In some respects, buying an insurance policy for an old commercial vehicle that will be used privately isn’t much different than buying it for an old car, and in other ways, it differs. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance for an old commercial truck that you intend to maintain for private use.
Generally, you’ll find that commercial vehicle insurance rates are more expensive than private use truck insurance. But our team of experts has reviewed every major insurance provider to identify the best car insurance companies in the industry. Enter your zip code below to get free insurance quotes from insurers in your area.
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What is Private Use Commercial Truck Insurance?
If you’re using an old commercial vehicle for personal use, finding a policy could be a challenge. There is no specific insurance policy for this type of vehicle and use. Depending on your insurance company and other details such as the size and weight of the vehicle, your old commercial truck could be added to your personal auto insurance policy. In this case, it’s no different from purchasing car insurance coverage for a personal vehicle.
If you can’t add it to your personal car insurance policy, you might need a specialized commercial auto insurance policy. If you’re not sure, it’s best to speak with an insurance agent for additional insurance information on the best insurance products for your situation.
How to Insure a Commercial Truck for Personal Use
Once a personal vehicle is employed for business purposes, you will need to buy commercial vehicle insurance for it. Business vehicles that are driven strictly for business purposes qualify for commercial vehicle insurance. They must be listed in the business owner’s name and used strictly for work. Personal vehicle insurance covers your personal use of the vehicle. So you might need both if the vehicle will be used as both a personal vehicle and a commercial vehicle.
Getting Commercial Insurance for a Personal Vehicle
In order to qualify for private insurance, an old commercial vehicle must only be driven for personal reasons, not business use. Depending on the size and weight of the vehicle, commercial vehicles such as cars that were used as taxi cabs or pickup trucks used on construction sites may be able to obtain private use insurance.
Specialized vehicles and those larger than a typical SUV, pickup truck or van most likely will need a commercial policy whether it’s being used for business or personal reasons.
Getting Personal Insurance for a Commercial Vehicle
If you’re buying an old commercial truck and using it as a personal vehicle, you probably don’t need a commercial vehicle policy, especially if it is registered in your name and is garaged at your residence. If you’re a sole proprietor and are using the vehicle for only a few jobs or just for commuting, you might only need a personal auto insurance policy.
If the truck is very large, liability thresholds must be higher to cover potential damages. In this case, a commercial car insurance policy may be required, particularly if it’s a medium-duty vehicle or larger.
What Kinds of Commercial Trucks Can Be Used Privately?
Many types of commercial vehicles can be used privately, such as dump trucks, semi-trucks, flatbeds, refrigerated trucks, cargo vans, tow trucks and even decommissioned fire trucks and buses.
Is it Expensive to Insure a Truck?
Commercial vehicles that carry supplies, cargo or large numbers of passengers are typically heavy-duty vehicles. If they’re involved in an accident, their added weight can inflict far more damage and bodily injury than a light-duty vehicle, particularly dump trucks, tow trucks or semi-trucks and commercial trailers. This is why you’ll most likely need a commercial auto insurance policy for those types of vehicles, as they typically offer higher limits than personal auto insurance policies.
However, if you purchase a standard pickup truck or a similar-sized vehicle, the insurance cost would be comparable to typical private auto coverage.
Is a CDL Required for Personal Use?
A CDL, or commercial driver’s license, is required to drive certain types of trucks – typically those with a gross vehicle weight greater than 26,000 pounds. The license requires unique driver training and has specialized testing and certifications for handling specific types of freight.
Drivers of some medium-duty trucks and all heavy-duty tractor-trailers will need a CDL, even if the truck is being used privately. If you’re uncertain of whether you’ll need a CDL, contact your state’s department of motor vehicles.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
You can buy car insurance for an old commercial truck for private use from most national insurers. Many insurers, like GEICO and USAA, have commercial insurance specialists that can help you secure a policy if your truck is too large to be insured privately.
The best way to compare free auto insurance quotes quickly can be to use a comparison tool. You can get started below.
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GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO, the nation’s second-largest insurer, earns our top ranking, with an overall score of 9.1 out of 10.0 stars from our team of expert reviewers. GEICO is known for its low prices and easy-to-use mobile app. The provider offers commercial insurance for many types of cars, trucks and vans, and it also offers insurance coverage for specialty trucks for towing, landscaping and construction.
USAA: Best Military Provider
If you need to insure a commercial vehicle and you are, or were, in the military, USAA can be a great choice. USAA is available only to service members, veterans and their families. We give the insurer a score of 8.9 out of 10.0 for its great industry reputation, low costs and positive customer reviews. Plus, USAA holds an A++ rating from AM Best, which means it has a superior ability to pay out customer claims.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.