Most people know they need car insurance for their personal vehicles. But depending on what type of job you have, you might not realize that you need commercial auto insurance.
A good rule of thumb is that if you need your personal vehicle in order to do your job, then you need to purchase commercial auto insurance. Examples of this type of situation would be if you use your car to deliver pizzas, give people rides as an Uber driver, or transport equipment (say, for a cleaning or lawn car service).
And even though you don’t need commercial auto insurance for simply commuting to work, you should get it if you are making extended, work-related trips in your personal vehicle. Do note that in the case of Uber drivers, rideshare insurance is an inexpensive option.
Why, you might ask, do you need an additional type of insurance if your personal vehicle is already covered? The answer is that using your vehicle for business purposes greatly increases your risk if the property or people you are transporting are harmed.
No matter what, if you’re doubtful about whether or not you need commercial auto insurance, it is always best to consult with your insurance company to see what your options are.
On the other hand, you might be a small business owner with multiple vehicles for which you know you need commercial auto insurance. The best way to cover multiple vehicles is to get fleet insurance. Also, keep in mind that all of your employees should know what to do after an accident to minimize legal liability.
One of the most significant advantages of fleet insurance is that fleet insurance policies provide the option of getting all your vehicles insured under the same plan with the same documentation. This feature saves you the effort and complexity of tracking individual policies for each automobile or truck. And insurers allow you to cover any kind of vehicle—car, truck, van or motorcycle—under one policy.
Notably, the cost of fleet insurance varies according to several of factors, such as the number of cars insured, their ages and types, and policy options available. However, the overall expense is much lower than it would be if you purchased individual policies for each vehicle. And the cost is very reasonable considering the benefits.
Generally speaking, fleet insurance benefits include the following:
- property liability
- emergency assistance
- repair and replacement
- theft of vehicle
- towing and storage costs
- choice of mechanic
- injuries to people
- coverage for uninsured drivers
- rental car coverage
- coverage for employees’ personal vehicles
These advantages allow you to create a stress-free policy for your business.
Fleet Management Technology
If you can, you should acquire fleet telematics technology for your vehicles. Fleet telematics can help you significantly drive down your fleet insurance costs. Telematics is a way of using telecommunications and GPS technology to track individual vehicles in your fleet.
Because the ability to monitor your vehicles lowers your risk, you will have an advantage when discussing costs with your insurance company. Lowering risk naturally means you will have fewer accidents, another factor that will minimize your expenses.
Moreover, there are options available that allow you to see your engine diagnostics and fuel consumption, thus helping you efficiently manage your fuel costs.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Finally, when considering commercial auto insurance, there are a few caveats you should remember. You need to be as thorough as possible in educating yourself on what exactly your policy covers. Don’t assume your policy covers all passengers. Some, such as real estate agents, present a higher risk than others and could cost your more. Your policy also might have exceptions for the different types of goods you’re transporting, as well as exceptions for if you are traveling through dangerous areas.
Don’t forget to stay updated and compliant with state and federal regulations. Take safety measures and train your drivers accordingly. Know your policy inside out, and hunt for the best one possible by comparing multiple policies online. If you can make your life easier at a minimal cost, why not?
Please include attribution to AutoInsurance.org with this graphic.
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