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Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance for company vehicles is an important aspect of any business insurance program. This coverage provides protection against physical damage and injury resulting from car accidents. It should also provide some protection from theft and vandalism.

Commercial auto insurance is required for businesses that own or operate vehicles for business use.

Commercial vs Personal Auto

Almost all personal auto polices exclude coverage for any commercial, or business, use of a vehicle. Just because a vehicle is titled in someone’s personal name does not mean the vehicle is covered, or that a claim will be insurable. While a commercial auto policy provides the same kinds of coverage as a personal policy, the specified covered events are very different.

Many business owners need specific commercial auto policies with higher limits than personal auto policies will allow. Almost 80% of all personal auto polices are covered at the minimum state requirements. If your business is held liable for damages that exceed your policy limits, then your business and personal assets may become at risk.

Common Factors Used to Rates the Cost of Commercial Auto Insurance:
Business Location:  likelihood of theft or damage
Vehicle Type:  cost and type of vehicle
Driving Records:  prior accidents or tickets per driver
Policy Deductible:  amount of risk you self-insure
Coverage Limits:  amount of total coverage
Credit Worthiness:  your credit scores
Safety Devices:  alarms; airbag; GPS; etc.

Business auto is different than personal auto. Some businesses operate unusual vehicles, some haul special equipment, and others transport goods or people. It’s important for business owners to talk with an agent that specializes in business insurance to determine their auto insurance needs.

Commercial auto policies provide businesses with more features and options for auto insurance. All commercial policies utilize coverage symbols to confirm how and what vehicles are covered under the policy. Symbols 1 – 9 each represent different coverage options for a) liability coverage, b) physical damage, medical payments, and hired or non-owned coverage. Here is a list of what each symbol represents:

Commercial Auto Insurance Symbols and Meanings:
Symbol 1:  any auto used for business
Symbol 2:  any auto owned by the business
Symbol 3:  owned private passenger vehicles only
Symbol 4:  owned autos with no owned personal vehicles
Symbol 5:  owned autos with Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Symbol 6:  owned autos in states requiring Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Symbol 7:  autos specifically listed in policy
Symbol 8:  hired auto coverage
Symbol 9:  non-owned auto coverage

An auto policy is likely too have multiple symbols and coverages listed on a policy unless symbol 1 is used. Symbol 1 provides the broadest insurance protection.


Protecting Your Business With Hired and Non Owned Coverage

One of the most often overlooked business insurance coverage is Hired and Non-Owned Auto. Almost every business will occasionally utilize a personal, or non-owned, vehicle for work related tasks. For example, office staff may make trips to the bank to make deposits. An employer might send an employee to the store to pick up a part or some office supplies. Every time someone uses a vehicle not owned by the business to perform a business related function, the business is at risk of a claim.

Hired and non-owned auto is a simple and affordable solution to protect a business from the liabilities associated with non-owned vehicles. Almost every business should have this coverage as part of their insurance program. Hired and non-owned auto liability covers bodily injury and property damage caused by vehicle you rent or borrow, as well as vehicles owned by your employees.
Most business owners need commercial auto or hired and non-owned auto insurance as well as general liability coverage.

Hired and non-owned auto coverage is used when a business is sued after an auto accident. While this coverage does not typically pay for damages to the vehicle being used by the company, it will pay for damages to the other vehicle and the injuries of the people involved.


Hired and non-owned auto can be added to most general liability insurance polices.


Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes

In general, if your business owns or leases one or more vehicles, you a commercial auto insurance policy. Over 25% of all business insurance claims revolve around automobiles. Self-employed individuals and employees who utilize their car, truck, or van as a regular part of their job should also purchase a commercial auto policy.

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General Liability Shop.com offers stand alone insurance polices for commercial auto insurance as well as hired and non-owned polices. We help businesses find affordable coverage for one car, or an entire fleet of vehicles. In many cases, it may be more affordable to bundle commercial auto insurance with general liability insurance and/or professional liability insurance due to additional credits and multi-line discounts.

Give us a call today at (800) 900-8657, or start a commercial auto quote online.

What If My Business Doesn’t Own a Vehicle?

A business does not need to own a vehicle in order to purchase hired an non-owned auto insurance. In fact, most business owners that purchase hired and non-owned coverage do not own any company vehicles outright. Hired autos include any vehicles your business leases, hires, rents, or borrows. Non-owned auto refers to any other vehicles a business uses but does not own or hire. This includes vehicles owned by employees, owners, and members of their household.

Even if your business does not own any vehicles you may be at risk for a hired and non-owned auto claims if your employees use their own vehicles for work related tasks. This can be added to most general liability policies.

Learn more about a Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance.