What You should know about Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Posted on: 11Feb,2016

Many businesses today own a wide range of vehicles that are used strictly for their daily operations. For insurance and legal purposes, these vehicles are classified and referred to as commercial vehicles and may include a variety of cars, minivans and vans, SUV’s, and different types of trucks. Whether you own a large fleet of commercial vehicles or operate a small business with only a few cars or trucks, you will need commercial vehicle insurance so they can be driven legally on the highways and roads in California.

How is Commercial Vehicle Insurance defined?

Any vehicle insurance policy that features liability and physical damage coverage amounts for specific situations and usage and that is not normally covered by personal auto insurance policies is referred to as commercial vehicle insurance. Although this may seem obvious, it is important to understand the difference between these two types of vehicle insurance and whether or not you need this in your business. Additionally, this type of insurance is oftentimes referred to as commercial truck or fleet insurance.

Why is Commercial Vehicle Insurance Important?

Just as personal auto insurance is important, so too is commercial vehicle insurance, albeit the importance of each type is based on the needs of the insured and the categorization of the vehicles that are being insured. Companies that use cars, trucks, and vans in their daily business operations as well as for their primary source of income need the protection that this type of insurance provides.

Since these vehicles are always on the road during the course of business, there is a greater risk that their drivers will get into an accident, hence the need for this type of insurance. A driver may be involved in an accident with another vehicle or the vehicle may get damaged due to weather conditions. However, With the proper commercial insurance coverage, you will be protected against these types of circumstances.

Additionally, there is always the possibility that the vehicular damage that occurred is not the fault of the person driving that vehicle. If they are parked beneath a big tree and high winds snap a branch off of it, commercial vehicle insurance will cover the damages that result from that tree branch striking and damaging company property. Without this type of insurance coverage, you will be stuck paying for those repairs out of company funds.

When do You Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance?

Determining whether or not you need commercial vehicle insurance isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. Generally speaking, if there are vehicles that are used in the business, for a personal occupation, or a profession, this type of insurance is required. The following will give you a better idea as to when you need commercial insurance:

• If any of your employees drive vehicles that are owned by your company, then you will need to have commercial vehicle insurance coverage.
• If higher liability limits are required due to the nature of the work that is being performed, you should probably consider investing in this type of vehicle insurance.
• If your business requires hauling equipment, tools, or a trailer, then commercial vehicle insurance would be appropriate.
• If your vehicle is being used to transport people or products, or if it is used for conducting a service, you will most likely need a commercial vehicle insurance policy to protect it.

It’s important to realize that many business vehicle types and uses are oftentimes excluded from personal auto insurance policies. So you want to be sure that you have the right type of coverage for yours.

The 3 Basics of Commercial Vehicle Insurance

No matter who the insurer is, every commercial vehicle insurance policy has the following three elements in common:

Liability – typically includes bodily injury and property damage as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist.

Physical damage – includes collision and comprehensive

Other coverages – includes a broad range of coverages including auto loan coverage, lease gap coverage, medical payments, rental reimbursement, and towing and labor.

You will need to determine the types of coverages that will best facilitate the needs of your business and fit into your budget as well. Keep these things in mind when you are shopping for your commercial vehicle insurance so that an agent can evaluate your situation and make their recommendations.