Commercial auto insurance
If you own or manage a business, it’s important to have an understanding of commercial auto insurance. Many people wonder what is commercial auto insurance used for? Unlike your personal auto insurance, a commercial insurance plan is designed to address your business assets. An auto insurance plan focuses on your company’s cars, trucks or other types of vehicles. It may also cover vehicles you and your staff rent, lease or borrow. Having a complete insurance policy can help you keep your business assets protected in case of disaster or a mishap. It may also be a requirement in your state to carry an auto insurance policy for any vehicles your business owns or uses. Here are some things to know about auto insurance for your business.
Protect your fleet or assets
Many businesses have a fleet of vehicles that are kept in a large lot at the company’s physical location. A commercial auto plan can help you protect your fleet. A large fleet of vehicles may be more at risk of being damaged. With a complete plan of auto insurance coverage, you can recoup your losses if the unthinkable happens. Or, if you only own a small number of vehicles, you can get more peace of mind with a comprehensive business auto insurance plan. This way, you and your workers can focus more on building your business instead of picking up the pieces if disaster happens and your business is unprepared.
Types of auto insurance for businesses
There are many different options to find cheap commercial auto insurance that fits your needs and budget. Just like a personal auto insurance plan, you can design your own custom coverage. It’s recommended to work with a reputable auto insurance agent who specializes in commercial policies to find exactly what you need. Your agent will get information about what kind of business you run, how many employees you have, how many vehicles you own and how your vehicles are used to determine what coverage level you should consider. Then you’ll talk about the potential risks your vehicles could face. Here are some options:
- Liability coverage In most states, the bare minimum for any type of auto insurance is liability coverage. Required liability coverage typically covers incidents where there is bodily injury to someone or property damage. The coverage helps make sure your business and personal assets are protected in case you or your employee is at fault for an accident or event. The auto insurance can cover medical expenses that an injured person incurs due to an accident, or it can cover the cost of repairs to a damaged property.
- Collision coverage You can also opt to add collision coverage to your business auto plan. This type of coverage helps your company pay for repairs or the replacement cost for a vehicle damaged in a crash with another car or in a collision with an object. In most cases, collision insurance is limited to coverage beyond your deductible, but it can be a good idea to add this if your company relies on your fleet for its main source of revenue, such as deliveries, courier services or other industries that rely heavily on company cars.
- Comprehensive coverage Some companies may also want to go for comprehensive auto coverage for their fleet of vehicles. A comprehensive plan helps a business recoup the costs of damaged or destroyed vehicles in situations not related to an auto accident. Incidents like fire, severe weather and theft may be examples of situations where comprehensive coverage can come to the rescue. Comprehensive coverage helps you worry less about a complete loss if something disastrous happens at your facility and impacts your fleet of vehicles.
- Specified perils coverage Some insurance companies also offer another option beyond liability, specified perils coverage. The key word to focus on here is specified. With this type of option, your agent and the underwriters create a list of potential risks that are covered, such as theft, fire, hail or civil disturbance. You can submit a claim through this option only if one of those things happens to you or one of your employees while driving, or if your fleet is damaged.
- Coverage when there’s an uninsured driver The reality of the road is that there are sometimes drivers out there who don’t have car insurance. Even though a liability plan is required in order to register a car in most states, there are some drivers who aren’t following the law and putting other drivers at risk. If your vehicle is involved in an incident with uninsured drivers, you won’t be able to get property or injury payments from their insurance plan. Or, there may be an accident with a vehicle having an underinsured driver with an insurance plan that limits payouts. In this situation, an option to add is uninsured driver coverage. This way, your assets are still protected.
How deductibles and losses work
Once you’ve chosen the type of plan you want and checked off the different options you want to add to help keep your vehicles fully protected, you can get a better price if you have a full understanding of how deductibles work. The deductible is a set amount of money your business pays anytime you experience a loss. In most plans, the deductible can vary depending on the coverage type. Typically, the higher your deductible is, the lower your policy cost will be. It’s important to work with your agent to find the right amount of deductible for each part of your policy.
Employees who drive their own vehicles
The last thing to consider is what to do if your employees drive their own vehicles for your company. Just because your employees aren’t using company-owned vehicles, doesn’t mean you should rule out additional auto insurance options. Your company can still be held liable if damage or injury occurs when your employee is on the clock, even if he is driving his own vehicle. You may be eligible for an employers non-owned car liability coverage option to be added to your main policy.
Keep your business protected from potential disaster and financial problems with a complete auto insurance plan. There are many options available to meet your needs that could help your company keep its vehicles and employees safe and protected.