Many businesses rely on a vehicle to transport goods, deliver inventory, or for other business operations. Commercial Auto insurance can help you to not only protect your driver, but also your business.
Types of Vehicles Covered
Commercial Auto insurance is a necessity for any business that uses a car, truck, van, or SUV for commercial purposes. Commercial Auto insurance also covers other types of commercial vehicles such as:
- Commercial trucks, including but not limited to: semi-trucks, tow trucks, dump trucks, box trucks, refrigerated trucks, bucket trucks, flatbed trucks, etc.
- Vehicles that are equipped with specialty equipment or machinery
- Limousines and other hired vehicles
- Rental cars
- Vehicles owned by a business or corporation
- Vehicles used for ridesharing
- Personal vehicles used for business purposes (such as a delivery driver)
Types of Coverages
Commercial Auto insurance provides similar coverage options to Personal Auto insurance, but may provide higher coverage limits. Commercial Auto insurance also takes into account special circumstances of business operations such as multiple drivers, equipment used for loading or unloading, specialty equipment or machinery, and the liability of not only the driver but the business as well.
Businesses are only required to maintain the minimum insurance requirements mandated by the State of Florida, however, because of the increased liability a company has when employing commercial vehicles, opting for additional coverage will help to prevent a single accident from dismantling your company.
Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage Types:
Property Damage Liability: Unlike collision, property damage covers the cost of repairs the other vehicle involved in the crash. This type of coverage also protects against damage to other types of property such as telephone poles or lamp posts, homes or buildings, mailboxes, fences, or other structures.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments: The State of Florida requires all drivers to have at least $10,000 coverage in Personal Injury Protection. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, your insurance carrier will cover the costs of the covered driver’s injuries – up to your coverage level. Many carriers will also allow you to purchase additional medical payment coverage for your driver and other passengers that may be in the vehicle. PIP and Medical Payments can cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and in the event of a fatal accident, the cost of funeral and burial costs.
Comprehensive Coverage: When damage to your commercial car, truck, or other vehicle is caused by something other than another vehicle or object, like flooding, windstorm, hurricane, fire, falling objects, explosions, hail, animals, vandalism, or even damage caused during a riot or from a missile – then it is covered under Comprehensive coverage.
If the windshield of one of your commercial vehicles ever becomes cracked, chipped, or even shatters, you can file a claim under your Comprehensive coverage. The State of Florida requires auto insurance carriers to repair or replace damaged windshields with zero deductible (essentially, “for free”) under Florida Statute 627.7288. If you opt out of this coverage, however, you will be responsible for the full cost to repair or replace your windshield.
Collision Coverage: Collision provides coverage for your vehicle if there is a collision with a vehicle, object, or in the event your vehicle flips over. Regardless of fault, collision will cover the cost of the full repair, minus your deductible. If another vehicle was involved in the crash and they were found at fault, then your carrier will likely attempt to recover the cost of repairs from the other driver’s insurance company, including the deductible that was paid. If successful, you can be reimbursed the deductible.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Just as it sounds, Uninsured Motorist Coverage protects you against the cost of repairs if the other driver is not insured or leaves the scene of the accident. If the driver of the other vehicle only carries the minimum required insurance, then the $10,000 Property Damage Liability coverage may not be enough to replace your commercial vehicle if it is totaled in the accident. Underinsured Motorist coverage will help bridge the gap between the other driver’s insurance coverage and the damage to your commercial vehicle. Florida is ranked as one of the worst states for uninsured drivers, so consider heavily on whether or not to opt for this additional coverage.
Coverage for autos you borrow or rent: Liability increases when you rent, hire, or lease a car for your business. If your business often borrows vehicles for commercial use, make sure to include this coverage to protect your driver and your company against injury and liability.
Coverage for employees using their cars for the business: If an employee uses their personal car to make a delivery or pick up supplies, then their Personal Auto insurance will not cover any damages or liability in the event of an accident. Personal cars used for business purposes, even if it does not occur often, need to be covered under commercial auto insurance. The only exception is when an employee drives to and from work – Personal Auto insurance handles accidents that occur during daily travel.