to others or if the vehicle has business equipment like a hydraulic lift, cooking equipment, bathrooms etc,  you will need commercial auto insurance.

For example, you would need commercial insurance to operate a vehicle for:

  • Pickup truck to deliver any goods
  • Box Truck to move merchandise.
  • Limo or Taxi services etc

When you shop for Commercial Insurance (review the difference in the definitions) regardless of the type of Commercial Insurance that you are looking for, many insurance companies will only sell you Policies that have higher limits than the State minimum requirements.  That has to do with their Risk.

Personal Auto Insurance vs. Commercial Auto Insurance

Insurance companies are all about “Risk” so they see Personal Auto Insurance very different than Commercial Auto Insurance or Commercial Truck Insurance.

For the vast majority of vehicles with a GVW of over 5,000 lbs you will be required by your insurance company to have a Commercial Auto Insurance.  Be aware that your personal insurance company may not pay a claim if you have an accident while driving for business purposes.

When you shop for Commercial Insurance (review the difference in the definitions) regardless of the type of Commercial Insurance that you are looking for, many insurance companies will only sell you Policies that have higher limits than the State minimum requirements.  That has to do with their Risk.

Another big difference between Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance has to do with the Combined Single Limit. Personal Auto Insurance breaks down the limits in PIP & PDL, but with Commercial Auto Insurance the claims will be covered under one limit.

Other additional Truck Insurance considerations:

Commercial truck insurance Tips, truck insurance tip, florida

  • You want to make sure that your company is listed on the policy as the principal insured.
  • Tell the agent how would you use the truck, that will impact how the overall premium. Who drives the truck and an estimate of the miles driven will be standard questions that you will be ask.
  • Keep a good driving record and good credit report, that will also affect your rate.
  • Provide safety training to your employees that operate the trucks ( your insurance agent may be able to help you with a Safety Program and that may decrease your premium up to 10%).
  • Monitor drivers driving records.
  • Anti-theft devices like GPS or alarms will help police to locate your truck in case it is stolen, they also may reduce your premium.
  • Carry a fire extinguisher in the green
  • Consider increasing your deductible but make sure you can afford that deductible in case of an accident.
  • Save to try to pay the annual premium that may save you up to 15% of the cost.
  • Insure all your vehicles with one insurance.  They may offer you a considerably discount per truck.
  • Understand what is included and or excluded in your policy.
  • Consider increasing the deductible, that will lower the premium too.
  • Remove Comprehensive coverage if you don’t have to for older trucks, it may not be cost effective.
  • Telematic Devices also will help you understand your driver behavior, location etc and it will decrease your insurance.
  • The minimum CLS insurance for inter state carriers is $750,000 but the majority of brokers and shippers will require you to have $1,000,000, and the average insurance requested for the cargo is $100,000 but it varies.
  • If you are driving under a company MC they will provide the insurance for while you are carrying their load, but you may want to consider or the lien holder will require extra insurance for the times that you are not carrying any load.
  • Always remember the reason to carry that commercial truck insurance is to protect you in case of an accident or the event of a lawsuit because of an accident.
  • Always be honest with your agent about your records and operation, be proffessional and keep yourself loss free.
  • When you look at premiums make sure you compare apples to apples, review the coverage, insurance rating and customer service.


Specifics that the Insurance Agent or Broker will ask you about your new used commercial truck:

Truck Specifics:

Information about You:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • Price
  • Current Mileage
  • VIN Number
  • GVW
  • Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver License Number
  • State Issued

The insurance company will contact the FL DMV and check driving records for each individual on your list.

  • Always ask the insurance company for discounts.
  • Always be honest with your agent, you don’t want to purchase insurance have an accident and the insurance denied payment because of misstated information.
  • Compare not only premiums but also coverage and service.  Polices and customer service vary between carriers, if the insurance company is not providing you with good timely service before you purchase the policy, how hard would that be the day you are not able to get loaded because of problems with the insurance or the day they have to pay because of an accident.
  • Never load your commercial truck above the GVW that you register your vehicle for.
  • Always keep the maintenance of your truck the number one priority, maintenance and repairs may cost you up front but if you get stuck on the side of the road or you create an accident it will cost you so much more.  Write a Maintenance Plan and share it with your insurance, it may save you up to 5% in your premium, and

Commercial Truck Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance etc, they all are very customizable, they can be build around your needs, specifications, pricing and deductibles.  Talking to someone that understand your business needs will be very helpful


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