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California Truck Insurance Requirements

Every commercial motor vehicle on the road must have sufficient coverage in place. Apart from being a legal requirement, commercial auto insurance provides the insured parties with financial protection in the event of a covered loss. Commercial motor vehicles are massive investments, and as a truck driver, you’ll want to safeguard your asset.

If you’re a truck driver in California you’re probably on the hunt for the best coverage and rates. Especially as inflation continues to drive up the cost of goods around the world. As a business in the transportation industry, we understand the urge to cut back on expenses. However, now’s not the time to cut back on your insurance coverage. With a few simple tips, you can manage your insurance costs without breaking the bank.

In this article, we’ll discuss the FMCSA insurance requirements in California and the various factors that affect your rates. Let’s get started.

Commercial Truck Insurance in California

Every state has specific requirements in regards to commercial auto insurance. In California, the coverage amount is largely dependent on the type of truck you drive and its size. If you drive a passenger vehicle then your carrying capacity will determine how much coverage you need.

Essentially, the larger the truck or passenger vehicle, the higher your minimum insurance requirement will be. Note that trucks carrying hazardous materials such as flammable liquids, explosives, and radioactive materials will require more coverage.

Available Coverage Options

Beyond meeting the minimum general liability requirements in California, there are other insurance policies you may need. The following coverage options can provide your business maximum protection in the event of a loss. Some of these may even be required depending on the type of business you’re in.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the following insurance policies.

Bobtail Insurance

You may be asking yourself, what’s bobtailing? Well, it’s the time spent driving your truck without the trailer attached. The problem with this is your general liability insurance won’t cover you in these instances. You may be on your way back from dropping off a load or on your way to pick one up. The point is, bobtail insurance is your go-to in situations like these.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

As a truck driver, you’re hired to transport goods to their desired location. Many times you’ll cross state lines in interstate travel and drive hundreds of miles to reach your drop-off location. This is a risky task since you’re taking on the responsibility of transporting the cargo safely. Unfortunately, in this day in age with the rise in truck accidents and cargo thefts you can’t take any chances!

Motor truck cargo insurance is vital for any trucking business, regardless of what you haul. This will safeguard your business in the event your cargo is stolen, damaged, or vandalized.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Non-trucking liability insurance is meant to protect you when you’re off-duty driving your truck. Your general liability insurance covers your routes but no detours, so this is where non-trucking liability insurance comes in. It keeps you protected when you’re operating your truck for personal use, such as running errands or going out to eat. You never know when you might need it, so it’s always a great idea to be prepared.

What Affects the Cost of California Truck Insurance?

Insurance costs vary as there are a few parameters to keep in mind. Some things are directly linked to you as the driver, while others are due to the type of cargo you haul or the vehicle you drive. The insurance carrier will also check your safety rating and driving record before issuing you a quote. Other factors that affect your rates include the value of your trucks, how many you have, your drivers’ hauling radius, and so on.

If you’re looking to lower your rates we recommend a thorough driver screening process and implementing various safety training programs.


The good news is that you can get your hands on some awesome deals if you shop with multiple carriers. You can explore different coverage options to decide what works best for you!

To get your truck insurance quote, give us a call today or fill out our online quote form.




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California Commercial Trucking Insurance