Commercial Auto Insurance
Owned vehicles, leased vehicles, even rented and non-owned vehicles are all considered assets to your business, any of which may suddenly become a tremendous liability without proper insurance coverage. From auto liability, to collision and repair, to shielding goods and materials in transit, your commercial auto insurance policy should offer seamless and thorough coverage. If you’re just beginning to assemble your contractor’s insurance portfolio, or if you’re reviewing your existing coverage, it’s a good idea to take a look at your auto insurance. No matter how many vehicles your company maintains, it’s always important to have the right coverage, especially if you and your employees spend a lot of hours on the road.
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Commercial auto insurance is a policy that offers coverage on vehicles used in a business capacity, whether it’s a single truck used by a sole proprietor to get from job site to job site, or entire fleets of passenger and freight vehicles. In its basic structure, a commercial auto insurance policy is not unlike a personal policy. There are areas of the policy that address liability in the event of an accident, collision and repair, personal injury, and coverage for uninsured motorists. Coverage can be adjusted in each specific area (and in some cases for each specific vehicle) in order to tailor the policy to an individual business, although state minimum insurance requirements must be considered wherever applicable. The major difference between a commercial policy and a personal policy lies in the amount of coverage extended not only to drivers and to individual vehicles, but also to goods and materials present in those vehicles at the time of an accident. Commercial auto insurance policies also take into account longer periods of time spent in the insured vehicles, and longer distances covered. Policies may extend coverage to rented and leased vehicles, as well as employee-owned vehicles driven for the purpose of work performed for the company.
Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?
Anyone who uses their vehicle for work purposes, including sole proprietors and subcontractors, can purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. Contractors who own vehicles that are used solely for work, or whose vehicles are registered to a business or association name rather than to an individual, must have a commercial auto insurance policy. If employees drive business-owned vehicles as part of their job, those employees should be listed on the contractor’s commercial auto insurance policy. A Department of Motor Vehicles screening at the time of hire (or upon granting the employee access to the vehicle) should be performed, as listing employees with favorable driving records helps keep policy premiums low. The same screening process may also be performed on insured employees using their own vehicles for work purposes. Separate riders for hired autos can be added to a policy to accommodate rental or short-term lease vehicles, a convenient asset for seasonal businesses. Many business owners think that they should automatically purchase their commercial auto insurance policy from the company that underwrites their general liability insurance policy, however that is simply not true. A commercial auto insurance policy should be purchased from the company whose policies, coverage and costs best suit the individual business. At Ararat Insurance Services, our insurance professionals can help you find the right coverage at the right price, even if it’s with a provider other than your general liability insurance underwriter. If there are incentives from the underwriter to bundle your policies, we’ll take that into account as well. No matter what type of commercial auto insurance you need, we can help you find excellent coverage for the right price