Are you the owner of an automobile, truck or even a fleet of vehicles designed strictly for commercial use? If so, a standard auto insurance policy may not be enough to offer you all of the protection you need. In fact, most standard auto insurance policies will not reimburse claims when the vehicle in question is used for commercial purposes. To make sure you are covered in terms of liability and property protection, you’ll probably want to look into a commercial auto insurance plan.
Commercial auto insurance is typically offered by most of the major insurers in the United States. Vehicles which may be insured under this type of plan include:
Construction Trucks. This includes cement mixers, front loaders, pickups and flatbeds.
Commercial vehicle owners are required by law to carry liability insurance, and when you add this to a sound collision/comprehensive insurance policy-one that covers property damage, towing, uninsured motorist, etc.-you’ll no doubt find that the peace of mind which comes from knowing that both you and your business are protected in the event of an accident or theft is well worth the cost.
Depending on the type of vehicle you’re planning to insure, there may be some items in the fine print which aren’t automatically covered. Some of these will require a separate policy and they include:
Non-trucking liability insurance. Provides protection even when the truck or car is not under dispatch.
Cargo insurance. Insures the replacement value of the load you are hauling.
On-hook towing insurance. A must for tow truck drivers, this type of policy insures the vehicle you’re picking up.
This short list, of course, is but a mere sampling of the hundreds of available options which may not be covered with a single policy. To find out more about these options, talk to your agent about the specific type of vehicle(s) you want to insure.
The price for commercial auto insurance will usually run a bit higher than a standard auto insurance policy. This is because of the necessity to carry larger liability limits. One accident, involving a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured, could be devastating to your business, so make sure the liability coverage is enough to fully protect you in the event of an accident. Premium prices can usually be adjusted to your benefit if, for instance, you are planning to insure many different vehicles with the same insurer, or if you’re willing to agree to a larger deductible.
Commercial auto insurance should in no way be thought of as “optional”. Today there are literally millions of commercial vehicles on the road, and each one of them either directly or indirectly represents the business that insures them. Having the right insurance policy, one which is tailor-made to fit your unique situation, could very well help you avoid a catastrophic situation should an accident or injury occur.
By Martin Brown