No two businesses are alike. However, most of them probably have the same goal, to remain profitable. You likely want to see your business expand, but you can only do that with the right finances.
Most business owners invest in various forms of insurance to protect their assets. If you own a business, you need to take stock of the assets you possess, and any risks that accompany those assets. Among your assets are your employees and your company vehicles.
Many businesses and industries need auto insurance. In most cases, if your business operates a vehicle in any capacity, you need auto insurance. However, the standard car policy is often not enough to protect a business’ assets. Most businesses need commercial auto insurance to better protect their risks.
Commercial auto insurance is a valuable investment for most businesses. However, the type of commercial auto insurance you need often depends on the type of business you own.
Understanding Commercial Auto Coverage
Commercial auto insurance is generally similar to standard auto insurance. It usually contains such coverage features as collision repair, personal property protection and liability coverage.
Coverage levels are often higher than those on the standard auto policy. That way, any losses will pose less of a financial threat to your business.
Collisions can cause significant damages. However, even small vehicle damages can turn out very expensive. If you need to repair a damaged car, you don’t want to devote excess business profit to the work. Commercial auto insurance can help pay for repairs.
Liability coverage can protect both business employees and others on the road. If your employee is at fault in a wreck, liability coverage might help you compensate injured parties or fend off damage lawsuits.
Personal property protection can help the business cut losses to its own assets. If you lose materials or products in an accident, this means financial loss as well. The insurance payout can help you recoup some of those losses. You might use the insurance money to shore up finances, replace property, or compensate clients for lost goods.
Insuring a Business with Commercial Auto Insurance
Every business is different, so the type of commercial auto insurance you need varies. As you buy commercial auto insurance, talk to your insurance agent. They can advise you about how you should design the policy.
First, consider how high you need to set your coverage levels. Coverage levels depend on things like the assets your vehicles carry and the vehicles you operate.
Second, make sure that you fully cover all the vehicles owned or operated by the company. Depending on the types of vehicles you operate, you will need to adjust your coverage. If you operate standard vehicles, the coverage will differ from what it would be if you operate a fleet of trucks. Make sure you cover each vehicle according to its specifications.
Third, ensure that you cover all necessary operators with commercial auto insurance. These include any employees who drive on behalf of the business. Sometimes, it is hard to determine which employees need coverage on the company’s plan. An employee who drives to the store to pick up office supplies probably doesn’t need this coverage. However, an employee who travels to install computer systems may need coverage.
Insuring Employee Vehicles
When insuring employees, the question arises about how to insure employee vehicles. Some employees use their personal vehicles on behalf of the business. These may include realtors, traveling inspectors or employees who travel to install machinery.
Just because an employee uses a personal vehicle for business doesn’t mean their employer is off the hook for any liability concerns. They operate on behalf the business when they drive for business reasons. An accident could cost the business lost property and lost wages — and it can also open the possibility of lawsuits by victims.
Make sure you cover any employees who drive for work with commercial auto insurance. Some businesses offer full coverage for drivers. Others supplement an employee’s own personal insurance with additional levels of coverage. Always keep insurance information on employee drivers on file in your business.
Commercial Auto Coverage for the Self-Employed
Working from home or in a self-employed capacity doesn’t free you from business risks. If you hit the road for commercial purposes, you’ll likely need to invest in business auto insurance.
Your insurance company can help make a commercial policy affordable for your particular business. Many expect commercial auto insurance to be more expensive than a personal policy. As a rule of thumb, this is true, but insurance costs are not set in stone. The commercial auto cost to a self-employed person may be higher. However, insurers often take self-employed status into account when determining rates. Because you are the sole carrier of the policy, you may be able to discount the cost. So, the price increase may be marginal.
When you start to look for commercial auto insurance, you have a lot of different options to consider. However, your goal should be to protect the company’s assets and employee risks as fully as possible.
Bartal Insurance can help you get a commercial auto policy tailored to meet your needs. Call us at 570-344-0211 for a fast and free commercial auto insurance quote.