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3 Keys to Getting the Best Truck Auto Insurance

Things to Remember...

  • Pickup trucks usually cost more to insure than passenger vehicles
  • Choosing a policy based strictly on its price is never a good idea
  • If your pickup doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, it will be classified as a commercial vehicle and will result in a higher insurance rate

You may be surprised to know that truck insurance usually costs a little bit more than standard auto insurance. When you’re talking commercial trucks over passenger vehicles, the difference in price is even greater.

When you’re looking for auto or truck insurance it’s all about finding a policy that provides enough coverage at the best possible price. Choosing a policy based strictly on how much it costs is never a good idea.

Don’t assume all auto insurance quotes are the same. Investigate for yourself by entering your zip code above into our FREE search tool on this page!

Table of Contents

Commercial or Passenger Insurance

Our first key to getting the best insurance for your truck is to understand what type of vehicle you are operating. This is important due to the differences in state laws regarding how vehicles are classified.

For example, in New York State there are different classifications of both pickup trucks and cargo vehicles. If you’re driving a pickup truck you have to decide whether it’s a commercial or passenger vehicle.

A passenger vehicle must meet certain requirements set by the state in order to be classified as such. The advantage to driving a passenger pickup truck is the fact that it’s much cheaper to insure.

If your pickup doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, it will be classified as a commercial vehicle and will result in a higher insurance rate.

When you get beyond pickup trucks into cargo and other work vehicles, there are different classifications according to weight and number of axles. Again, how your commercial trucks are classified will have an influence on how much you pay for insurance.

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City Regulations

Along these same lines, there could be different classifications and regulations for cities within the same state. For example, despite the classifications set forth by the New York State Department of Transportation, New York City is allowed to establish its own regulations in order to better control traffic.

What’s considered a general commercial truck in the rest of the state is subdivided into two categories in New York City. You can see the differences by visiting the New York City DOT website.

If you are the owner of a truck in New York State, and insurance is more expensive within the city than without, you might want to locate your business accordingly. Likewise, you may want to limit your driving within New York City if that has any effect on your insurance rates.

Consider Trim Options

If you’re planning to purchase a new pickup truck, taking our advice on how to get the best auto insurance is a good idea. But why?

Because you’ll undoubtedly be taking out collision and comprehensive insurance on your new vehicle, especially if you’re using a bank or manufacturer loan to make your purchase.

Because you’ll undoubtedly be taking out collision and comprehensive insurance on your new vehicle, especially if you’re using a bank or manufacturer loan to make your purchase.

Since comprehensive and collision rates are based on the replacement value of the vehicle and certain trim packages drive that value up, they can greatly influence your premiums.

As an example, Consumer Reports research shows the base price for a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 with the least expensive trim package starting at roughly $22,400. A fully loaded edition with the most expensive trim package can run as high as $43,000.

At nearly double the value, you can bet the auto insurance for the more expensive truck is going to be significantly more costly.

At nearly double the value, you can bet the auto insurance for the more expensive truck is going to be significantly more costly. Also, be aware that your vehicle will lose roughly 20 percent of its value within the first year of ownership.

Therefore, if you buy the most expensive truck with the premium trim package, you’ll need more GAP insurance to make up the difference between what your truck is worth and how much your insurance will pay.

Check Vehicle Safety Ratings

Our third piece of advice for finding the best truck auto insurance applies to new vehicle purchases or leases. Hopefully, you’re the type of person that considers the total cost of ownership, including insurance before you make a new vehicle decision.

Assuming that’s the case, vehicle safety ratings do play a part in insurance rates from a liability standpoint.

To get a better idea of what we’re talking about, consider the fact that the rear bumper on most pickup trucks is higher than what you’ll find on passenger vehicles.

If you were to back into the passenger door of a Honda Civic with a full-sized Chevy Silverado the back bumper is high enough that it could significantly injure anyone who might be sitting in the car.

These are things your insurance company takes into consideration when determining liability rates.

Since pickup trucks tend to be heavier and stronger than passenger vehicles, they also tend to do better in collisions. Vehicle safety ratings, like the ones provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, can tell you a lot about how well a vehicle will do in an accident.

Why These Three Keys Are Important

With that said, you may be wondering why these things matter at all. Perhaps you’re assuming that all auto insurance is created equal regardless of the driver and vehicle. All of these things matter because auto insurance premiums are based on the amount of risk a company is taking by offering you a policy.

If it helps you to understand, you can think of car insurance in terms of investing in the stock market. For example, let’s say you have $5,000 to invest in half-a-dozen stocks of your choice.

Are you going to simply spin the wheel and throw all your money into the stock that comes up? Probably not. Instead, you’ll research the individual stocks to find out which ones performed better over a certain period of time.

By researching your stocks, you are assessing how risky each one is can be as an investment. You’re a lot less likely to put your money into a stock that loses money frequently. You will be likely to put your money into a stock that gains frequently. Car insurance works in a similar manner.

Peculiarities of Trucks

When you drive a truck, you’re already leaning toward a higher risk for several different reasons. First, trucks are more expensive overall than most passenger vehicles.

Secondly, they weigh more and tend to be larger, thus increasing the likelihood that they will inflict serious damage on vehicles they hit.

Third, the nature of trucks makes it evident that owners are far more likely to do more with them than simply drive to and from work.

All of these things combined automatically create more risk in the minds of insurance companies.

When you take into account the three factors we listed earlier, you are better prepared to search for insurance and find the best policy. Once you find a policy and purchase it, you then need to follow up by protecting yourself against circumstances that will bring rate increases in the future.

That means you need to drive safely in order to avoid accidents. In winter weather, it might help you to put sandbags in the back of your truck for added weight. In rainy weather, be aware that pickup trucks tend to hydroplane a lot easier than passenger vehicles.

In summary, it is inevitable that auto insurance for a truck will cost more than most passenger vehicles. If you need a truck for work purposes, it may be worth it to you to pay higher insurance premiums.

But if you’re only thinking of a truck for its aesthetic value, you may want to consider something a bit less expensive. Always remember to take into consideration the total cost of ownership in making a vehicle purchase decision.

If you already own a truck, you can take full advantage of online auto insurance quotes by entering your zip code below into the FREE search tool!


  1. http://www.dmv.ny.gov/modclass.htm
  2. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/truckorcomm.shtml
  3. https://www.progressive.com/glossary/comprehensive-and-collision/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic
  5. http://www.iihs.org/
  6. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/how-to-compare-car-insurance-rates.aspx
  7. http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/driver_safety/
  8. http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/hydroplaning_basics.aspx
  9. https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/insurance/high-auto-insurance-premiums-2/

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