Commercial Auto Insurance: Defining the Risk
Insurance policies are not all cut-and-dry. Therefore, it’s imperative to assess your business and the unique risks presented. To best determine which coverages and the included limits are necessary for comprehensive coverage, examine the risks to you, your drivers, and your business.
Driver Distraction and Commercial Automobile Operation
The Department of Transportation investigated the impact of distraction in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes and safety-critical events in 2009. They found the following:
- Drivers were involved in non-driving tasks in 71% of CMV crashes
- Distracted driving caused 46% of near-crashes and 50% of safety-critical events
Commercial auto insurance in Denver resembles personal auto insurance in basic coverage such as liability, comprehensive, collision, and other types of coverage that are specific to business vehicle use. However, a commercial auto policy is designed to protect your business from significant losses that could affect your company’s financial well-being.
Commercial auto insurance policies combine several different types of coverage – some are required, and some are optional.
A typical policy includes some combination of the following:
Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage protects your business financial interest in the event you or an employee injure another party in an accident. This is the part of your policy that pays the other party for their medical bills and related expenses.
Due to the high cost of medical care, it’s dangerous to carry liability limits that are too low. However, this is something we can help you decide on based on your specific needs.
Property Damage Liability
This coverage will pay the costs to repair property damage caused by you or your employee. The amount of coverage you receive is based on the limits you set and your deductibles. It is highly recommended to work closely with an independent agent to effectively assess your risks in addition to the potential costs of injury, property damage and legal fees. For the best protection, consider buying a commercial umbrella liability policy.
As with your personal auto policy, a good commercial auto policy should include adequate collision coverage to pay for the damage to your vehicles in the event you or your employees cause an accident.
Known also as “other than collision,” your comprehensive coverage is an important protection for damage to your vehicle or loss due to causes other than collision. These causes can include weather, theft, and vandalism.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
If one of your drivers is in an accident caused by another motorist who does not have adequate insurance, this coverage will help to pay for damages and injuries to your vehicle and your driver, up to the limits set on your policy.
This coverage pays for medical and/or funeral expenses for you, your drivers, and any passengers after an accident.
Additional Optional Coverage
Supplemental Coverage for Employee Vehicles
Various additional coverage types may be available, depending on the insurance company you work with and the state of your business. For example, you may be able to buy supplementary coverage for your employees when they drive a car or truck your company does not own.
You might also buy coverage for a rental replacement auto if your company car is in the shop. You could opt to get towing and roadside assistance. Some insurance companies even provide very specific coverage for companies who load and unload cargo, due to the increased liability risk involved.
The right commercial insurance can protect you, your business, and all the drivers of your commercial cars, vans, pickup trucks, or limos in an accident. One of the most critical ways to protect your company is by having adequate liability coverage in case you or one of your employees causes an accident that injures another person or damages their property.
Commercial automobile insurance is a broad term that refers to most commercial business automobiles, including but not limited to:
- Company cars
- Cargo Vans
- Pickup trucks
Commercial auto policies cover personal cars that are also used regularly for business. Additionally, commercial auto policies cover SUVs, light-duty trucks, buses, limousines, taxicabs, vans, and other delivery vehicles used solely for business purposes.
The use of these automobiles is associated with a range of risk factors, including how you use them, how often, and how many miles they travel each year, among other factors. Insurance companies review these risk factors along with any efforts your company may make to improve driver safety when they assess the amount of coverage your business needs.
If you are looking for coverage information on large trucks and heavy equipment used for business purposes, refer to the commercial truck insurance section.
Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover Personal Use?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs often use their own cars while on the job without a second thought. However, it is important to know that your personal insurance may not cover commercial use of your auto.
It’s common for a small business owner to send an employee out on an errand, whether to get supplies from the local store or to give a business consultant a ride from the airport.
If the staff member gets behind the wheel of his own car, and the business owner does not have a commercial auto insurance policy in place that covers that worker and his car, any injuries or damage that result from an accident may not be covered.
Regardless of how much or how little you or your employees use personal vehicles while conducting business, getting adequate coverage in place can prevent a financially damaging event from putting your business at risk.
An independent agent like Centennial State Insurance Agency, can provide all your commercial coverage through one office. We can sit down with you, get to know your business, and learn how you and your employees use your business automobiles.
We’ll ask a variety of questions designed to not only get you an accurate quote but also find discounts that may be available to you.
You may be asked questions such as:
- How many commercial automobiles do you have?
- How are those vehicles used? For example, do they transport people, goods, hazardous materials, or food?
- How many miles does each vehicle typically travel in a year?
- How many drivers do you have?
- What are their ages and level of experience?
- Have your drivers taken a safe driving course?
If you’re in the market for commercial auto insurance in Colorado, or if you have coverage already but aren’t sure it’s comprehensive or competitively priced, we’ll give you an open and honest assessment of your coverage to determine whether or not you can do better.
Get Started with a Commitment-Free Commercial Auto Insurance Quote Today
Everyone has unique needs, therefore, life insurance a carefully crafted policy. If you are looking for the right commercial auto insurance coverage while living in Denver, CO, our experts at Centennial State Insurance Agency are ready to help!
As Colorado insurance specialists, we understand what it takes to properly insure businesses and autos, ensuring you and your employees are properly taken care of if disaster were ever to strike.
According to insurance agent Savannah Martin at Centennial State Insurance Agency:
“We understand the unique needs of those located in wildfire areas and work with insurance companies to understand this as well. We can help you with your home, condo, auto, boat, motorcycle, RV, business, or life insurance needs. We pride ourselves in working with our clients and educating them on their insurance needs while providing excellent customer service.”
If you are interested in having us review your current policy and provide you with obligation-free quotes, call our office today or submit some basic information in the fields below so we can get started on your policy review and comparison!