Insuring Business Vehicles With Commercial Auto Insurance
If you have a business that uses vehicles and/or you use your own vehicle for work, personal auto insurance may not be sufficient. Businesses have greater liability concerns than consumers, and higher levels of coverage are necessary to ensure they are fully covered. This is why businesses that employ the use of vehicles need to have them covered with commercial auto insurance.
Commercial auto insurance is not only for the 18-wheelers that haul goods across the country. This type of coverage is needed for any type of vehicle that is used commercially. Some examples include:
- Dock Trucks
- Dump Trucks
- Catering Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Taxi Cabs
- Vehicles owned or leased by Commercial Entities (e.g., partnerships, LLCs, corporations)
- Any Regular Car or Truck used for Work
Bottom line: if you have a vehicle that is used for business purposes (other than commuting to and from work), there is a strong likelihood you need commercial insurance.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover? A commercial policy will offer most (or all) of the following types of coverage:
- Comprehensive (i.e., other than collision)
- Personal Injury Liability
- Property Damage Liability
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
- Medical Expenses
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
These are the same coverages typically offered with a personal auto insurance policy, except with higher liability limits (based on the requirements of your state). There are also some add-ons that are available with commercial insurance that you will not find with a consumer policy. Some of the most common add-ons include coverage for:
Employees: This add-on provides coverage for employees and is often expandable to include people whom you do business with on a regular basis; such as contractors, subcontractors and other types of vendors.
Work Equipment: This is coverage for the equipment and goods that are transported commercially, including damage that might occur while loading and unloading them into the vehicle.
Personal Effects: Provides coverage (up to certain limits) for yours and your employees’ personal belongings in case they are lost or stolen.
Hired Auto Damage/Liability: If your business is in the habit of loaning, hiring or leasing vehicles on a short-term basis, these vehicles can be covered for property damage and liability with this add-on.
Employers Non-Ownership Liability: In some businesses, such as pizza delivery services and flower shops, the employees often use their own vehicles on the job. This add-on provides coverage for vehicles that are used in the business but not owned by them.
How to Find the Commercial Coverage You Need
Commercial auto insurance is a far more complex product than a personal auto policy. For this reason, rates and available coverages tend to vary, and there can be significant differences in premiums from one insurer to another. To find the right policy for your business, it is best to work with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents work with several of the top insurance companies in the state, and because they are not captive to one particular carrier, they are able to shop objectively and find the policy that best fits your needs and budget.