While it seems like a dream to own your own business, we know that all the moving parts make it difficult to stay on top of things. Besides handling your finances, managing your employees (if you have them), and serving your customers or clients, sifting through complicated commercial auto insurance jargon is the last thing you want to add to your plate as a small business owner. That’s where we come in.
At Direct Auto Insurance, we pride ourselves on making insurance simple and easy to understand — even commercial auto insurance. So, if you’re looking for the low down on insuring your business vehicle(s), these straight-to-the-point facts are a great place to start.
FACT: Your Businessowners Policy, or BOP, Does Not Cover Your Business Vehicle(s)
According to the Insurance Information Institute, “As a business owner, you need some of the same insurance coverages for the cars, trucks, vans or other vehicles you use in your business as you do for vehicles used for personal travel. Your Businessowners Policy (BOP) does not provide any coverage for personal vehicles, so you must have a separate policy.”
FACT: Many Personal Auto Policies Exclude Coverage for Commercial Use
If you’re relying on your personal auto insurance coverage to protect you in the event of an accident, you could be out of luck. Many insurers exclude coverage for commercial use of a vehicle on personal auto insurance policies.
FACT: You Have to Meet State Minimums for Commercial Auto Coverage, Too
Just as you need to meet the minimum requirements in your state for your personal car insurance coverage, you also need to meet the state minimums for your commercial auto insurance coverage. In most states, minimum limits for commercial auto insurance are at least equal to, if not higher than, those for personal auto insurance.
FACT: Commercial Insurance Could Help Protect Your Personal Assets
Depending on the type of business you own, your personal assets could be at risk in the event of an accident where your coverage limits are exceeded. That’s one reason, according to the Institute, many insurers recommend a commercial auto coverage limit of $1,000,000,000 with $500,000 as the minimum. The higher limit provides additional protection without adding much to the premium.
FACT: You Are Liable if You Allow an Employee with a Poor Driving Record on the Road
The Institute warns against letting anyone drive your business vehicle–even for a quick errand–without checking their qualifications first. If you let someone with a bad driving record drive your business vehicle and they cause an accident, you could be liable for negligent entrustment. And any damages awarded for negligent entrustment would be on top of liability.
FACT: Commercial Insurance Policies are Customizable
When it comes to your policy and coverages, you can pick and choose what works best for your business. In addition to 12-month and 6-month policy options, Direct’s commercial auto insurance features these available coverage options:
- Liability (Bodily Injury and Property Damage)
- Uninsured Motorist (Bodily Injury)
- Underinsured Motorist (Bodily Injury)
- Medical Payments
- Hired Auto and Employer’s Non-Ownership Liability
- Collision Comprehensive
- Fire & Theft with CAC
FACT: Many Types of Businesses Qualify for Commercial Insurance
In terms of the affordable commercial auto insurance, we offer at Direct, a wide range of small businesses are eligible for coverage. The types of businesses we cover can be divided into four categories:
This includes vehicles involved in the production of crops or livestock as well as vehicles that haul the products to market.
Carpenters, builders, contractors, electricians, heating & air technicians, and other artisans with business vehicles fall into this category.
- Trucking & Transport
Generally, this category describes businesses that haul goods for a fee. Tractor-trailers are not included, however, and there could be additional requirements depending on the service (e.g. towing) or type of product being hauled.
If your business doesn’t fall into the first three groups, chances are it’s included in this “catch-all” category. From caterers and restaurant owners to florists and landscapers, this category covers a slew of businesses (e.g. plumbers, courier services, ice cream vendors, realtors, consultants, funeral services, and so on).
Thinking about purchasing, or just want to get more information? Visit our Commercial Auto Insurance page to find out more about insurance from Direct.
**Commercial auto insurance produced by Right Choice Insurance Agency, Inc. and Direct General Insurance Agency, Inc. d/b/a Direct Auto Insurance as agents for Titan Indemnity Company, a Nationwide Insurance Company & its affiliates. Not available in all stores. Pay plans, discounts and coverages subject to terms and conditions.