Commercial auto insurance can cover a combination of vehicle types (trucks, cars) and drivers, as well as some types of motorized equipment. It provides for bodily injury liability and property damage while operating a company automobile, medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car. Injuries or damage to someone else are also covered. Most states require liability insurance for damages that may happen to a third party if you or someone from your organization are in an accident while driving for businesses purposes.
The Commercial Auto policy has many of the same coverage options as a personal auto does, but one difference is the ability to pick 3 basic types of coverage:
- Autos your business owns.
- All autos your business owns, hires or leases.
- All autos used for the business, including those that your business does not own, hire or lease.
We recommend that your company carry $1,000,000 in Liability coverage for your Commercial Auto; this higher limit typically does not cost much more than the lower limits and can be worth the extra money in a bad claim. If you are concerned with having more coverage please look to a Commercial Umbrella policy.
Hired/Non-owned Auto Liability
Are you renting cars or are your employees using their own vehicles? This particular coverage provides business insurance coverage for certain liabilities arising from the use of a rented or leased vehicle (hired), or a non-owned vehicle (employee using their own vehicle on company business). Oftentimes this coverage can be added inexpensively to a business auto policy, or in some cases, a general liability policy.
Hired Physical Damage Coverage
A Commercial Auto policy does not cover the physical damage of a rented or leased vehicle and most rental car agencies require you to have coverage for their vehicle in case it is damaged by you. Hired Physical Damage Coverage is what you need to add to your policy in this instance.
Drive Other Car Coverage
If you do not have a personal auto policy and may use your Commercial Auto for personal use then it would be a good idea to add Drive Other Car Coverage. This will cover you in the case of an accident for personal use and if you were to drive a vehicle owned by a third party.
Use of Personal Vehicles
Insurance policies for privately owned vehicles may not cover damage to your privately owned car or truck when it is used for business, even home cosmetics, jewelry sales or a pizza delivery business. Be sure to speak to an agent at C.K. Ash to make for sure that your personal vehicle is covered while being used for business purposes. Do NOT depend upon a personal Umbrella to cover claims that arise out of a business use vehicle; most Umbrella policies exclude all claims arising in the course of a business endeavor.
Who Should be an Insured?
When insuring a vehicle, make sure to let us know whom it is title to, whether that be you personally or your company. Commercial Auto policies require that the owner be named as the principal insured and in the case of a claim you do not want to have issues with questioning coverage.
You are Liable for Poor Drivers
When choosing those who will drive your business vehicles take the right steps to qualify these drivers. You are legally liable for everyone that drives these vehicles and if they have a bad driving record and are in an accident you could be liable for negligent entrustment. This causes many claims to be excessively more expensive than a normal accident and can cause you to lose your Commercial Auto coverage. Your organization is responsible to qualify your drivers before allowing them to drive your vehicles. Do not allow a unqualified driver with your vehicles; not even to run a small task.