Just as every personal vehicle is legally required to have car insurance, vehicles driven for business need to be insured, too. If you’re a small business owner, your personal car insurance may not cover you when you’re driving for work, and it definitely won’t cover a food truck or other special vehicle.
That’s where commercial vehicle insurance comes in. It covers accidents, damage and theft to company vehicles. Independent insurance agents can help you find the right commercial vehicle insurance at the right price, helping you meet the legal requirement for vehicle insurance and protecting your business’s bottom line.
What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
Commercial vehicle insurance covers a business’s vehicles, whether that’s a specialty vehicle like a catering truck or a regular car used for business. It’s also called commercial auto insurance.
It steps in where regular auto insurance steps back: Most car insurance companies specifically exclude business use from their coverage.
Who Needs Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
If you’re a small business owner who uses their personal vehicle regularly for business—such as a florist delivering flowers—then you probably need commercial vehicle insurance. If your business has dedicated company vehicles, then you definitely need it.
If you employ delivery drivers or couriers who use their own personal vehicles, then you’ll also need to buy commercial vehicle insurance for them, called non-owned vehicle coverage.
Commercial vehicle insurance is one of the most common components of business insurance because it’s so necessary. If driving is part of your business, then you need some kind of commercial vehicle insurance.
Why Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance Important?
Driving without insurance is illegal. If your personal coverage excludes commercial driving, then you’ll be uninsured when you’re driving for business—which means you could face major fines or other penalties.
Driving uninsured is also a bad business decision. If you wreck an uninsured vehicle, you’ll need to replace it yourself, which cuts into your business’s bottom line. If a commercial vehicle is involved in a crash that injures others, the cost could soar even higher.
Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance Legally Required?
Commercial vehicle insurance is mandatory for all your business’s vehicles. It’s one of the most crucial parts of business insurance and you should never drive for business without it.
What Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover?
You can mix and match commercial vehicle insurance based on your vehicle and your business’s size and niche. Commonly, commercial vehicle insurance can include:
- Collision: Covers costs related to a collision, like repairs to the vehicle.
- General liability: Covers damage to property or injury to others involved in a collision with the business's vehicle.
- Comprehensive: Covers damage not related to a collision like fires, vandalism or fallen objects like trees.
- Loss: Covers costs if the vehicle is stolen.
- Owned vehicles: Covers all aspects of vehicles owned under a business's name.
- Non-owned vehicles: Covers vehicles not owned by the business but driven by its employees, like a salesperson's personal car.
- Hired car: Covers any vehicles that are rented by a business.
Commercial vehicle insurance is highly customizable. If you have a unique vehicle or other special considerations, an independent insurance agent can help craft a commercial vehicle insurance policy that’s specific to your business’s needs.
How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost?
Broadly, the cost of commercial vehicle insurance depends on the type of vehicle, who’s driving it, and whether you’ll be carrying any passengers. More specifically, these factors can all drive up the cost:
The cost of commercial vehicle insurance varies widely. Expect it to cost at least $1,000 per vehicle annually, with specialty vehicles costing at least tens of thousands per year to insure.
Why Independent Insurance Agents?
Insurance is sold two ways: through captive and independent insurance agents. Captive agents are bound to one company only. Independent agents can shop between as many companies as they want, so they can find you the real best deal for you—not just the best deal one company offers.
Independent insurance agents are small business owners just like you. They know the insurance market inside and out and can help you find coverage designed for your business’s needs. As your business grows, they’ll help your insurance grow with it. Independent insurance agents and small business: a match made in heaven.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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