As a business owner, you may have one or more vehicles, such as delivery vehicles, taxis, limos or buses. The right commercial auto insurance covers you for accidents, injuries and other incidents that can put those investments at risk.
Here are some 2019 statistics on the accidents that happen in the United States from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- Of the approximately 510,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2019, there were 4,479 (1%) fatal crashes and 114,000 (29%) injury crashes.
- Fatal crashes involving large trucks often occur in rural areas and on Interstate highways. Approximately 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 25 percent occurred on Interstate highways, and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
What is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Commercial auto insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to provide coverage for vehicles that are owned or used by businesses. It is similar to personal auto insurance, but with some key differences. Commercial auto insurance policies typically provide coverage for liability, physical damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
What does Commercial Auto Insurance cover?
Commercial auto insurance is similar to personal auto insurance in basic coverage, such as liability, comprehensive, collision and other types of coverage that are specific to business vehicle use. A commercial auto policy is designed to protect your business from significant losses that could affect your company’s financial well being.
Commercial auto insurance policies combine several different types of coverage – some are required and some are optional. A typical policy includes some combination of the following:
Bodily injury liability: This portion of the commercial auto policy covers harm to others in an accident caused by you or your employee. Bodily injury coverage will provide compensation for medical costs, funeral costs if necessary, and the costs associated with a lawsuit. The amount of compensation your company receives depends upon the limit set on your bodily injury liability coverage, as well as your deductible.
Property damage liability: This coverage will pay the costs to repair property damage caused by you or your employee. The amount of coverage you receive is based on the limits you set and your deductibles. It is a good idea to work closely with an independent agent to assess your risks as well as the potential costs of injury, property damage and legal fees. For the best protection, consider buying a commercial umbrella liability policy.
Collision: As with your personal auto policy, a good commercial auto policy should include adequate collision coverage to pay for the damage to your vehicles in the event you or your employees cause an accident.
Comprehensive: Known also as "other than collision," your comprehensive coverage is an important protection for damage to your vehicle or loss due to causes other than collision. These causes can include weather, theft and vandalism.
Uninsured and underinsured motorists: If one of your drivers is in an accident caused by another motorist who does not have adequate insurance, this coverage will help to pay for damages and injuries to your vehicle and your driver, up to the limits set on your policy.
Medical payments: This coverage pays for medical and/or funeral expenses for you, your drivers and passengers after an accident.
Additional optional coverage: A wide range of additional coverage types may be available, depending on the insurance company you work with and the state your business is in. For example, you may be able to buy coverage for your employees when they drive a car or truck your company does not own.
You might also buy coverage for a rental replacement auto if your company car is in the shop. You could opt to get towing and roadside assistance. Some insurance companies even provide very specific coverage for companies who load and unload cargo, due to the increased liability risk involved.
The right commercial insurance can protect you, your business, and all of the drivers in your commercial cars, vans, pickup trucks or limos in an accident. One of the most critical ways to protect your company is by having adequate liability coverage in case you or one of your employees causes an accident that injures another person or damages their property.
What types of businesses need commercial auto insurance?
Any business that owns or operates vehicles as part of its operations should have commercial auto insurance. Here are some examples of businesses that typically need commercial auto insurance:
- Delivery services: Any business that delivers goods or products, such as courier services, food delivery services, or e-commerce businesses, typically need commercial auto insurance.
- Construction and contracting companies: These businesses often use heavy vehicles and equipment for their operations, making them more susceptible to accidents and damage to their vehicles.
- Transportation companies: Any business that transports passengers or goods, such as taxi companies, limousine services, or trucking companies, need commercial auto insurance.
- Sales and marketing businesses: These businesses often require employees to use their personal vehicles for work purposes, such as visiting clients or attending events. In this case, non-owned auto insurance may be necessary to protect the business in case of accidents involving these vehicles.
- Other businesses that own or operate vehicles: Any business that owns or operates vehicles for business purposes, such as retail businesses, service providers, or manufacturers, may need commercial auto insurance.
It's important for businesses to carefully consider their specific needs and risks when choosing commercial auto insurance coverage options. Working with an experienced insurance agent can help businesses choose the right policy for their needs.
Questions Insurance Advisors Ask to Find For Discounts
An independent insurance agency like G&G can provide all of your commercial coverage through one office. We can sit down with you, get to know your business, and learn how you and your employees use your business automobiles.
We'll ask a variety of questions designed to not only get you an accurate quote, but also find discounts that may be available to you.
You may be asked questions such as:
- How many commercial automobiles do you have?
- How are those vehicles used? For example, do they transport people, goods, hazardous materials, or food?
- How many miles does each vehicle typically travel in a year?
- How many drivers do you have?
- What are their ages and level of experience?
- Have your drivers taken a safe driving course?
If you’re in the market for commercial auto insurance in Fayetteville, or if you have coverage already but aren’t sure it’s comprehensive or competitively priced, we'll give you an open and honest assessment of your coverage to determine whether or not you can do better.