Insure a Commercial Truck for Personal Use

You may be able to insure a commercial truck for personal use if you are not using it to make money. Changing your auto insurance plan to a personal plan can save you money, so read on to learn if a personal plan is the right choice for you.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2022

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Things to remember

  • You can get commercial insurance for any vehicle used in your business, from heavy-duty trucks to trash haulers
  • Rates for commercial insurance usually cost more than rates for using a semi-truck for personal use
  • Fleet insurance is available if your business has several work vehicles

If you have a semi-truck for personal use that you also use in your business, you may be wondering what type of insurance coverage you need. This article will guide you regarding your options when you need to insure a commercial truck for personal use.

If you use a vehicle for your business, you will need to get commercial insurance coverage. Commercial insurance is usually more expensive than personal insurance, although a wide range of rates is available.

If you have a vehicle that you use for personal reasons and also in your business, you will have to make sure the vehicle is classified correctly with your insurance carrier.

Do you need commercial or personal car insurance?

The type of insurance you need depends on the use of your vehicle. Some vehicles are solely used for commercial purposes, such as dump trucks or tractor-trailers. Any vehicle with commercial license plates has been registered primarily for business use, and you should avoid any regular personal use of the vehicle.

Other vehicles may be used for personal and business reasons, such as a pickup truck or a sedan, also used as a taxi. Trucks of a certain weight may be automatically classified as commercial based on federal and state regulations. These vehicles require any operators to have commercial driver’s licenses.

Commercial vehicle insurance is different from personal insurance in that it covers any vehicle used in the operation of a business. You can add an employee as a driver on your commercial vehicle policy so that any claims resulting from that person’s use will be covered.

Most insurers require commercial coverage for any vehicle you use in your business, even if you use it for personal reasons. Your personal auto policy will not cover claims if you use your vehicle for business purposes. You will also need separate auto insurance for business lease vehicles.

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How does the cost of commercial insurance compare to personal insurance?

You can usually get a personal insurance policy for less than a commercial policy. However, an individual policy will not cover claims for a vehicle you use in your business.

Commercial insurance rates are higher because the vehicles are continually used for business operations which typically equals out to many more miles, instead of a personal use vehicle that is generally used to drive from one place to another.

Depending on the business, a commercial vehicle can have passengers, supplies, or other cargo. Damages to persons or property in commercial vehicles can result in additional claimants and higher damage payouts for the insurer.

Trucks that are the most available on the market usually cost less to insure than a more rare vehicle. Insurance companies consider the cost of replacement parts in determining their rates, so the more available a vehicle is, the less the insurance will cost.

Also, trucks rated high for safety generally get lower insurance quotes. If you can get a truck with low crash risk, this can also help you save on insurance rates.

What does it cost to insure a commercial truck for personal use?

Insurance rates can vary widely among insurance companies. Rates also depend on discounts and other programs available through specific insurers.

To see how much it costs to insure a truck at various different providers, we’ve collected rates for two Ford trucks.

Average Annual Private Use Truck Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesAverage Rates for a 2015 Ford F-150
Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6
Average Rates for a 2018 Ford F-150
Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V6
USAA$2,551.56$2,855.69
Geico $3,092.11$3,338.40
State Farm $3,204.23$3,497.17
American Family $3,447.30$3,487.91
Nationwide $3,571.01$3,373.64
Grand Average $3,791.74$4,076.10
Progressive $3,914.05$3,962.58
Travelers $4,023.47$4,412.42
Farmers $4,093.50$4,390.19
Allstate $4,429.74$5,491.12
Liberty Mutual $5,830.16$5,988.85
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These rates are based on regular trucks, so keep in mind that if you have a heavy-duty truck, personal use insurance will cost more. Rates will also depend upon location, such as if you live in one of the best states for pickup truck owners. 

Comparing average rates for a  2015 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5’ bed and 2.7L V6, the lowest cost for an annual policy is $2,551.56, and the highest price is $5,830.16.

Looking at average rates for a  2018 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5’ bed and 2.7L V6, the lowest cost for an annual policy is $2,855.69, and the highest price is $5,988.85.

Here is a list of the five companies with the lowest rates, including the annual rate for the 2015/2018 vehicles:

  • USAA – $2,551.56/$2,855.69
  • Geico – $3,092.11/$3,338.40
  • State Farm – $3,204.23/$3,497.17
  • American Family – $3,447.30/$3,487.91
  • Nationwide – $3,571.01/$3,373.64

The trucks compared in these rate quotes are not heavy-duty vehicles. If you have a truck designed for more rigorous use, you can expect to pay higher rates even if it is for personal use. Insurance costs also fluctuate if you live in an urban area.

How You Insure a Commercial Truck Depends on How You Use it

You may have a vehicle that you use for multiple purposes. The critical consideration is if you are using the truck in a money-making enterprise. In such cases, you typically need business auto insurance.

As an example, if you grow produce for yourself and use your truck to help you move growing supplies, you are still using the vehicle for personal reasons. However, if you decide to start selling your produce at the local farmer’s market, you have started a business and use your truck for commercial use.

Most businesses allow some off-duty use of commercial vehicles. There is no prohibition from using a commercial vehicle for personal errands, as long as the truck is also used for business.

You may commit insurance fraud, though, if you misrepresent the use of your vehicle to the insurance company. If you indicate your vehicle is for personal use, but you are also using it to conduct your business, this is a material misstatement. You can be honest about the incidental personal use of a commercial vehicle, as this is acceptable.

Changing Your Auto Insurance Policy From Commercial to Personal

If you stop participating in your business venture, you can update your insurance policy. You need to contact the insurance company and advise them of your change in circumstances.

You will want to get an updated quote from your insurer for a new personal use policy. You should confirm that the insurance company will cancel the commercial policy.  If you are still using your truck for business purposes, you will not be able to trade out your commercial coverage for a personal use policy.

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Can you insure a commercial truck for personal use? Final Thoughts

If you use a semi-truck in your business, you will need a commercial use policy. A personal use policy will not cover any claims arising while conducting your business.

You can use your commercial vehicle for occasional personal reasons. You should advise your insurance company if you no longer use a truck for business reasons, as you should be able to get a less expensive personal use policy.

 

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