Commercial/Business Vehicle Coverage

As an agency, we recommend a minimum combined single limit of liability at $1,000,000 for all of our commercial clients.

Why Commercial Auto Insurance is Important

There is no way any of us can foresee when an auto liability claim may occur, and equally important, what the final cost may be.

Higher limits of coverage are available by purchasing an Umbrella policy.

A fleet discount is normally available for companies that have 5 or more vehicles. Those companies with “safe drivers” are also able to obtain additional discounts.

Choose a deductible you are comfortable paying should your vehicle sustains damage due to a collision or comprehensive loss. The more vehicles you have, the more cost-effective it becomes to take higher deductibles. You can even include a property damage deductible to lower your costs even further.

What is commercial auto insurance? What does it cover?

Commercial auto insurance provides liability protection and coverage for property damage for the vehicles used by you or your employees in the course of your business. These policies tend to have higher coverage limits due to the need for more protection in the event of work-related accidents.

Commercial auto insurance is customizable to your needs. For box trucks, this could include coverage of cargo, or, in the case of pickup trucks, the policy could include coverage for a variety of trailer types. For businesses that do not require their vehicles throughout the entire year (such as landscaping), seasonal insurance may be an option.

The types of coverages provided by a commercial auto insurance plan may include:

Bodily/personal injury liability

This pays for bodily injuries or deaths resulting from a vehicle-related accident I which you or your employees are at fault. This can be an injury to you, your employed drivers, passengers, or other injured parties. Personal injury coverage can include compensation for lost wages and legal defense.

Property damage liability

This provides protection in the event that someone else’s property is damaged in an accident, such as damaged products or broken equipment.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage covers damages to your vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle or object, regardless of who is at fault. Non-owned vehicle coverage is available for when you or your employees are operating a borrowed or rented vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage

This coverage protects your vehicles in the event of damages that aren’t collision-related. These damages could be due to flood, fire, theft, vandalism, or other causes.

Medical payments

Regardless of fault, in the event of an injury from an accident, this coverage will typically pay the medical expenses and hospital treatment of the driver and passengers of the vehicle.

Uninsured motorist coverage

In the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, this coverage will pay for injuries and property damage. It may also cover some cases where the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance.

Other coverage can include:

  • Hired auto
  • Non-owned vehicle coverage
  • Coverage for roadside assistance and towing

Who needs commercial auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is important for a business that owns a vehicle or has employees who use vehicles to conduct business, whether they are owned, leased, or rented. This includes things like sales visits, picking up supplies, performing deliveries, or running the errands. It’s important that you don’t put your business at risk by being underinsured. Commercial auto insurance offers protection against legal judgments where vehicles owned by your business or operated by your employees are involved.

You need commercial auto insurance if a vehicle is…

  • Registered to the business
  • Operated by an employee
  • Being used to transport goods
  • Hauling equipment, tools, or a trailer for your business
  • Transporting people for a fee

Typical businesses that require commercial auto insurance include:

  • Contractors – electrical, plumbing, HVAC, excavation, painters
  • Retail stores – deliveries, advertising, events
  • Caterers, and food and beverage vendors
  • Landscapers and snow-plowing
  • Real estate or sales

What vehicles are covered by commercial auto insurance?

Vehicle types that can be covered under commercial auto insurance include:

  • Cars and SUVs
  • Vans
  • Pickup trucks
  • Snowplows
  • Box trucks
  • Flatbeds
  • Service utility trucks
  • Food trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Food trucks
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Semi-trucks
  • A variety of trailer types

Common questions:

Q. How much does commercial vehicle insurance cost?

A. The cost of commercial vehicle insurance will vary based on a number of factors, with the driving records of the employees who will be driving being a very important factor in determining premium costs. Some of these include:

  • Number of vehicles being insured
  • Coverage options, deductibles, and limits
  • How often, and for how long you drive the vehicle
  • If employees drive the vehicle
  • The type of vehicle – make, model and year
  • What the vehicle is being used for
  • Cost of the vehicle when new
  • Weight of the vehicle
  • The driving records of all drivers for the business
  • Claims history

Q. Who is covered to drive the covered vehicles?

A. Your policy can cover you, your employees, and other drivers such as family members. With the exception of emergencies, if someone is driving a vehicle for your business, they should be added to your policy.

Q. Does commercial auto insurance cover materials and tools?

A. Tools and materials transported in your vehicle are typically not covered under commercial auto insurance and are best covered as part of a business owner or general liability insurance policy.

Q. Can I use my personal auto insurance instead?

A. Personal auto insurance policies will usually not have high enough liability limits to cover business vehicles in the event of an accident. In many states, if you use a personal vehicle primarily for business purposes, you are required to get commercial vehicle insurance.

Q. Do I need commercial vehicle insurance if I only use my car occasionally?

A. This depends on your circumstances. Get in touch with one of our agents to discuss your needs and find out if you need commercial auto insurance.

Q. Is my commercial vehicle still covered if I’m driving it for personal use?

A. Commercial vehicle insurance will usually cover a vehicle even when it is being driven for personal use. Speak with your agent to make sure anyone who will be operating the vehicle will be covered under your plan.

Q. Is commercial vehicle insurance tax deductible?

A. As a business expense, premium payments for commercial vehicle insurance can be written off on your tax returns.

Q. Is theft of personal items covered by commercial auto insurance?

A. Commercial auto insurance will typically only cover items that are permanently attached to the vehicle, such as toolboxes and ladder racks, but not the items being stored on them. These items need to be covered separately.

Q. Is my trailer covered by my commercial vehicle insurance?

A. This will depend on the weight of your trailer. Heavier trailers that have more than one axel will often need to be added to your policy in order to have coverage. For more specific details, speak with one of our agents.

Q. Do I need commercial auto insurance if I use my personal car to work a courier or for food delivery?

A. Most personal auto insurance will not cover the use of a personal vehicle to make business deliveries. If you are doing deliveries for a business you work for, check with the business owner to make sure you are added to their commercial auto insurance policy.

Q. Do I need commercial auto insurance to drive for a ride-sharing service such as Lyft or Uber?

A. The ride-sharing company may cover you, but you should check with them to make certain. It’s possible you make need ride-share insurance instead. Talk with one of our agents to find out the details on your specific needs.

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