What, How, When, and Why of Commercial Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is an important investment for business owners of all shapes and sizes to make. Even more important, though, is getting the right policy for your business needs. The advice below will help you decide which type of policy is the right choice for your small business whether you own one or two business vehicles or an entire fleet.

What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?

Commercial auto policies vary, to some degree, from one provider to the next. There are some things you should expect from any decent commercial auto policy, though, including the following:

  • Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability
  • Collision Coverage (regardless of who is at fault)
  • Comprehensive Coverage (for damage caused by something other than collisions)
  • Medical Payments Coverage
  • Alternate Transportation Coverage
  • Personal Injury (for yourself or vehicle driver)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • Non-Owned Auto (critical for businesses, like restaurants, that allow employees to drive personal vehicles to conduct business)

There are other policies that offer specialized and umbrella coverage some businesses should look into. In order to ensure that all your commercial auto insurance needs are met, it’s wise to work with a reputable insurance agency.

How Does This Type of Coverage Work?

Many business owners make it more complicated than it needs to be, but at its heart, commercial auto insurance provides protection for vehicles you use for business purposes and according to the stipulations of the policies you purchase.

If a covered event occurs, you will be required to file a claim with your insurance company along with the appropriate documentation, and the insurance company will provide payment for the appropriate costs of repairs minus any deductibles or exclusions you have on your policy.

For most businesses, the liability coverage alone is worth the costs of the coverage. You’re doing business in a litigious world, and liability coverage not only helps pay commercial auto liability claims, but also helps you cover your costs of defending yourself against those claims.

When is Commercial Auto Coverage Necessary?

Basically, commercial auto insurance is necessary from the moment you begin using vehicles, any vehicles, in order to conduct your business. This includes things like employees running errands, making deliveries, or even driving people to the airport. Anything they do on behalf of the business in a vehicle is cause for your business to have commercial auto coverage – even if they’re using their personal vehicles.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky though. You could find yourself in need of commercial auto insurance if you’re delivering retail products for a party plan or direct sales business, delivering newspapers, transporting equipment for a cleaning service business, or transporting equipment for a business. It all goes back to needing commercial coverage for your vehicles if you use them for business – in any capacity.

Why is an Auto Policy Necessary?

Like all insurance types, commercial auto coverage is necessary to protect not only the best interests of your business, but also your personal assets, which could very well be on the line too if your business is unable to bear the costs of a lengthy courtroom battle or a particularly high award.

To find out the finer details of the particular policy you need for your business it is best to consult with a trusted small business independent insurance agent for a no holds barred assessment of your commercial auto insurance needs.