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Insurance for pickup trucks: basics and ways to save
But trucks have one thing in common with other vehicles: they gotta be insured. The good news is that on average, trucks are the second cheapest vehicle type to insure, with an average annual premium of $1,731 in 2020. Still, saving anywhere is saving everywhere, so let’s explore the cheapest and most expensive trucks to insure by comparing rates across providers for top truck models.
In order to provide price estimates, we gathered rates for a 30-year-old single male with a good driving history and these coverage limits:
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision
Best cheap car insurance for pickup trucks by company
Because all pickup trucks are not created equal, we broke down car insurance quotes by top companies for popular makes and models. Reference the below list to compare pickup truck insurance rates for the model you're considering buying. Spoiler alert: the Chevy Colorado is the cheapest pickup to insure.
With a towing capacity between 3,500 and 7,000 pounds, a Chevy Colorado has the second-cheapest list price and lowest car insurance premium among the surveyed pickups.
The Silverado is in the middle to high-end of the surveyed pickup trucks, with a list price of $28,300 and the annual cost to insure of $1,169. If you're looking to find the cheapest insurance rates for a Chevy Silverado, start your search with USAA and Nationwide.
In addition to the list price of $28,495, a Ford F-150 costs approximately $94 per month to insure. Policies from the F-150 cheapest insurance provider, USAA, drops to $84 per month for this vehicle.
We've selected two GMC trucks to examine, the Canyon and the Sierra, with the first being the Canyon. With an MSRP over $6,000 less than the Sierra, the Canyon has less horsepower and towing capacity, but costs slightly more to insure than the Sierra.
With a more powerful engine than the Canyon, the list price of the GMC Sierra is on the higher end among the trucks surveyed at $28,300. Despite this, the Canyon boasts lower-than-average insurance costs.
Outside of its commercial work vehicle — the Honda Acty — the Honda Ridgeline is the only truck Honda manufactures, and it's quite pricey. On the upper end for both a list price and premium, a Honda Ridgeline will set you back nearly $30,000 to buy and nearly $1,420 annually to insure.
If you're looking to lower that premium, consider Nationwide if you don't qualify for USAA.
The two Nissan pickups included in our analysis sit at the two ends of the pricing spectrum. With a list price of $19,090 and an annual cost to insure at $1,142, the Nissan Frontier is the least expensive truck to buy and has a midrange cost to insure compared to other pickups.
If you're looking for a Nissan with a little more towing capacity and horsepower, the Nissan Titan might be up your alley. But you'll have to be willing to pay a higher-than-average price for the additional power. The Titan is the second most expensive truck to insure — at $1,485 annually — and has the second-highest list price at $30,690.
The Toyota Tacoma has a midrange list price among top pickup models, and the same can be said about the cost to insure this vehicle. The Tacoma costs a little over $50 more per year to insure than the cheapest pickup, the Chevy Colorado.
The last pickup truck we assessed, the Toyota Tundra, has both the highest list value and insurance expense. Purchasing a Tundra will set you back $33,425 — 75% more than the cheapest new truck model, the Nissan Frontier.
The Tundra's cost to insure is high as well, at over $1,500 per year.
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Do you need additional insurance coverage for a pickup?
Auto insurance is designed to cover as many vehicle types as possible. However, some attributes of pickup trucks — and their common uses — may call for additional insurance. Additional insurance is most often necessary if you use your truck to tow trailers or other vehicles.
Does auto insurance cover towing a trailer?
It depends. Let’s say you’re helping a friend move with a U-Haul rental or a similar trailer. Most insurance policies' liability coverage extends to cover bodily injury and property damage caused to someone else by your trailer. Physical coverage of the trailer, on the other hand, depends on the details of your policy. If you carry comprehensive and collision insurance, your trailer may be protected. But there's a chance your insurance only extends to cover a certain amount — for example, a limit of $500. So if your trailer is more valuable than that, you might want to look into supplemental physical coverage for your trailer.
It's unlikely your auto insurance would extend to cover individual items you are towing, whether in the trailer or on their own. For instance, a boat or the belongings inside a U-Haul may not be covered by car insurance. While the trailer and hitch might be covered, the actual boat and belongings would not be.
Customized parts and equipment
If your truck has any particularly costly customizations, it could exceed the limitations of a basic auto insurance policy. In this case, look into coverage for customized parts and equipment to make sure your truck is fully protected. Common examples of these custom additions include:
- Stereos, Wi-Fi equipment
- Custom paint, murals or decals
- Suspension enhancers
- Height-extending roofs
How else can you save?
No matter which company you select, you’re probably paying more for car insurance for your pickup truck than you’d prefer. Let’s break down some money-saving solutions.
Be smart with your claims
While the point of car insurance is to protect your investment, there are only a handful of situations in which you should file a claim. You should file a claim if the incident necessitates a comprehensive claim (something that occurred while not driving your vehicle), if you were hit by an uninsured motorist and have uninsured motorist coverage or if the value of the damage greatly exceeds the premium increase that would be triggered by the claim. While the first two examples are pretty straightforward, the last one introduces some complexity.
If you’ve damaged someone else’s vehicle, you have less flexibility in terms of whether or not to involve insurance companies. If the other driver does not want to be paid out-of-pocket for the damage, which is common, you don’t have a choice.
While there is a considerable difference from state to state regarding rate increases for at-fault claims, below is the average across the US. An at-fault accident may raise your rates by more than $2,300 over a three-year period.
Should you file a claim?
Here’s our guide to determining whether you should file a claim:
- Get an estimate for the repairs at a local repair shop.
- Use our State of Insurance analysis to see how much an at-fault accident would raise your rates, given your location. You should consider the potential cost over a three-year period, as that’s how long most companies will elevate your rates after a claim.
- Compare the rate increase plus your deductible to the out-of-pocket cost. Whichever option is cheaper, do that.
Learn more in our guide on when to file a claim.
Average Rate Increase After an At-Fault Claim
|Increase at 6 months||Increase at 12 months||Increase at 3 Years|
Double-check for discounts
Although most pickup truck discounts are quite small, they can add up. When looking for ways to save, consider the following discounts:
- Multi-policy discount
- Good driver discount
- Paperless discount
- Payment by bank account
- Paid-in-full discount (paying your premium in one payment)
- Multi-vehicle discount
It’s important to see understand how driver-specific car insurance is. The data we presented is reflective of one single user profile (see our methodology) which may or may not apply to you or anyone else in your driving profile.
You should think of our data as a jumping-off point before using our comparison tool to receive quotes from top insurers based on your make, model and personal profile. Just enter your ZIP code below to start.
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.