Everything You Need to Know About CDL Insurance

Are you gearing up to invest in CDL Insurance? Navigating the quotes, costs, and requirements can create one very overwhelming headache. It might seem like information is being thrown at you from every which way and knowing where to start and who to trust might be difficult at first. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about CDL insurance.

Everything You Need to Know About CDL InsuranceGetting CDL Insurance: An In-Depth Guide

CDL insurance is an incredibly important part of driving trucks. Sure, if there was a guarantee that nothing bad would ever happen, then you wouldn’t need it. But let’s be honest; accidents happen all the time – in fact, there are around 5,000 trucking accidents each year in the United States – and they’re not always going to be your fault. Insurance helps you deflate the cost of accidents, and can prepare you for the unexpected.

Types of CDL Insurance

There are many kinds of CDL insurance that you might want to consider outside of your general insurance. Depending on what coverage you get, adding extras can offer some cushion room and allow you to focus on driving.

  1. Bobtail Insurance. This CDL insurance coverage includes when you’re deadheading for a business.
  2. Gap Insurance. This covers a truck’s depreciation, in case you need to replace your vehicle. 
  3. Cargo Insurance. This CDL insurance will cover your freight.
  4. Damage Insurance. Damage Insurance for your truck will, as the name implies, will cover you if your truck is severely damaged. Always be sure that towing fees are included in your CDL insurance coverage – as you might imagine, it’s expensive to tow any kind of truck, especially if you’re driving a tractor trailer.
  5. Non-Trucking Liability. This CDL insurance should offer coverage for when you are using your truck for your personal use.

Cost of CDL Insurance

1. CDL Insurance For a Commercial Truck

The CDL insurance cost depends on what you’re hauling, how often and how far you drive, your age, your experience, and more. One controllable factor is the market price of your truck; newer trucks will cause your rates to increase, while a truck owner with the same history but a cheaper truck will pay less monthly.

Generally, though, the cost of an owner-operator is somewhere between $1,500 to $2,000 every year. This could also be changed based on whether you get individual or a bundled coverage, and what kind of payment plan you choose. 

2. CDL Insurance For a Tractor Trailer

Tractor-trailer CDL insurance is vital for drivers. Considering the size and weight of a tractor trailer, accidents involving these vehicles can lead to major damage. This can cause issues for the truck, the contents, property, and others that might be involved in the accident. Good insurance can not only protect you from paying all of your medical or repair bills but will also keep you safe as you share the road with uninsured drivers. 

The typical policy for a tractor trailer runs between $2,000 and $4,000 a year. This can change based on whether you’re using a type of national insurance or a more focused policy. 

3. CDL Insurance For an Owner-Operator

If you’ve chosen to get into freelance trucking, then you’re looking at even greater discrepancies for cost. Cost can range from $8,000 to $12,000, depending on your driving record, your personal credit history, and the brand, make, model, and year of the truck you’re insuring.

How to Keep Your Rates Low on CDL Insurance

There are several ways to work on keeping your CDL insurance rates as low as possible. Here are just a few actions you can take to save money:

1. Put in the Time 

It’s frustrating at first, but the longer you drive, the lower your CDL insurance rates will be. Some insurers may even offer additional discounts with more experience.

2. Keep Your Driving Record Clean

You can’t go back in time and stop an accident from happening. However, the cleaner your driving record is, the less expensive your CDL insurance.

3. Shop Around

Don’t just go with the first insurance you find because shopping around is so overwhelming. Make sure to get quotes every two years to keep up with the best rate for you.

4. Stay On Top of Your Log Book

Though logbook errors can be common, try to stay on top of it and double-check your work – they can cost you long-term if you have repeat violations and errors.

5. Switch to a Higher Deductible

Switching your CDL insurance to have a higher deductible means you’ll have a lower insurance payment. Of course, if something does happen, the money you saved could come out of pocket if something does happen.

6. Pay Upfront

If you have the funds, see if you can get a discount for paying your CDL insurance costs in total at the beginning of the year. Some companies will offer up to a 20% discount for paying in a lump sum.

7. Build Good Credit Overall

The higher the credit score you have, the less you pay for basically everything – including CDL insurance costs.

Finding the Best CDL Insurance For You

So what exactly is the best CDL insurance for you? You want to make sure you go with a company that has a good reputation; if you end up falling for a scam, you’ll have to pay double in the long run. Here are just a few of the many companies that have CDL insurance for you to choose from:


Nationwide offers policy discounts for CDL insurance, but are perhaps best known for their flexible billing options.


Progressive is a top pick for many getting CDL insurance, as they are able to offer custom truck insurance, including motor truck cargo, trailer interchange, reimbursement for rentals, non-trucking liability,  and downtime compensation


StateFarm offers trailer interchange, personal injury, and comprehensive collision CDL insurance. You can begin with them by getting an online quote or calling an agent near you.


This CDL insurance is particularly liked because they offer reward points for safe driving, which can then be used for travel, gift cards, and much more.


Travelers focus is as a commercial truck insurance company. This makes them an obvious pick to at least get a quote from when looking at CDL insurance options.

Get Your CDL Insurance Today

Don’t waste any more time – start getting quotes for CDL insurance today! Whether you’re a long-time driver or just starting to study for your CDL, stay updated with all the latest trucking industry info – from must-see destinations during your drive to tips on backing up your tractor-trailer – stay up to date by following our blog.

If you are just starting your trucking career, don’t be scared off by the onslaught of information or the cost of CDL insurance. Truck Driver Institute employs former drivers, who can talk you through finding a job to insurance and far beyond. Learn more about enrolling at TDI today!

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Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!