Pilot Car Insurance Companies

Published 9/9/2022

Shopping for pilot car insurance can feel overwhelming.

Part of the appeal of starting and running a pilot car business is that it is simpler than hauling the oversized loads they escort. However, with most laws and regulations existing at the state level and with few details provided online, it can be tough to choose the right insurance coverage.

For those that are new to the industry, below is our comprehensive guide that covers what insurance coverage is required, how much it costs, and more.

If those just looking for a few recommendations, here are our top picks.

Pros

  • Competitive rates & discounts available
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Largest commercial auto insurance provider in the country

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Scores slightly worse on customer satisfaction

Pros

  • Scores well on customer satisfaction
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Competitive rates

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Non-auto related policies are provided by a 3rd party

Pros

  • Competitive rates with steep discounts available
  • Flexible coverage options
  • Scores well on customer satisfaction

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Not available in all 50 states
By clicking “Get Quote” or calling you will go to our partner, Tivly.  They make it fast and easy for businesses to get matched to insurance providers who fit their specific needs.  The providers above may not be one of the providers in their network at this time.
About the author
Scott Elgin has been in the trucking business since 1982, acting as both a motor carrier and a freight agent at Elgin Trucking Co. During this time, he has overseen thousands of units servicing the entire continental United States.
A pilot car escorting an oversized load

What is pilot car insurance?

Pilot car insurance is a collection of commercial insurance policies, such as commercial auto and professional liability, that protects pilot car drivers and their businesses.

Even if a pilot car driver uses their personal vehicle for work, they will still need a separate commercial auto policy as most personal auto policies will not cover business use. States require commercial vehicles to carry primary liability by law but most drivers will want additional coverage, such as physical damage.


Some states, such as Colorado, also require proof that the commercial policy explicitly covers Pilot Escort Operations. Before purchasing a policy, drivers should check the laws of the states they operate within and confirm their policy will meet the requirements.

What is the penalty for a pilot car without insurance?

Penalties for driving a pilot car or escort vehicle without primary auto liability insurance vary from state to state but can include:


  • Fines
  • Arrest
  • Confiscation of vehicle
  • Suspension of the driver’s license

Getting caught driving without primary liability insurance can also increase premiums in the future and in the event of an accident, drivers will still be responsible for any damages.

Can a pilot car driver with commercial insurance have an SR-22?

Pilot car drivers that require an SR-22 may still get commercial auto insurance. However, premiums will likely be more expensive and options may be more limited.

What does pilot car insurance cover?

Pilot car insurance can be broken out into two broad categories: commercial auto insurance and business insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance

As the name implies, commercial auto coverage will cover incidents where a pilot car driver’s vehicle is involved. Common coverage options include:


  • Primary liability – Required by law, will cover damages for 3rd parties including property damage and bodily injury.
  • Physical damage – Covers damage done to any vehicles owned by the business and named on the policy.
  • Medical – Covers medical payments for the driver and their passengers.
  • Under/uninsured motorist – Covers any expenses that should be covered by a third party’s insurance.
  • Hired & non-owned auto – Provides liability coverage for vehicles that are driven for business purposes but not owned by the business.

Business Insurance for Pilot Cars

Incidents that do not involve the vehicle will be covered under a broader business insurance policy. Common policies include:


  • General liability – Covers most incidents where an automobile is not involved.
  • Professional liability – Covers incidents where the driver is acting in a capacity beyond a general layman, such as when they are flagging or when they are doing pole height work.
  • Inland marine –  Covers escort vehicle equipment such as signage, lights, flags, and radios.
  • Workers compensation / occupational accident – if the business employs W2 drivers, these coverages will cover legal, medical, and lost-income benefits. While workers compensation only covers employee expenses, occupational accident insurance also provides financial protection to employers.

How much does pilot car insurance cost?

Pilot car insurance will generally cost $400-$1,000 a month for both auto and business insurance policies.

Like all insurance policies, rates will vary based on a number of factors including:


  • Policy limits
  • Coverage options
  • Location
  • Driver history
  • Vehicle type

Does having a CDL have any impact on insurance premiums?

Drivers should share that they have a CDL when applying for quotes as some insurance companies will offer better rates.


Cheap Pilot Car Insurance

Drivers looking for the cheapest insurance should keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. However, individuals can usually lower their premiums by:


  • Comparing multiple quotes from insurance companies and brokers
  • Paying premiums on an annual basis vs monthly
  • Selecting the lowest legal policy limits
  • Opting for a higher deductible, which will lower premiums

Comparing Options

When looking for insurance, it’s always recommended to compare multiple quotes to find the best combination of rates and coverage. 


It can be tempting to simply go with the cheapest option but policyholders may get what they pay for – worse customer service and more exclusions, which could limit claims getting paid out. In addition to popular review sites like Google, Yelp, and the BBB, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also keeps an online database of complaints which can help businesses compare options.


When filling out a pilot car insurance application, individuals should be prepared to submit the following information:


  • Business name and type of organization
  • Address and contact information
  • Areas of service
  • Escort vehicle services offered
  • Work history
  • Drivers license information and history

The Best Pilot Car & Vehicle Escort Insurance Companies

Pros

  • Competitive rates & discounts available
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Largest commercial auto insurance provider in the country

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Scores slightly worse on customer satisfaction

Pros

  • Scores well on customer satisfaction
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Competitive rates

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Non-auto related policies are provided by a 3rd party

Pros

  • Competitive rates with steep discounts available
  • Flexible coverage options
  • Scores well on customer satisfaction

Cons

  • Will need to work with an agent
  • Not available in all 50 states
By clicking “Get Quote” or calling you will go to our partner, Tivly.  They make it fast and easy for businesses to get matched to insurance providers who fit their specific needs.  The providers above may not be one of the providers in their network at this time.
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