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Pickup trucks are among the most expensive vehicles to insure.

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Pickup trucks are an unofficial symbol of America, and their near-limitless utility is likely part of the reason. If you’re frequently hauling equipment, using your truck for work or taking it offroad, consider specific coverage to make sure you and your pickup truck has the best coverage.

What kind of pickup coverage do I need?

To legally drive your pickup truck, you’ll need liability coverage at the very least. If you’re offroading or using your truck for work, you might need a few additional coverages.

  • Liability. This required coverage pays for other people’s injuries and property damage if you’re responsible for a car accident. A big truck can result in big damages, which may be difficult to pay for out of pocket.
  • Underinsured motorist. If the at-fault driver either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injury expenses, this coverage kicks in to pay the difference. This is especially useful for a pricey pickup.
  • Collision. Collision covers damage to your own pickup if it hits another vehicle or solid object, such as a building or telephone pole. If you use your pickup for offroading and crash into a rock, collision will cover you.
  • Comprehensive. This covers your pickup truck for almost anything that’s not a collision. This includes things such as fire, theft, hail or wind damage, falling objects or hitting an animal. Its wide range of protection makes it particularly helpful for pickups that get heavy use.

What pickup add-on coverage should I consider?

Consider adding some of these optional coverage types to protect your pickup.

  • Trailer or boat coverage. Either of these is covered automatically for liability coverage without putting it on your policy. But if you want physical damage protection on it, you’ll need to add the trailer or boat to your policy.
  • Business use. Each insurance company handles business use of your vehicle differently. If you’re using your pickup for work as a contractor or other job, check with your insurance company to see if you have coverage on drives to worksites.
  • Roadside assistance. This provides emergency roadside help such as towing, refueling or help with a flat tire. Sometimes there’s a mile limit for towing, so if you’re far out in the country, you might still have to pay for some of the cost.
  • Rental car reimbursement. This coverage provides a daily allowance to rent a vehicle if yours is undriveable due to a covered loss. Pickup trucks can cost more to rent than cars, so be sure your daily limits are high enough if you want to rent one while yours is in the shop.
  • Gap coverage. This pays if there’s a difference between your claims check, based on the actual cash value of your truck, and the amount you still owe on your pickup loan.
  • Custom parts or equipment. If you have any after-market parts installed on your truck, you’ll want to consider adding this coverage. Standard policies either don’t cover custom parts or the coverage limit is very low.

Do different kinds of pickups need different insurance?

The weight of your pickup truck can have a huge impact on your insurance requirements, along with a couple of other factors.

  • Heavy-duty pickups. If your pickup weighs over one ton, it might not be eligible for a personal auto policy. Most insurance companies require heavy pickup trucks to be insured under a commercial auto policy, which can be more expensive. The exact tonnage cutoff varies with each company, though.
  • Hybrid and electric pickups. The first all-electric pickup trucks are currently entering the market, so expect higher insurance rates on an electric pickup due to higher repair costs.

How can I get cheap pickup insurance?

Insurance rates for your pickup truck will heavily depend on its year, make and model in addition to your own driving history, age and location. Newer models can cost around $250 to $300 monthly, while older models could be well under $150 a month. If you want to lower your premiums on your pickup truck, you can try several easy options:

  • Drop collision coverage. If you have an older pickup, you could consider dropping collision coverage while keeping comprehensive. Collision covers repairs to your car when you’re at fault in an accident, but for older cars, you might be paying more for collision than your car’s worth.
  • Take a defensive driver course. This is an easy discount anyone can get, as long as your insurance company offers it. The discount is typically 10% and helps teach and reinforce safe driving habits.
  • Get a low mileage discount. If your pickup truck’s more of an occasional hauler than a daily driver, you could qualify for a low mileage discount. Driving less than 8,000 miles a year could save you 20% or more.
  • Shop around. Insurance rates can vary considerably for pickup trucks depending on the company you get a quote with, especially if you have a good driving record. Maximize your discounts and compare different companies every few years.

What should I watch out for?

Pickup trucks can bring a few tricky situations you’ll want to consider with your insurance.

  • Vehicle use. Pickup trucks are commonly used by contractors, farmers and other professions in the course of their jobs. Let your insurance company know what you’re using it for to make sure you have the right coverage under your current policy.
  • Wear and tear. Some pickup trucks see a lot of heavy use, which means wear and tear can occur faster than with regular cars. But wear and tear is never covered under insurance, even if it leads to an accident.
  • Depreciation. Show your insurance company what the market value of your truck is if it comes in too low on a claims check. Also consider gap coverage if you’re financing your truck, as there could be a difference between your claims check and what you still owe on your pickup.

Bottom line

Pickup trucks are generally more expensive to insure than cars, though older trucks might be cheaper. But the right amount of coverage and overall cost will depend a lot on your make and model and how you use the truck.

If you’re looking around at your insurance options, review and compare different insurance companies to find one that best suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions about pickup insurance

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