Are you a contractor that uses commercial vehicles in the United States looking for liability insurance? If so, our insurance team at Contractors Liability® is ready to answer some common questions for you and provide you with a free quote as well.
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
If you use your truck, van or a car in the regular commercial operation of your business, you need commercial auto insurance. Many business proprietors believe that their personal auto insurance is enough in providing risk coverage for them while they use their vehicles for business purposes. In some situations, such as realtors that travel from house to house with their clients, this may be true. But for the majority of business owners, this is a misunderstanding which can be a big mistake in the long run costing thousands of dollars. For example, did you know if you allow your employee to drive your personal vehicle, your insurance company may commensurately reject your claim? These mistakes shouldn’t be taken lightly, so it’s important that you find out your commercial auto insurance needs.
When Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
Below are a few examples of when you should have a commercial auto insurance policy for your business:
- You deliver newspapers, consumable goods, food items or materials.
- You transport passengers as part of job, even if you are not paid. This may include transport like an automotive service ‘courtesy shuttle,’ senior care, preschool care and so on.
- Your vehicle has attached tools that are used for business.
- You have signs or logos visible on your vehicles.
- Employees use their own vehicles for job purposes.
- You hire or rent vehicles for work purposes.
If there are conditions present like any of the above, you should not waste any more time to get a commercial auto insurance policy.
Things to Consider with Commercial Auto Insurance
Below are a few points that a business owner should keep in mind while having a commercial auto insurance:
1. Title of Vehicle
You can get commercial auto insurance coverage if the vehicle you are using is titled in the name of your business, regardless of the vehicle’s size and regardless of whether it is for business or personal use. The vehicle’s titleholder may be sued as a result of any mishap or accidents, getting the entire business in a legal proceeding.
2. Limits of Liabilities
Insurance providers offer different liability limits to their customers ranging from the basic limits directed by law (e.g. for Illinois state it is 20,000/40,000/150,000) to as high as 1 million dollars for a single accident. A business owner who buys fa basic liability limit is certainly running in a high risk of losing its business assets in the case of a serious accident or death. As a business you need high insurance limits in order to avoid losing commercial assets.
3. Classification of Vehicles
In many cases, improper classification of the vehicles may lead to voiding of insurance coverage, therefore, rendering insurance policies useless and putting businesses at a substantial risk of losing its assets. Remember, a van that is used by an electrician has different classification than a similar van which is being used for carrying passengers. The both vans would have different classes and their premiums would also differ in amount.
Commercial Auto Insurance for General Contractors
Penalties are imposed to those business owners who don’t have commercial auto insurance for their business, but it varies state by state. General contractors carry out a wide range of construction activities and involve a great deal of transportation for heavy machinery and equipment to and from the construction site. Commercial auto insurance saves the general contractor from incurring any losses while their staff move vehicles and transport the commercial materials from one place to another. It not only saves against the possible loss from any mishap, but it also provides a good replacement if the vehicle sustains heavy damages in the accident. Commercial auto insurance only covers the vehicles and not the goods, tools and materials being transported. If you need to cover the items being transported you need to get inland marine insurance. The commercial auto insurance is equally important to protect the loss of business assets for general contractors. With a commecial auto insurance policy, general contractors can reduce the liability that may be caused by truck accidents, vans and small carry vehicles. Your best bet is to look for a commercial auto insurance policy that is flexible with all your business vehicles. To shop around with different companies for commercial auto insurance click here.
Check List for Commercial Auto Insurance
Below are some useful guidelines that general contractors should follow while planning for commercial auto insurance to reduce auto insurance premium costs.
- Compare the different plans of auto insurance providers and select the most suitable according to the needs of the business.
- Clearly learn and understand the fine policy print.
- By installing safety devices in the trucks, vans and cars, the insurance costs may be reduced. Doing things like installing trackers and authorizing the drivers are a few controls that can be implemented to reduce commercial auto insurance costs.
- Ensure that all the drivers are appropriately skilled to operate the specialized vehicles and HTVs. Training your drivers would be good step to achieve this.
- Ensure that the parked vehicles are indoor or in a secured parking area. It matters where you park the vehicles.
- Attempt to reduce the commercial auto insurance premiums by paying attention to things such as higher deductibles as well as liability limits. The premium payable would be lower if the deductible is higher.
- Include other movable construction equipment like concrete mixers, lifters, generators, etc.
- Try to save more on higher premiums by increasing the amount of deductibles, opting to pay for insurance in full.
- Make a request the commercial auto insurance company for a multi-policy discount.
- Seek discounts offered to experienced drivers.
General contractors should follow all the above mentioned points and look for the best commercial auto insurance service provider in his area. Check the reputations of insurance companies with business associations and the chamber of commerce in your state. You can perform your own research and analysis to keep in touch with the markets a stay updated about commercial auto insurance, or you can speak with one of our representatives that will help you shop around for the best commercial auto insurance rates.