State-By-State Guide to Commercial Trucking Insurance Requirements

State-By-State Guide to Commercial Trucking Insurance Requirements

Commercial trucking insurance plays an important role in operating a trucking company like Cowtown Express, ensuring financial protection and compliance. In this comprehensive guide, join us as we explore the diverse insurance requirements imposed by each state across the United States.

From operating authority and freight minimum limits to nationwide freight shipping, we delve into the essential components and regulations to help trucking businesses navigate the complex landscape of commercial trucking insurance.

Understanding Commercial Trucking Insurance

Understanding Commercial Trucking Insurance

Commercial trucking insurance plays a critical role in protecting trucking companies and their assets. It encompasses different types of coverage, including liability insurance, cargo insurance, and physical damage coverage. Various factors influence these coverage types, such as the type of vehicle, the nature of the cargo, and the driver's record. It's important for trucking companies to carefully evaluate these factors to determine the specific insurance requirements for their operations, whether they operate interstate or intrastate.

What Is the Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate Coverage?

Understanding the difference between interstate and intrastate coverage is essential in the trucking industry.

  • Interstate coverage refers to insurance that allows a motor carrier to transport goods across state lines. It typically requires higher minimum limits for public liability insurance due to the increased exposure to risk.
  • Intrastate coverage, on the other hand, applies to transportation within a single state and often has lower minimum limits. Additionally, specific regulations may come into play for intrastate carriers transporting hazardous materials or freight.

Trucking businesses must ensure they have the appropriate coverage based on their operating scope to meet the requirements and adequately protect themselves and others on the road.

Interstate Truck Insurance Minimum Requirements

Interstate Truck Insurance Minimum Requirements

To operate a commercial truck legally and safely, you must meet specific insurance requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These requirements cover a range of essential aspects, including:

  • Minimum Coverage: The FMCSA mandates minimum liability insurance coverage for commercial trucks based on the type of cargo being transported. For non-hazardous freight under 10,001 pounds, the minimum coverage is $300,000. For non-hazardous freight exceeding 10,001 pounds, the minimum coverage increases to $750,000. For hazardous materials, the minimum coverage can range from $5,000,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the specific type of material being transported.
  • CDL Requirements: If you’re hauling more than 26,000 pounds, you must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The CDL demonstrates your competence and qualifications to operate large commercial vehicles.
  • MC and DOT Authority: To operate a commercial trucking business, you must obtain a Motor Carrier (MC) number from the FMCSA. This number serves as your unique identifier for interstate trucking operations. Additionally, you may need to register with your state's Department of Transportation (DOT) if you engage in intrastate trucking activities.
  • Vehicle Information: When obtaining commercial truck insurance, you must provide detailed information about all vehicles you intend to add to the policy. This includes the make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each vehicle.
  • Insurance Company Selection: Carefully choose your commercial truck insurance provider. Consider factors such as coverage options, pricing, reputation, and customer service when making your decision.

Intrastate Insurance Costs for Trucks

State by state, the intricacies of truck insurance coverage requirements unfold within intrastate operations.

Type of Freight Non-hazardous Freight (Under 10,001 lbs.) Non-hazardous Freight (Over 10,001 lbs.) Oil (For-Hire & Private Carriers) Other Hazardous Materials (For-Hire & Private Carriers)
ALABAMA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
ALASKA $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
ARIZONA $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
ARKANSAS $7,200 $10,400 $14,400 $1,500,000
CALIFORNIA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
COLORADO $7,700 $11,200 $15,200 $1,500,000
CONNECTICUT $8,000 $11,900 $16,800 $1,500,000
DELAWARE $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
FLORIDA $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
GEORGIA $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
HAWAII $7,200 $10,400 $14,400 $1,500,000
IDAHO $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
ILLINOIS $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
INDIANA $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
IOWA $7,600 $11,500 $15,000 $1,500,000
KANSAS $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
KENTUCKY $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
LOUISIANA $7,000 $10,000 $14,000 $1,500,000
MAINE $7,200 $10,400 $14,400 $1,500,000
MARYLAND $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
MASSACHUSETTS $7,900 $11,900 $16,700 $1,500,000
MICHIGAN $7,700 $11,200 $15,200 $1,500,000
MINNESOTA $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
MISSISSIPPI $7,200 $10,400 $14,400 $1,500,000
MISSOURI $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
MONTANA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
NEBRASKA $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
NEVADA $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
NEW HAMPSHIRE $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
NEW JERSEY $8,100 $11,900 $16,900 $1,500,000
NEW MEXICO $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
NEW YORK $7,900 $11,900 $16,700 $1,500,000
NORTH CAROLINA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
NORTH DAKOTA $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
OHIO $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
OKLAHOMA $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
OREGON $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
PENNSYLVANIA $7,900 $11,900 $15,900 $1,500,000
RHODE ISLAND $7,900 $11,900 $16,700 $1,500,000
SOUTH CAROLINA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
SOUTH DAKOTA $7,700 $11,700 $15,700 $1,500,000
TENNESSEE $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
TEXAS $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
UTAH $7,200 $10,000 $14,000 $1,500,000
VERMONT $7,800 $11,500 $15,500 $1,500,000
VIRGINIA $7,700 $11,200 $15,200 $1,500,000
WASHINGTON $7,600 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000
WEST VIRGINIA $7,500 $10,500 $14,500 $1,500,000
WISCONSIN $7,400 $10,800 $14,800 $1,500,000
WYOMING $7,400 $11,000 $15,000 $1,500,000

What Other Types of Insurance Should You Have?

Having the right insurance coverage is a key to success for all trucking businesses. In addition to liability coverage, other types of insurance are highly recommended or required in certain situations. Here are a few important coverage options to consider:

  • Cargo Insurance: This coverage protects against damage or loss of the cargo being transported and is often required by shippers or brokers.
  • Bobtail Insurance: Bobtail insurance provides liability coverage when a truck is being operated without a trailer, such as when returning from a delivery.
  • Physical Damage Insurance: Physical damage insurance covers repairs or replacement of your truck in case of accidents, collisions, or other physical damage.
  • Passenger Insurance: Offers coverage for passengers traveling in the truck, ensuring their well-being and financial protection.
  • On-Hook Coverage: It is a type of insurance that provides protection for a trucking company in the event of damage or loss to a customer's vehicle or property while it is in the care, custody, or control of the insured.
  • Limited Depreciation Insurance: This type of coverage provides insurance for the depreciation value of an insured item, such as a vehicle or property, in the event of a covered claim.
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI): This is a type of insurance that provides coverage for unexpected mechanical failures or breakdowns of a vehicle's components or systems. Unlike traditional warranties, MBI covers repairs and replacements for mechanical failures that occur after the original manufacturer's warranty expires.


As a trucking company like Cowtown Express, understanding commercial trucking insurance requirements is essential. From truckload freight shipping to the well-being of commercial truck drivers, complying with these regulations results in operational success and adherence to federal law. Having general liability insurance protects your assets and mitigates potential risks.

To safeguard your business and ensure compliance, make sure you’re informed about the specific insurance requirements in each state. Don't hesitate to reach out and get a quote from a reputable truckload freight shipping provider today!

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