Skip to content
aerial view of a window road during autumn

Policies for WI Truckers, Owner Operators & Trucking Companies

Even with maximum safety and training efforts, along with strict compliance with Wisconsin’s latest motor carrier regulations, all the mitigation in the world can’t remove risk entirely. For this reason drivers, owner-operators, and commercial trucking companies know that basic trucking insurance coverage is paramount. Knowing what’s required, what additional coverage is recommended and how the industry operates, the trucking insurance brokers at Ansay & Associates will help those who keep the business world running stay safe and at the lowest risk possible while on the open road.

Trucking Insurance Explained:

Let's take a look at what types of coverage is required, what other options there are and other need-to-know facts about insurance and the trucking industry.

Find Your Trucking Coverage

What's required in WI

Required Insurance Coverages for WI Commercial Trucking?

Currently there are two required insurance coverages for motor carrier companies and drivers in Wisconsin: commercial auto liability and workers compensation.

NOTE: These are bare minimum policies and additional policy endorsements may be required, depending on the type of cargo and where it’s going. For instance, drivers and companies may be subject to additional coverage and registration requirements by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) if certain factors are met including:

  • Interstate or Intrastate operation
  • Transporting certain hazardous materials in certain amounts
  • Operation with gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more


Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

Commercial auto liability insurance is mandatory for commercial vehicles in Wisconsin, regardless if it's a semi-truck, straight box truck, passenger van or company car. Auto liability covers third-party property damage, injuries, or fatalities arising from accidents caused by the driver or the trucking company. Since trucking involves larger vehicles with more weight and higher risk of greater damage, comprehensive liability insurance is critical for freight companies and owner-operators alike. 

Since each company/circumstance is different, what’s recommended under auto liability insurance may vary. Our experts will help you understand your unique risk exposure and the appropriate coverage to mitigate it.


Workers' Compensation Insurance

Trucking companies operating in Wisconsin are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Whether a fleet owner, a motor carrier or an owner-operator, there must be a plan in place to compensate employees in case of injury or sickness during or as a result of work, including recovery time.

Anyone operating a semi truck is aware of the potential for injuries in numerous aspects of the job. A quality workers’ comp plan will benefit truck drivers in the event of injury resulting from several work-related tasks.

Contact an Advisor

What's Covered for Truckers?

Commercial Auto Liability Protections:

  • Legal expenses - helps cover costs of 3rd party lawsuits as a result of an accident
  • Medical expenses - helps cover medical costs in the event of an injury resulting from an accident
  • Collision damage - cost coverage for repairing damage to a 3rd party’s vehicle or property
  • Uninsured motorists - cost coverage for damages incurred by an incident with an uninsured driver
  • Non-collision damages - covers costs to repair non-collision damages like vandalism

Workers' Comp Protections:

  • Traffic accidents - few careers risk injury from traffic accidents like driving freight, the road can be dangerous and large vehicles involved can be hard to control
  • Cargo handling - loading & unloading cargo exposes a variety of injuries resulting from slips and falls, shifting cargo, and repetitive stress
  • Truck repairs - breakdowns on highways leave a lot of risk for collision, and semi truck repairs are more complex and dangerous than passenger vehicles
  • Entering & disembarking a vehicle - a truck driver entering or exiting a truck’s cab or trailer runs risk of injury to their back, knees, ankles, hands and more

Other Protection

Common Insurance Coverage Enhancements for WI Motor Carriers

With a wide range of partner carriers, Ansay is able to find the right set of policy endorsements for the unique needs of your business. In addition to Wisconsin’s minimum coverage requirements for trucking companies and owner-operators, it’s possible to bundle numerous add-on policies covering a range of different scenarios for comprehensive protection against common issues truckers and freight carriers encounter. 

Depending on the company, insurers may combine these in an assortment of package types, with some coverage types overlapping the protections offered by others. Ansay & Associates will help you navigate the myriad options to get the coverage you need, while eliminating the types you don’t. Here’s a brief look at some standard coverage enhancements available for trucking companies and their drivers.

Physical Damage Insurance

Whether running a large fleet company or a humble owner-operator business, your biggest assets are your drivers and your vehicles. In the event of damage to vehicles, a company can be in real trouble if repairs or replacement cost more than they can cover out of pocket. Since damage is nearly impossible to plan for but is always a threat, operators within the trucking industry should get the best comprehensive coverage against physical damages to their trucks that they can afford. In fact, under some lease conditions, this type of supplementary coverage may be required. 

Ansay’s team of expert insurance brokers will connect commercial trucking entities with a physical damage coverage enhancement that works best for them. A range of endorsements in this coverage group will protect your Wisconsin trucking company from financial losses from a range of events, including:

  • Vehicle damage - 3rd party vehicle collisions aren’t the only things that can cause damage to semi trucks; animal strikes, driver error, unmarked bridges, etc. are all common occurrences
  • Theft - with the upper end of cargo loads reaching into the millions in cash value, semi truck theft is more common than you may realize
  • Vandalism - this is not limited to some kid with a spray can…trailers tires can be slashed, truck cabs can be ruined and arson is always possible 
  • Natural Disasters - a severe disaster can render whole fleets inoperable, leaving motor carriers responsible for lost revenue

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance covers liability in the event goods or cargo being transported are damaged, stolen, or otherwise lost during transit. As noted above, some insurance carriers package a type of cargo insurance into a general physical damage coverage. For higher value cargo or cargo more prone to spoilage, it’s worth investigating a separate comprehensive cargo insurance endorsement. Truckers & motor carriers should seriously consider specialized cargo insurance if they deal in certain categories of cargo, including:

  • Perishable food: reefer trailers rely on their cooling systems to maintain proper temperature and failure of system components can lead to spoilage of entire shipments
  • Consumer goods: items easily resold on illicit markets are a leading target for theft. This is a large category of products, including: 
    • Household appliances
    • Electronics
    • Furniture
    • Tools 
    • Toys
  • Long haul delivery: a longer interstate delivery means overnight stoppage, and stationary cargo is more prone to spoilage, theft or general damage
    • Long hauls also often start their journey at high-volume logistical hubs, which are common targets of cargo theft
  • Last mile delivery: transferring cargo to last mile delivery vehicles runs inherent risk of damage or misplacement, with fictitious cargo pickups (misdirecting a shipment to a different address) becoming increasingly more common

Motor Truck General Liability Insurance

General Liability is among the most common insurance types used across industries and different entities, but the “Motor Truck'' variation of it applies directly to the trucking industry. Depending on the policy it may cover things like customer injury from slips and falls on company premises, damaged cargo due to delivery error, even libel or slander.

What's the Damage?

Cost of Commercial Insurance for Trucking Companies & Drivers

As with any insurance, the overall cost of insuring trucks for commercial purposes can vary dramatically depending on many different factors. It’s important to be aware of what contributes to higher rates, differences in coverage depth and type in order to understand what premiums might look like for your commercial trucking business. 

Get Insurance Savings with Ansay

Factors in the cost of Trucking Insurance

In the end it’s always best to consult with an expert insurance broker like the team at Ansay & Associates, before you sign on to any policy. Some of the factors our team will consider and account for when trying to find the best options for your trucking business include: 

  • Number of vehicles covered
  • Type of vehicles covered & their use
  • Type of coverage desired
  • Policy limits and deductible amounts desired
  • Driving frequency
  • Driver demographics and driving record
  • Past claims history
white transit vans

What Makes a Good Trucking Insurance Plan?

The simple answer is “whatever protects best”. But, when you’re operating a trucking business on thin margins, every dollar saved is important, and every dollar spent wisely is paramount. With Ansay & Associates, you’ll have a partner insurance broker dedicated to the success of your trucking operation. We’ll work hard to connect you with the coverage you need, focusing on three of the most desirable characteristics of a good insurance policy:

  • Tailored coverage to fit your trucking insurance needs
  • Flexible payment plan options keeping your operation in the black
  • Deductible options so you keep more of your revenue should the worst happen

Optimize Your Trucking Insurance Plan

Does my trucking company need coverage?

Heavy Vehicles Requiring Commercial Trucking insurance

If a vehicle is used in actions related to a business or occupation, a general commercial insurance policy is required. However, in Wisconsin - and many other states - any commercial vehicle with a registered WISDOT serial number may require additional coverage, depending on the vehicle and its use.

  • Semi trucks & trailers
  • Flatbed trucks & trailers
  • Refrigerated trucks 
  • Tanker trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Auto hauler trailers
  • Front-end loaders
  • Tractors
  • Dump trucks
  • Garbage trucks

U.S. Trucking Industry by the Numbers

Class 8 Trucks

In 2021, the American Trucking Association (ATA) tallied approximately 4 million registered Class 8 trucks on the road in the United States. About 1.1 million were for-hire with private carriers. 

Owner Operators

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) estimated 350,000 to 400,000 vehicles belonged to owner-operators in 2022. Owner-operators play a large role in the hauling specialized or niche freight.

Long Distance Freight Companies

There are more than 570,000 long-distance freight trucking businesses in the United States. The number of long-distance freight companies in the US trucking industry has grown 4.5% per year on average between 2018 - 2023.

Get Answers

Trucking Insurance FAQs

What types of insurance do truckers need?

State-by-state requirements will vary, but commercial auto liability insurance, physical damage insurance, cargo insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and general liability insurance are good recommendations.

Do truckers need to carry insurance if they are leased to a carrier?

Yes, truckers need insurance even if they are leased to a carrier. Carriers may provide some coverage, but it's always a good idea to carry supplemental insurance to fully protect yourself and your assets.

What is non-trucking liability insurance?

Non-trucking liability insurance covers truckers using their vehicle for non-business purposes, such as personal use or when they're not driving for work.

What is bobtail insurance?

Bobtail insurance covers truckers driving without a trailer attached to their rig. Most often used when truckers are driving to or from work.

What happens if a trucking company doesn't have insurance?

Without insurance, a company could be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur as a result of an accident. Fines and penalties will also accrue for not carrying the required insurance.

Contact Us

We're here to answer your questions. Let's talk.

Looking to protect your company assets from auto liabilities, contact one of our specialists at Ansay – we’ll make sure your business is protected and that you receive the most competitive rates on the market.

Please note, your message does not bind, alter, or cancel coverages and is not effective until confirmed directly with a licensed agent.

You Can Always Call Us Toll-Free at: 1 (888) 262-6729

Thanks for reaching out! We'll respond shortly.