Commercial automobile insurance for businesses

Businesses and other organizations that have vehicles for company use need to be covered by commercial automobile insurance plans. Commercial car insurance is a type of property and casualty insurance that protects commercial vehicles, such as delivery trucks or company cars, and their owners from the costs of potential accidents or legal liability up to policy coverage limits.

The people who need commercial car insurance plans can be surprising. It is not a shock to know commercial truck drivers need commercial auto insurance plans to cover their rigs. But what surprises many is when they learn pizza delivery drivers are not covered while on the job if all they have is their personal auto insurance plans, which do not cover commercial activities. Instead, a pizza delivery driver and anyone else who uses their personal vehicle for business needs should have a commercial car insurance plan in place.

Commercial automobile insurance plans often have coverages similar to personal auto insurance plans. Common coverages for both types of car insurance include personal injury protection (PIP), bodily injury liability, medical payments, property damage, uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage to protect against damages and injuries caused by drivers with no or too little coverage, comprehensive coverage to protect against theft, vandalism and other perils and collision coverage to protect against a sudden vehicular upset resulting in an accident and damage or injuries.

Many states have laws deeming which types of commercial car insurance coverages a driver or business must carry, and a proper level of coverage can mean the difference between staying in business and losing not only a business but also potentially personal assets in a court case. And all cars must be insured in all states except New Hampshire, where even commercial vehicles must carry some levels of coverage.

Commercial car insurance has two types of liability coverages: one to protect against bodily injury to passengers and others, and one to protect against property damage. Bodily injury, of course, involves injuries to passengers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians, bicyclists and others. Property damage claims might arise from a vehicular accident or from causing some sort of damage to property, like when a delivery vehicle accidently backs into a fence or gate and breaks it.

Commercial auto insurance also might cover various types of commercial vehicles, such as trucks, vans and cars. Or it might protect business owners against types of drivers, such as those who have little experience behind the wheel of a large commercial truck or someone with a flawless driving record. Commercial vehicle insurance also can help insure those involved in certain occupations, such as commercial drivers, delivery drivers, plow trucks, couriers, messengers and others.

It only takes one accident to create potential financial calamity for a business or owner of a business, and a good commercial automobile insurance plan can protect not only what many times is the most expensive piece of company equipment, but it also might help keep a business afloat if the worst should happen and one of more people are killed in an accident involving a company vehicle. By Mike Heuer