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 policies 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 policies 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 Rate 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; airbags; GPS and more.
  • 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 denote how and what vehicles are covered under the policy. Symbols 1-9 each represent different coverage options for a) liability coverage and b) physical damage, medical payments and hired or non-owned coverage.

    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 to have multiple symbols and coverages listed 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 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 policies.

    Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes

    In general, if your business owns or leases one or more vehicles, you need a commercial auto insurance policy. Over 25 percent 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.

    Why is the Cost of Auto Insurance Increasing in 2023?
  • Supply Chain Shortages: limited inventory of chips and parts is driving prices up.
  • Decline in Auto Technicians: A 4% decline is increasing repair time and rental costs.
  • Auto Fatalities: there has been a 10.5% increase in catastrophic accidents.
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    General Liability Shop.com offers stand alone insurance policies for commercial auto insurance as well as hired and non-owned policies. 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 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 Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance.