Commercial Auto Insurance
Businesses that use any type of vehicle, including cars, vans, trucks, and trailers, in their operations should have commercial auto insurance to protect their employees, equipment and finances.
There are various types of commercial auto insurance policies, and the right ones for you will depend on several factors including the type of vehicle, who owns it, and its usage.
This commercial auto insurance policy provides coverage for injury other people and damage to the property of others if you are found to be at fault in the accident. A standard commercial auto insurance policy includes:
- Liability – Bodily Injury. The Bodily Injury (BI) portion the policy will cover expenses related to the injury including hospital expenses and medical bills, rehabilitation and more. In the event that someone is killed, funeral expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering will also be covered to set limits.
- Liability – Property Damage. The Property Damage (PD) portion of the policy pays to repair or replace vehicles, houses, lamp posts, and even a pet, up to the set limit of the policy.
The liability insurance described above only addresses the injuries caused to others. These policies will protect you, your employees and/or your passengers regardless of who is at fault in the accident. There are two types of coverage and these are:
- Medical Payment Coverage. This policy can help pay medical expenses only if you, an employee or a passenger is injured in an accident regardless of who caused it.
- Personal Injury Protection. PIP insurance often includes more benefits than standard medical coverage, including disability benefits and death benefits, for you, your employees and/or passengers.*
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist. Not everyone carries car insurance, even if required by state law. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance* will pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering of both you and your passenger(s) if an accident is not your fault but the other driver has no or limited insurance. Depending on the coverage you choose, it may also cover repair or replacement of your vehicle.
*PIP and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance is required in many states.
The liability property damage described above only addresses damage done to other people’s property and vehicle. You need physical damage coverage to protect your own property. If you have a loan on your vehicle, the leader will probably require that you carry this insurance. Your options include:
- Collision Insurance. With this policy, the insurance company will repair or replace your vehicle if it collides with another object (such as a car), overturns, or rolls.
- Comprehensive Insurance. This policy provides protection for your vehicle against almost everything except collision with another vehicle or object. It also provides reimbursement if your vehicle is stolen.
- Fire and Theft (With Combined Additional Coverage). This policy is similar to the comprehensive policy but is limited to specific, non-collision incidents and does not cover windshield damage. It is used almost exclusively for specific types of heavy trucks.
Specialty Truck Coverages
There are a variety of coverages for trucks that is specific to their use, including cargo hauling, on-hook towing, trailer type and usage, and more. The type of policies that you may need will depend on your business.
Other Specialty Coverages
For small business owners or companies who have variable vehicle needs, there are policies that can protect your business, including:
- Non-owned Auto Liability. This policy provides protection if your employees occasionally uses his or her personally-owned vehicle for your business, such as picking up office supplies or even picking up lunch orders.
- Hired Auto Coverage. If you rent a commercial van or other vehicle for a project or business move, or have to rent a vehicle because yours is being repaired, the hired auto coverage provides protection if you are in an accident while driving it.
- Use of Personal Vehicles. If you have a home business and use your privately owned car or truck to conduct company activities, you will need this insurance or a rider on your personal car insurance plan. Without this coverage, your claim can be denied if it’s proven that the accident occurred while driving for a work-related reason.
- Rideshare Insurance. If you use your personal vehicle to drive for a rideshare service, you should purchase this coverage to protect yourself and your vehicle. While a few companies, such as Lyft and Uber, offer some coverage it is limited in scope and primarily addresses injuries to passengers and others, and property damage to others. To protect car and your personal assets, you need rideshare insurance.
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