UPDATED: Sep 23, 2013
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On the surface, commercial auto insurance can seem very similar to personal auto coverage. After all, both policies provide protection for a motor vehicle against a variety of perils, and both offer liability protection for car accidents. However, commercial auto insurance differs from its personal counterpart in a few important ways, including the scope of the policy.
If your business requires the use of one or more vehicles, you probably need to carry a commercial auto policy.
How Commercial Auto Insurance Differs from Private Coverage
In terms of coverage, commercial and private auto policies are usually pretty similar; each can have collision, comprehensive, bodily injury and liability coverage. However, the liability limits of a commercial policy will tend to be higher than those for personal insurance as commercial drivers are open to more risks and litigation.
Additionally, commercial policies will have a greater scope. They are designed to pay for large fleets of vehicles or very expensive custom vehicles that would not usually be owned by private individuals. Different types of commercial policies apply in these situations. For example, some policies are made for fleet companies while others are designed for taxi services.
Who Needs Commercial Car Insurance?
Any company that uses vehicles as part of its business should consider purchasing commercial auto coverage. A few businesses have a particularly high need of this type of insurance:
- Taxi, shuttle and limo services
- Fleet services
- Delivery services
- Any business that requires driving clients from one location to another
These types of businesses carry high liability risks, and the price of a claim can be extensive if an accident were to occur. Carrying the appropriate amount of auto insurance can protect the company from devastating lawsuits in the wake of a car accident.
Many people mistakenly complete business-related activities in their privately insured vehicles, not realizing that this could result in a denied claim if the insurer found out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when purchasing insurance coverage, and check with your insurance company before using your personal car for business tasks.
How Much Does Commercial Auto Coverage Cost?
The cost of a commercial auto policy will depend on your company’s risk level and the type of protection you require. The expense of insuring a fleet of 18-wheel tractor trailers will be different from that of a limousine service. It is important to have your business analyzed by multiple insurance companies in order to get personalized quotes. This will give you sense of how much it costs to insure your vehicles.