Learn Commercial Vehicle Insurance 101
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Commercial auto insurance provides protection for any vehicle designated for business use against both property damage and liability. Whether you drive a vehicle that is for dedicated business use or drive a personal vehicle for business, it is important to have commercial auto insurance, as your vehicle will not covered under a personal auto policy.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
Commercial auto insurance covers a variety of situations. Options and terms vary from one insurance company to another, so be sure you fully understand what is included in the policy. If you work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network, you can work with your agent to create a completely customized policy that matches your business needs, complete with all available discounts.
- Property damage liability
- Liability for bodily injury to others
- Optional bodily injury coverage for injuries that occur outside of the state in which you reside
- Personal injury to you, your employed drivers or passengers including medical expenses and lost wages
- Collision coverage for costs associated with an accident, regardless of who is at fault
- Comprehensive coverage for damage other than collision
- Medical payments coverage for the cost of hospitalization, treatment and funeral expenses
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
- Non-owned auto coverage for when you or your employees drive a rented or borrowed vehicle
- Loading and unloading liability
- Substitution transportation when your commercial vehicle is being repaired and you use a loaner from the repair shop
- Towing and labor costs
How Does Commercial Auto Insurance Work?
Commercial auto insurance works by providing insurance coverage or any vehicle that your use for business purposes, and for your commercial drivers. As a business owner, you can get commercial vehicle coverage for a single vehicle or a fleet of vehicles. A commercial auto policy can include several different types of optional coverage, allowing you to adjust the policy coverage to your particular business circumstances and the use of your vehicles.
Many business owners choose to buy a commercial umbrella policy to cover the costs of large liability claims that exceed the limits of the vehicle liability policy. This strategy can provide much higher limits, in $1 million dollar increments, to cover the costs of liability claims and law suits and protect the business financially.
When Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
You need commercial auto insurance for any vehicle that your company uses for business purposes, any vehicle that has a commercial license plate or tag and any vehicle
that is registered as a commercial auto.
You must also get commercial auto coverage if your employees will be driving or using vehicles in the course of doing business, whether making deliveries, driving people to the airport or running errands on behalf of the business.
If you use your vehicle for any of the following functions, you may also be required to get commercial coverage:
- Using the vehicle to carry equipment
- Transporting flammable or hazardous material
- Transporting housekeeping equipment for business use
- Using, carrying or transporting cranes, or a winch or plow
- Hiring your vehicle out to tow other vehicles
- Delivering any goods such as pizza or any form of wholesale or retail products
- Delivering newspapers
- Trucking and freight transportation
- Transporting people as a chauffeur, limousine service or taxi service
Some situations and certain occupations may be covered under standard auto policies, but you should always ask your insurance agent if your vehicle use warrants a commercial policy.
Why Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
You need commercial auto insurance for any automobile, taxi, van, limo, bus or small truck that you use for business because a personal auto policy will not cover your vehicles used for business.
For larger commercial vehicles such as tow trucks, cement trucks, construction vehicles, tractor trailers or semi-trucks, you will need a commercial truck insurance policy. Not only is your commercial vehicle policy critical for protecting your business financially, but it is required by law.
Where Can I Get Commercial Auto Insurance?
There are several ways to get commercial auto insurance policies, such as shopping for quotes online, but you may not necessarily find the best coverage or rates through the Internet. You also may not have the reassurance that your coverage matches your real needs.
- Independent Trusted Choice member agents work with multiple insurance companies, and can shop for the best rates for you.