California Truck Insurance



California Commercial Truck Insurance: A Golden Opportunity

California - the land of opportunity for trucking operations. As the nation's most populous state with over 39 million residents, California offers endless freeways and highways serving major metropolitan hubs, inland communities, and everything in between.

For motor carriers, California provides direct access to the most lucrative markets. The state's central location on the West Coast and its bustling ports connect trucking companies to vital domestic and international trade routes. California's powerhouse economy fuels immense shipping volume through diverse industries from agriculture to manufacturing to technology. The states trillion-dollar GDP ranks it as the 5th largest economy globally! This level of productivity ensures year-round freight hauling opportunities for carriers in the Golden State.

From sunny San Diego all the way up to San Jose, and from Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento, trucking is the lifeblood of commerce in California. Heavy-duty trucks transport high-value loads between the technology sector in Silicon Valley, rich agricultural regions like the Central Valley, and famous wine country in Napa. The sprawling Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland also generate massive trucking activity as well, with rigs hustling to move imports and exports between ships and their inland destinations.

For truckers looking for new opportunities, California offers endless possibilities. The state's high demand for freight transport ensures carriers have access to plenty of loads and shipping contracts. But before you can join California's golden highways, you need to make sure you have proper California commercial truck insurance.


Understanding California Commercial Trucking Insurance Coverages


  • Auto Liability

    Operating a truck without auto liability insurance? That's illegal in the Golden State. California requires all commercial rigs to carry liability coverage to cover injuries or property damage caused by the trucker. For heavy trucks over 10,001 lbs, you need at least $750,000 to cover bodily injury per accident. Lighter trucks under 10,001 lbs still need at least $15,000 in liability coverage. With busy highways like I-5 and Route 101, accidents can happen faster than a Hollywood car chase scene. That's why ample liability insurance is crucial when driving your fleet across this massive state. It protects your business in the case of a crash injuring others or damaging property. Don't take chances - make sure your trucks have the state-mandated liability coverage before hitting the road in trucking-heavy California.

  • Physical Damage

    Though not legally mandated in the Golden State, physical damage insurance can be a critical safeguard for truckers operating in California. This type of coverage, also known as collision and comprehensive, pays to repair or replace your truck and/or trailer if it's damaged in an accident, vandalized, or encounters road hazards like storms. For instance, if another vehicle merges into your truck on a congested LA freeway, causing body damage, collision coverage can pay for repairs. Or if your parked trailer is spray painted by vandals, comprehensive will help cover a paint job. Physical damage insurance cushions the blow of unexpected repairs that could put your rig out of commission. While California only requires liability coverage, adding physical damage is inexpensive peace of mind to keep trucks rolling despite dents, dings, or disasters. Make sure your policy fits the risks of operating in America's most populous, trucking-heavy state.

  • Motor Truck Cargo

    Say you're hauling the latest Silicon Valley tech gadgets and get into an accident that destroys the whole shipment. Yikes! Now you're on the hook for loads of expensive electronics. That's why Motor Truck Cargo coverage is so important for truckers moving high-value freight in California. This insurance covers damage to the cargo you're transporting if it's wrecked or stolen while in your care. California doesn't legally require it, but cargo insurance can be a lifesaver for your business. For instance, a truck crash could leave that pallet of iPhones smashed to bits. Or someone may bust into your trailer and swipe electronics overnight. With motor truck cargo coverage, you can file a claim to recoup the value of lost or damaged goods. Protect your business by getting cargo insurance tailored to the high-value freight you haul in the Golden State.

  • Reefer Breakdown

    For truckers hauling perishable cargo in California, reefer breakdown coverage goes hand-in-hand with motor truck cargo insurance. If your refrigerated trailer breaks down, spoiling its perishable freight, reefer coverage pays for the damaged goods. It covers the loss when mechanical issues or accidents cause refrigeration failure. For example, if your reefer unit dies hauling Central Valley strawberries, turning them to a hot jellied mess, reefer breakdown insurance will reimburse the value of the spoiled shipment. This coverage complements motor truck cargo insurance, which pays for cargo damaged or stolen through collisions, theft or other causes. While not legally mandatory, reefer breakdown and cargo insurance together can really protect truckers from major losses if something happens to refrigerated loads. For temperature-controlled hauling in California, this dynamic coverage duo is invaluable.

  • Non-Owned and Trailer Interchange

    Non-owned and trailer interchange insurance provides protection for trucking companies in California when they use trailers they don't own. For example, ABC Trucking needs extra refrigerated trailers for a produce haul, so they borrow some from XYZ Cold Storage through an interchange agreement. While using a borrowed refrigerated trailer, an ABC driver damages it. Without non-owned or interchange insurance, ABC would have to pay for repairs out of pocket. But with this coverage, ABC's policy will cover damage to the borrowed refrigerated trailer. The key difference is that trailer interchange insurance applies specifically when sharing equipment with other companies through an agreement. Non-owned trailer insurance provides protection when using any non-owned trailers, whether rented, borrowed, or leased. Having both policies gives California truckers comprehensive coverage when using non-owned equipment, whether through formal interchange or other arrangements.

  • Non-Trucking Liability

    What happens if you cause an accident while using your rig for personal errands? Non-Trucking Liability (NTL) coverage has you covered. It provides liability protection when your commercial truck is used for non-business purposes. Let's say you drive your semi to the grocery store and sideswipe another car. Without NTL insurance, that accident could leave your personal assets vulnerable. This coverage fills the gaps between commercial and personal auto policies so you're protected when driving the company truck on personal time. Bobtail coverage is similar - it insures the truck while "bobtailing", meaning operating without a trailer attached. So if you crash the tractor while bobtailing to get repairs, Bobtail insurance pays for damage and injuries. Though not mandatory, NTL and Bobtail policies provide affordable liability protection for California truckers clocked in or out.

  • Excess Liability

    Operating in trucking-heavy California brings increased risks. That's why many large fleets get extra protection with excess liability coverage. This additional insurance kicks in when your primary liability policy hits its limit. For example, let's say your truck causes a huge accident that injures multiple parties, racking up $2 million in damages. If your underlying policy has a $1 million limit, excess liability covers the remaining $1 million so you're not paying out of pocket. It provides an extra shield for worst-case scenarios. While not mandatory, excess liability limits give added peace of mind to large carriers running long hauls or high-risk routes in California. For a few hundred extra bucks a year, you could add millions in additional claim coverage. Protect your assets and operations with supplementary coverage.

  • Workers Compensation

    Operating a trucking business in the Golden State? Then you gotta cover your crew with workers' comp. California law says most trucking outfits with employees need this insurance to protect their team if injured on the job. Let's say one of your drivers gets in a wreck while working - workers' comp pays their medical bills and some lost wages so they can recover. Without it, you'd be footing the bill yourself. With so many rigs sharing busy highways, accidents can happen fast in trucking-heavy California. That's why workers' comp coverage is crucial - it covers medical costs and lost income if your staff gets hurt while working. The cost is based on your payroll, job risks and claims history. Though pricey, it spares huge bills from work injuries. In this lawsuit-friendly state, skimping on workers' comp is asking for trouble. Keep your crew covered.

  • Occupational Accident

    Running your own rig in California? Occupational accident coverage is a smart alternative to workers' comp. Since owner-operators can't buy comp for themselves, this insurance fills the gaps if you're injured on the job. Let's say you hurt your back tarping a load - occupational accident would pay cash benefits to cover medical bills and lost income while you recover. It also provides payouts for permanent injuries or accidental death from a work-related accident. This policy is key protection for independent truckers in California looking to shield their finances if something happens on the road. And the premiums are affordable compared to costly workers' comp. Ask our team about occupational accident - it could be a lifesaver if you get hurt trucking in the Golden State.

  • General Liability

    Operating a trucking business comes with risks even off the road. That's why California trucking outfits need General Liability (GL) coverage. It pays if third-parties are accidentally injured on your property or by your operations. Let's say a visitor slips and falls at your office, breaking their wrist. Without GL insurance, you'd pay their medical bills yourself. Or what if your employee accidentally backs into a customer's car at the loading dock? General liability pays for that property damage. Most GL policies cover legal defense costs too if you're sued. Though not mandatory, it's cheap peace of mind to protect your assets from premises accidents or lawsuits. Make sure your motor carrier has ample coverage limits in litigious California. General liability insurance really covers your backside.


Why Should I use a California Insurance Agent?

The Insurance Store has spent the past 50 years safeguarding trucking businesses. Sure, we're a family shop. But make no mistake—we boast some serious clout negotiating with A-grade commercial carriers. Consider us the insurance ally in your corner, wielding half a century of expertise.

Our tight-knit team offers an inside track to customized coverage from top-rated insurers. Whether you run a national fleet or a single rig, we’ll leverage our longstanding carrier relationships to build a policy that truly protects. More than salespeople, we’re your advisors through thick and thin.

At TIS, you’re family. Let our decades of experience provide the coverage you need to drive ahead with confidence. Together, we can keep your business in safe hands for the long haul.

CA Truck Insurance Programs Specific to Your Needs

Our team can customize an insurance solution for any trucking situation - whether you operate flatbeds hauling construction materials, tankers moving hazardous liquids, refrigerated trailers with perishable produce, a private fleet of box trucks, or anything in between, our experts will tailor coverage around your specific vehicles, cargo, routes, and operations to create a policy that truly fits your transportation business.

Here are some types of trucking operations we have markets for in California:

Instant Certificates of Insurance with the TIS24 App

Now, let's talk about our secret weapon: our app TIS24. It's like having an insurance agent in your pocket! Issue certificates of insurance, access ID cards, policy documents, and more anytime, anywhere. It's a no-brainer, really.

Get Assistance with your California Truck Permits & Filings

At The Insurance Store, we don’t just offer insurance - our permits division, TIS Trucking Services, provides comprehensive assistance with essential trucking permits like your DOT, MC, and CA numbers. As your compliance partner, we’ll handle every step of documentation, filings, and red tape to get your federal and state registrations squared away. Need an operating authority? DOT number application? Intrastate license? We’ll work closely with you to navigate the complex web of transportation regulations and secure the exact permits your trucking company requires. Let TIS Trucking Services handle the frustrating paperwork so you can focus on your core operations. Partner with us for hassle-free compliance and all the registrations you need to drive your business forward.

The Golden State and Beyond

While California is our stomping ground, we also cover our neighbors - Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. So whether you're hauling tech from California, lumber from Oregon, gaming machines to Nevada, or copper from Arizona, we’ve got you covered.

Hop on the TIS Train Today!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, they say. In your case, it begins with a simple call to our friendly team at 888-570-3130. Or better yet, request a quote for California truck insurance. Let TIS help you navigate the winding roads of commercial truck insurance with the skill of a seasoned trucker navigating the switchbacks of California’s Highway 1. Because with us, you're not just getting an insurance policy - you're becoming part of our TIS family. Welcome aboard!


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Here is what Our Happy Customers have to say


Lisamarie was fantastic. I was under the gun getting my commercial truck insurance and she was able to get me a great policy with time to spare. She answered all of my questions, regardless of how dumb, quickly and professionally. I will continue to work with Lisamarie as my trucking business grows. If she ever decides to leave The Insurance Store I will more than likely take my business with her.
Jay Gainey

My first year in business has been a roller coaster but I am apart of an trucking community where we discuss industry news, updates and share resources. With that being said my insurance has been the biggest expense of my new business and during one our calls someone mentioned Mohave Insurance program so of course as I keep striving to improve overhead and shrinkage in my business I reached out and Kelli Clerisse answered my inquiry and shall we say the rest is history. My previous insurance coverage was coming to an end and the quote I received from The Insurance Store and I couldn't believe my eyes the down payment for 2 trucks was lower than it was for my first truck and the monthly payment the same lower and did I say on TWO TRUCKS!!! they are a game and I recommend TIS for all industry newbies!!!!!
Corey Bryant

Selene did outstanding work for me. I went from having a massive insurance renewal rate that would just about put me out of business and signing on with Selene and she got my rates dropped big time. Now with the rates she got me, my company can continue to move forward and build it as a family trucking company.
Don J.