UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Whether you’ve finally decided to start your dream business or you’re just in charge of the company fleet, if your business owns vehicles for any reason you’re going to need to find commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your assets. In many respects, commercial auto insurance functions much like your own personal car insurance, but with a few key differences that are worth knowing about before you have to negotiate with an insurance company. Let’s take a look at how to find inexpensive commercial auto insurance and where you’ll get the best rates.
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
So – what is commercial auto insurance? Essentially, this is a package of auto insurance policies that are designed to mitigate the risks involved with using vehicles for business purposes. Unlike most personal vehicles, commercial vehicles are only on the road during the busiest hours of the day, and many are oversized vehicles like vans or trucks that can require special licensing and great skill to drive safely. A good commercial auto insurance package will take all of these factors into consideration to offer you an effective liability policy that covers your business against costs and lawsuits stemming from accidents.
In regards to cost, part of the cost of your commercial auto insurance is going to come from the driving history and records of your company drivers. It’s an unfortunate reality that you must ask every one of your new drivers for a driving abstract or history document, which is typically available from the local DMV. If you notice a history of accidents, tickets or other issues on the record of your next potential new hire – it may be best to skip them and go with a driver that has a safer history. Not only will this help save money on your commercial auto insurance, but you will also be protecting your vehicles and the lives of other people who may end up on the wrong end of an accident with your risky new driver.
As you probably know through purchasing personal auto insurance for your cars at home, vehicles with higher values tend to cost more to insure. Keep this in mind when you’re thinking of buying or replacing vehicles in your fleet. If you have your eye on a particular make or model, call your commercial auto insurance company and ask them what the insurance rates are like for that vehicle. If they’re too high for your budget, consider some other cars or trucks that are suitable for the tasks you need the vehicle for. Also, buying used or off-lease vehicles can help save quite a bit on commercial auto insurance.
Do You Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
It could be confusing determining when a commercial auto coverage is essential. You might need a commercial car insurance policy if:
- You might require a commercial car insurance policy if you’re using your automobile to transport goods or individuals for a fee or whenever you use your automobile to run a service.
- A commercial automobile coverage might be suitable should you want higher limits of indebtedness due to the nature of your own work.
- Hauling a significant weight in tools or gear or towing a trailer used to run your company may need a commercial automobile insurance policy.
- A business insurance plan might be needed if the vehicle is operated by employees or if possession is really in the name of the company or partnership.
Vehicle types and many company uses might be excluded from coverages, so be certain you possess the appropriate coverage.
Commercial Auto Insurance Requirements
Whether you are a commercial driver or perhaps a company owner that uses CDL holders, you need to be conscious of the national and state requirements that apply to truckers.
Each state establishes its own commercial car insurance requirements. State insurance laws cover issues like the minimal quantities of bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage that must definitely be carried, with some states mandating additional kinds of car insurance.
Meanwhile, national CDL requirements apply to all commercial drivers regardless of location and regulate issues like skills and written testing, minimal age limits, physical fitness, driver licensing, traffic infractions, and hazardous materials transport.
(To learn more about the commercial vehicle insurance requirements, check out Insure U.)
Where to Find Affordable Rates for a Commercial Car Insurance Policy
Typically, the best deals are found when you make use of bulk vehicle insurance rates through the same commercial auto insurance company. Avoid having the insurance policies for your company vehicles spread out to multiple companies, as you will be paying rates that are closer to retail than if you stick with the same insurer. Also, try to obtain the exact same insurance policy for all of the vehicles in your company fleet. This avoids some vehicles costing more than others for insurance and can help you leverage the “bulk” factor for significant discounts.
Finally, it’s worth checking with your commercial auto insurance company to see if they offer insurance bundling services if you are willing to move your general liability, business insurance, and other policies over. By bundling up your commercial auto insurance with other forms of insurance, you can generally receive bulk or bundle discounts that can end up shaving a small fortune off of your business’ annual insurance bill.
Knowing a few of these tips can help save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on your commercial auto insurance. Remember: vehicles (and drivers!) are assets like any other, and they deserve to be protected with the best commercial auto insurance that you can afford. Don’t skimp on insurance costs to try to save a buck; as many entrepreneurs can tell you, it can really come back to bite you later.
4AutoInsuranceQuote.com is here to help you with your commercial auto insurance – we’ve worked out deals with a number of auto insurance companies to provide you the best rates possible. To find out more and to get a price quote, scroll up to the top of this page and enter your ZIP code in the box. It’s that easy!