Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial Vehicle Insurance is one of the most important aspects of your business insurance program. If your company uses a vehicle, or vehicles, you will need commercial auto insurance. You will also want to provide your business insurance pro with a complete vision of your vehicles use. If it's not complete, it may not cover your needs in case of an accident.

Please analyze the following points and ask your agent these questions.

How Many Vehicles and Drivers Will the Business Insure?
(Not the Commercial Vehicle Insurance, The Business. This is so you don't insure the same thing twice.)

Commercial auto insurers very often separate coverage types based on the quantity of vehicles and drivers needing insurance. Fleet insurance is an option for businesses that will have many vehicles and drivers. The quantity of vehicles differs with each insurer and can depend on the class of your vehicle. But, fleet insurance may be a less expensive alternative than individual, per vehicle policies.

What is the Definition in the policy of Commercial Use?

Your personal automobile policy will exclude coverage for commercial use of your vehicle. Your commercial policy will establish a definition of commercial use as well. It is important that you go through the definitions and discuss this with your insurance pro. If there is any questions, it is better to obtain a Commercial Vehicle Insurance policy in case of an accident, there is no chance of being uninsured.

How Can Your Company Lower Insurance Premium Costs?

Commercial Vehicle Insurance premiums can be lowered by:

  • Business Location:
  • The location of the vehicles determines premiums for theft and vandalism.
  • Driver Records:
  • Hiring only qualified drivers with good driving records.
  • Choice of Vehicle:
  • Sales people may want sporty cars, but five-star safety rated vehicles, domestic, mid-sized sedans have a far lower premium.
  • Deductibles:
  • Can your business afford part of the risk and maintain a high deductible? If not, your premiums will be higher.
  • Safety and Anti-Theft Devices:
  • Alarms, air bags, GPS tracking, seat belts, and other such devices can significantly lower your rates.

    Special Commercial Coverages and Considerations.

    Certain businesses must adhere to federal and state regulatory standards in the operations of their vehicles. For instance, if your business will be hauling cargo interstate, there are specific Department of Transportation requirements for insurance that must be met. You will need to make sure you and your insurance agent have a thorough understanding of those requirements. If you will be delivering or transporting for other companies or using their equipment such as leased trailers and/or rental equipment, you will need hired or non-owned vehicle coverage.

    Who is the Insured?

    Make sure you know who is insured. No guessing now! Sound simple? Perhaps, but all to often businesses set up a leasing company to lease equipment to the main company and the leasing company is the titled owner of the vehicles. A common mistake is to identify the main company and not the leasing company as the titled owner on the policy. Or, the dba of the company and not the full name of the company is listed. You want the full name of the company as an insured, the titled owner, any affiliates, and dba, and all employees as insureds on your commercial auto policy. So critical! Many have lost due to this sort of situation.

    Driving Habits That Increase Commercial Vehicle Insurance.

    Commercial auto insurance is absolutely necessary if you use a vehicle for your business. Safe drivers lower insurance premiums by lowering accident and claim rates. Unsafe practices raise rates by increasing Commercial Vehicle Insurance claims. Safe driving, thinking ahead, staying focused and not distracted are skills developed by the fleet professional. Risk managers and business insurers have studied drivers to identify key unsafe practices. Training, education, and zero-tolerance for unsafe practices lower business insurance rates. One company conducted a study of concrete and construction drivers to identify the top risky behaviors engaged in by fleet drivers that drive up accident and claims rates. I think the list is applicable to all fleets and all commercial drivers.

    Do any of your drivers do the following:

    1. Following too Closely (Slow drivers ahead, pressure them into moving out of the way) 2. Not Looking Far Ahead (most of the time due to distractions) 3. Allowing Distractions (Phones, Texting, etc.) 4. Accumulating Traffic Violations (speeding, driving reckless) 5. Failing to Keep an Out (A place of exit off the road in case of an immediate traffic stop)

    Every wonder why people have on the back of their Commercial Vehicle these words, "How Is My Driving? 1-800-***-***" It's to lower their insurance rates.

    These are the "Top 5" risky behaviors engaged in by construction drivers. The top offending traffic violations were, rolling stop signs and lights and running red lights. Following too close was the most frequent and most dangerous behavior.

    Most People believe that construction vehicles are more prone to accidents, a study found that passenger cars used in the fleets "have a collision rate (15.2%) nearly twice that of pickup trucks/vans (8.7%)." Good information and good facts to keep in mind for any fleet.

    Like other types of business insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance is directly tied to your claims history.

    Safe drivers = lower rates. Bottom Line!

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