A sudden swerve. A lane change without looking. A light flickers to red unheeded. Someone spills their coffee in 60 mph bumper-to-bumper traffic. Reflexes a split second too slow.
All of these scenarios can end with a squeal of brakes, a thump, and a crunch of grinding metal. But if you or an employee is driving on a company errand or on company time, even if you survive unscathed, the damage to your business may not end with the accident.
Are you confident about your business’s auto insurance? Do you even have auto insurance for your business? Surely you do, if you have regular delivery drivers or have someone run errands regularly. But is it adequate to protect your business in the case of a serious accident?
Understanding Business Auto Insurance
The main thing you need to understand is personal auto policies typically exclude coverage if you are using the vehicle for business. If you are running errands for the company, making deliveries, working as a rideshare driver or carrying tools for your business and are in an accident, you may find yourself without coverage. That’s where commercial auto insurance steps in.
Commercial or Business auto insurance provides a variety of coverages for cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles used by your business. There are three basic parts of every commercial auto insurance policy:
- Physical damage insurance − includes collision and comprehensive coverage
- Liability insurance − includes bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage
- Other coverage − includes medical payments, towing and labor, rental reimbursement and auto loan or lease gap coverage
What does commercial auto insurance cover?
Pays for damage to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle, another vehicle hits you or your vehicle rolls over, regardless of who is at fault. Collision coverage may be required if your vehicle is financed or leased
Pays for damage to your vehicle from causes other than an accident. Such causes may include theft, flood, vandalism, earthquakes, fire or damage from a bird or animal
Covers bodily injury to others and any property damage to another vehicle if you are at fault in an accident. Bodily injury pays others’ medical costs and lost wages, and your legal expenses if a lawsuit is brought against you due to an accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Pays for your injuries or property damage if you’re hit by an uninsured driver or, in some states, an unidentified driver.
Underinsured motorist coverage
Protects you if the at-fault driver doesn’t carry enough liability insurance to cover your bills – unless you live in a no-fault state, where each driver’s auto insurance policy responds to their own losses.
Even after reviewing the list, you may still be asking yourself, “Do I need Commercial Auto Insurance?” If that is the case, we want to help you understand the difference between commercial auto insurance coverage and personal auto insurance coverage. The main separation lies within the purpose of getting covered.
If any of these situations apply to you, then we’ve got some news for you, you might just need commercial auto insurance to stay properly protected:
- If you use your vehicle for delivery or pickup of supplies, materials, pizza, other food items, or newspapers
- If you use your vehicle as a taxi service, livery service or limousine service
- If your vehicle is leased or owned by a partnership or corporation
- If your vehicle is leased or rented by others
- If your vehicles are registered or titled to a business, corporation, or partnership
- If your vehicle is a pickup, van, utility vehicle, or with a gross weight exceeding 10,000 pounds, or carry a load of over 2,000 pounds
- If your vehicle is equipped with snow plow equipment, cooking/catering equipment, bathrooms, altered suspensions, hydraulic lifts, or racing equipment
- If your vehicle has equipment such as a ladder rack or permanent toolbox
Call us today to speak with one of our commercial auto insurance specialists. We pre-screen all of our auto insurance companies and are familiar with the parameters of the various policies they offer. With me, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting with any policy you purchase, and you’ll know your new policy comes from a reliable, stable company that takes care of their clients and promptly handles claims. We are happy to review your current policy to make sure it meets your needs.