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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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You may be aware that you must have auto insurance on your personal vehicle at all times, but you may not be aware that unique requirements are in place for commercial or business-use vehicles in most states.
Auto insurance is designed to help you pay for any expenses that you may be legally liable for while operating your vehicle, and some coverage pays for your own expenses if you are in an accident or involved in another damaging event.
Those who drive commercial vehicles may also be financially responsible for the damage they cause. There is a risk that they could cause injury to passengers, employees in the car, damage to property, and more.
If you have one or more commercial or business-use vehicles, it is important that you understand the insurance requirements that you must comply with.
By shopping for rates and comparing policy options today, you can rest assured that you and your drivers have excellent auto coverage in place. Enter your zip code above to shop today!
How to Determine How Much Coverage You Need
In most states, drivers of both personal and commercial vehicles are financially responsible for the damage they cause while operating their car, truck, or another type of vehicle.
Most states have minimum coverage requirements, but many drivers or business owners purchase more than what is required by state law.
A closer look will help you to determine how much insurance you need to buy for your business-use vehicles.
Your State’s Laws
Before you begin shopping around for a commercial auto insurance policy, you need to know how much coverage you should buy.
State requirements for commercial auto insurance requirements may vary on numerous factors, and the requirements are usually more complicated or detailed than the requirements you may be accustomed to for personal or private-use vehicles.
Some of these requirements are based on:
- How many passengers the vehicle can carry
- The payload of a truck
- The towing capabilities of a vehicle
- The number of axles the vehicle has
- The weight of a vehicle
Auto Lender Requirements
Many commercial auto vehicles are financed through a car or truck loan. Commonly, auto lenders require vehicle owners to obtain insurance that pays for the repair or replacement of the insured vehicle, such as through a collision or comprehensive insurance policy.
This coverage differs from the state legal requirements for liability coverage.
Even if you do not have an auto loan on your commercial or business-use vehicles, it makes sense to purchase this coverage. After all, if the vehicles are damaged, totaled, or stolen, insurance can reduce the financial impact to your business.
Just as there are optional coverage types for private-use vehicles, there are optional coverages available for business-use vehicles.
These vary by insurer, and some of them are designed to reduce the financial impact that your company may feel in the event a vehicle is out of commission for a period of time.
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*based on a survey of 1,000 car insurance customers
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How to Find a Reputable Insurance Company
You can shop around for auto insurance for a commercial vehicle using the Internet is the same way you shop around for private vehicle insurance.
Your commercial insurance policy can play a major role in the liability exposure and overall expenses you may be responsible for related to the vehicles.
With this in mind, you understandably want to buy coverage from a reputable insurance company, and you can focus your attention on a few minutes to improve the results of your efforts.
The Insurer’s Reputation
While you may be focused on setting up an affordable business auto insurance policy that helps you to keep overhead to a minimum, you also need insurance from a provider that will settle claims and other issues quickly and without hassle.
Research the reputation of each provider in the areas of billing and claims, and eliminate any companies that have a poor reputation in these critical areas.
The Insurer’s Financial Strength
Another important factor to pay attention to is the insurance company’s financial strength. There are multiple rating sites online that you can refer to if you want to learn more about the financial strength of leading providers.
You can save time shopping for commercial auto insurance when you narrow your search down to the most reputable and established providers.
How to Save Money on Commercial Auto Insurance
After you have created a list of leading providers to contact for quotes, you may be ready to shop around and find an affordable policy. Shopping online to compare rates is a great idea, but there are other ways to save money on commercial auto insurance as well.
Buy Safe Vehicles
The safety rating and features of your commercial vehicles play a direct role in insurance cost.
Before you buy commercial vehicles in the future, always research safety ratings, and consider requesting quotes for coverage on a few of the top models that you are thinking about buying.
Focus on Drivers’ Safety
The driving record and accident history of your approved and insured drivers will affect your commercial auto insurance rates as well.
If you want to keep insurance costs as low as possible, review these records when you are making a hiring decision, and eliminate any risky drivers from consideration. Periodically, require your drivers to take a continuing education course for driving safety.
Adjust the Deductible
The insurance deductible for your commercial policy can play a role in the premium amount.
For example, you can request a higher deductible amount to generate a lower premium amount.
The deductible may be higher than average, but it should always be affordable for your business to pay as needed.
It is a great idea to compare commercial auto insurance rates now, but this is not a one-time project. Because premium amounts and rates can change periodically, get in the habit of comparing new quotes every six months.
By doing so, you can keep this expense as low as possible in the years to come. Compare rates today by using our free quote tool below. Just enter your zip code to get started and you can compare several quotes side-by-side at one time.