How to Get a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

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Things to Remember...

  • Commercial automobile insurance protects businesses against liability that occurs in an accident just as does an individual’s insurance
  • The best way to obtain these quotations is to approach two or three insurance agents in your area that you trust to conduct business reasonably for quotes
  • Be aware of the limits of liability required by the states in which you do business in order to receive permits to operate within that state
  • Look for an insurance company that does not penalize you for accidents within certain parameters and allows new drivers to be covered without being specifically added for a period

Businesses cannot have the same type of automobile insurance as individuals because the issues of protection from liability are different for businesses from individuals.

Commercial automobile insurance protects businesses against liability that occurs in an accident just as does an individual’s insurance.

The automobiles and trucks are insured against damage from animals, vandalism, and collision just as your car is on your individual insurance policy.

Be sure to compare auto insurance by using our FREE quote tool located at the top of this page now!

However, the role of a commercial automobile insurance policy is broader than mere insurance against legal liability.

Depending upon the usage of your vehicles, the insurance company through its agent must issue permits, certificates, and other legal documents to keep business, vehicles, and cargo insured as materials, animals, and people are hauled from place to place.

There are state and federal laws governing the usage of roads for commerce that do not apply to private vehicles.

How to Get a Commercial Automobile Quote

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Commercial automobile insurance coverage can be quite a bit more expensive than individual insurance and getting comparison quotes from different companies is vital to protect the bottom line for your business.

These quotes need more information than individual insurance so they are more difficult to obtain.

The best way to obtain these quotations is to approach two or three insurance agents in your area that you trust to conduct business reasonably for quotes.

The agents will take the information that is needed, present it to the insurance companies they represent, and request quotes for the coverage.

As with any type of insurance or anything you purchase, make certain that the agents are comparing the same type of coverage.

There are web sites online that will give quotes for commercial auto insurance, but it is best to have a thorough knowledge of your insurance needs to get these quotes.

Information You Will Need

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The agent will help you obtain the necessary information involved, but you should be prepared with this basic information:

  • Complete list of all vehicles with make, model, and VIN numbers
  • Insure trailers – Liability insurance ordinarily follows the vehicle pulling the trailer, but physical damage for the trailer itself must be added
  • Usage of each vehicle – how far it is ordinarily driven, what commodities are hauled, the type of vehicle
  • Names, addresses, dates of birth, and drivers’ license numbers for all drivers
  • What states are entered, crossed, or hauled to – and how far vehicles go
  • Any Inter-State filings needed; any Intra-State filings needed

Be aware of the limits of liability required by the states in which you do business in order to receive permits to operate within that state.

Possible Savings on Commercial Auto Insurance

There are avenues to reduce costs on auto insurance that you can apply in your business.

  • Check the DMV records for drivers before hiring
  • As a policy, only hire drivers who are older than 25
  • Institute a regular maintenance program for your vehicles
  • Control usage of vehicles – employees should not be encouraged to use the vehicles in lieu of their own personal vehicles
  • Garage vehicles in an enclosed lot or in a garage
  • Determine what vehicles are used seasonally – in some cases, you may insure those vehicles just for that season if they are parked and unused otherwise
  • Assess your risks carefully – larger deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage can be sustained by businesses than by individuals
  • Pay your business insurance annually rather in installments – it can be less expensive
  • Sometimes, carrying your business insurance with the same insurance company as carries your personal insurance can increase your discounts

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You May Need Commercial Auto Insurance if…..

Sometimes individuals do not realize that they need commercial auto insurance coverage because their business has gradually grown or it is not a formally organized business.

These circumstances may be:

  • Providing rides to a number of individuals to work at different locations
  • Deliveries of articles sold from home to home
  • Hauling items from a retail business to homes or businesses (furniture delivery, cosmetics delivery, pharmaceutical delivery)
  • Grain, beef, or beet delivery from the farm to point of sale

Other Things to Consider

Protecting yourself and your business from lawsuits is important. Typically, businesses are considered to have more responsibility and therefore more liability in the event of accidents.

You, as an owner of a business, are responsible for the errors and acts of your employees.

An umbrella policy that provides additional coverage beyond that liability offered by commercial and personal automobile insurance policies, homeowners’ policies, or general liability policies.

Ordinarily, these policies begin with a million-dollar limit. This coverage is not terribly expensive because they are designed to take effect once the limits of other liability policies are expended.

In our time, these umbrella policies can be written for more than five million dollars in coverage. This is reasonable because of the current climate of our country.

Compare Commercial Automobile Rates

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Insurance companies often prefer to write commercial auto policies because the premiums are substantial, usually over $2,000 annually. For this reason, the premiums are very competitive.

None of us, including businesses, is fond of wasting money. Comparison-shopping for insurance as well as other commodities makes sense.

Premiums for commercial auto insurance can vary by thousands of dollars depending upon how the company applies credits.

Look for an insurance company that does not penalize you for accidents within certain parameters and allows new drivers to be covered without being specifically added for a period.

This gives your accountant to comptroller time to notify the company of new drivers. Negotiate to do the same for replacement or new vehicles. You will have to notify the insurance company, but this will prevent gaps in coverage.

Be an intelligent consumer for insurance as well as other aspects of your business to keep as much of your profit as possible.

Many aspects of business are immutable, but insurance is not one of them.

Everyone needs insurance for protection, but there are no laws that require over-spending for that protection.

Always compare policies before deciding on which one is best. The easiest way to do so is by using our FREE comparison tool above. Just enter your ZIP code to get started now!

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