Just as personal auto insurance can protect you against financial disasters related to vehicle theft, accident injuries, commercial vehicle insurance can safeguard your business against a wide range of potential crises. Different commercial classes typically require specific kinds of coverage packages.
If you have never shopped for commercial vehicle insurance before, you may find this world somewhat more complex than you anticipated. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject that can help you understand how this form of insurance works and what kind you might require.
What Kinds of Coverage Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Include?
Some types of commercial vehicle insurance will appear familiar to drivers who have insured their own cars in the past. Three general coverage categories that you may recognize include liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. Individual coverage details will vary from policy to policy.
Liability insurance protects you in the event that you cause either bodily injury to someone else or property damage to someone else’s vehicles. This coverage compensates the injured party for expenses such as medical bills, auto repairs, loss of income (if the other party cannot work due to the incident), and legal costs.
Collision insurance covers costs incurred by damage to your commercial vehicle, a critical benefit if you or your employees rely on that vehicle to earn income or provide business services. You can file a collision insurance claim regardless of whether you or another party caused the damage.
Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle, or your entire fleet of vehicles, against a wide range of catastrophic events, from flood and fire damage to theft and vandalism. In a major weather event such as a hailstorm, this form of commercial coverage could make all the difference in your ability to remain operational.
Your commercial vehicle insurance policy should include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage helps you receive financial compensation for damages caused by a motorist who carries insufficient liability insurance.
Commercial vehicle insurance often includes specific protections less common to private auto policies. One example, non-owned auto, covers employees who must occasionally use their own vehicles for work purposes. Policies may also address the specific needs of truckers, tow vehicle operators, and other drivers or vehicles.
Who Needs to Purchase Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
Employers can purchase commercial vehicle insurance customized to their particular needs. Your policy will specify how or whether it covers specific individuals behind the wheel. You may purchase insurance for every vehicle you own, all hired/ leased vehicles, or all vehicles used for business (regardless of ownership).
Independent contractors typically need to purchase their own commercial vehicle insurance. If you make a living by driving your own eighteen-wheeler or other vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds, you’ll need commercial vehicle insurance instead of standard personal auto insurance.
Independent drivers who carry passengers need to protect themselves against professional liability in cases of accidents, robberies, or other damaging incidents. Individuals who transport items such as food, tools, cooking equipment, or hazardous materials should also carry commercial vehicle insurance.
How Much Commercial Vehicle Insurance Do You Need?
Drivers and businesses who transport goods or services usually require more insurance than personal auto insurance policies can offer. Commercial vehicle insurance companies typically come with higher limits that reflect this need.
Commercial vehicle insurance policies may also include something called a Combined Single Limit (CSL). This provision allows you to apply a single maximum limit to any combination of property damage and personal injury liability, instead of splitting limits among separate types of incidents.
You’ll find your quest for commercial vehicle insurance much easier and more pleasant when you work with an experienced provider like Family Insurance Centers. Contact us today at either of our locations.