From the trucks that deliver food to the local Publix Super Markets to the pizza delivery cars that are out in full force on Friday evenings, there are many commercial vehicles on the roads of St. Petersburg. If you are a business owner in this city, you will want to be sure that you cover your company-owned vehicles with the right insurance coverage. An Independent Insurance Agent in St. Petersburg can help you find an affordable commercial vehicle insurance policy that is both affordable and compliant with state and federal laws. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Is Commercial Vehicle insurance So Important?
If your business owns any type of vehicle, it must be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. This insurance is designed to protect your company from large financial losses due to liability lawsuits, property damage, or loss of income due to not having access to a necessary vehicle when the company vehicle is being repaired. Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are not uncommon. The state of Florida tracks these collisions by county.
Pinellas County, FL commercial vehicle crash statistics
- Average annual number of accidents involving CMVs: 1,278
- Average annual number of CMV accidents involving injuries: 241
- Average annual number of CMV accidents involving fatalities: 5
If one of your drivers causes an accident that results in significant injuries or a fatality, your business is likely to face a very expensive liability lawsuit. It is therefore important that you have a sufficient amount of liability coverage. Adding umbrella insurance to your business insurance coverage portfolio can give you even more liability protection.
How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost in St. Petersburg?
The cost to cover business-owned vehicles can vary greatly from one company to the next. This is because rates are calculated according to a number of factors such as:
- How many vehicles you are insuring
- The type(s) of vehicle(s) you are insuring (e.g., car, cargo van, bus, semi-truck, dump truck, etc.)
- The vehicle’s passenger capacity if it will be used to transport people
- The types of materials the vehicle will be transporting
- Whether the vehicle(s) will be used locally or for interstate commerce
- The driving histories of the employees who will be operating the vehicles
- The amount of insurance and the coverage option you are purchasing
Because taking steps to increase driver safely can reduce the risk of accidents, many commercial vehicle insurance providers offer discounts to policyholders who provide their drivers with routine safety training and educational materials.
How Much Commercial Vehicle Insurance Does My St. Petersburg Business Need?
All commercial vehicle insurance policies in St. Petersburg must include, at the very least, personal injury protection (PIP) and liability insurance coverage. Because Florida is a no-fault state, you are required to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance. This coverage is designed to cover 80% of your driver’s medical bills and 60% of their lost wages if they are injured in a collision.
Liability coverage is designed to provide coverage for third-party property damage and bodily injuries if your driver is responsible for a vehicle collision. There are a number of different types of vehicles that can be covered under a commercial vehicle insurance policy, and liability coverage requirements can vary according to vehicle type and size. For example, in the state of Florida, the amount of liability coverage you must have for commercial trucks is determined by the vehicle’s weight:
- Trucks under 26,000 pounds: You must have at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage, but bodily injury liability insurance is not required
- Trucks between 26,000 and 35,000 pounds: You must have a minimum of $50,000 in combined bodily injury and property damage liability insurance.
- Trucks weighing between 35,000 and 44,000 pounds: You must have a minimum of $100,000 in combined bodily injury and property damage liability insurance.
- Trucks weighing 44,000 pounds or more: You must have a minimum of $300,000 in combined bodily injury and property liability insurance.
These minimum requirements apply to vehicles that are used within the state of Florida only. If you own a truck that is used for interstate commerce, your liability coverage must be high enough to comply with federal regulations. Your local independent insurance agent can be very helpful in finding you an affordable policy that is in full compliance with the law.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
In addition to the personal injury protection and the liability coverage that is required by law, your commercial vehicle insurance policy can also include any of several other policy selections that can help you further protect your business finances. Some coverage options you may want to consider adding to your commercial auto insurance policy include:
- Collision insurance: This can cover the cost to repair vehicle damage sustained in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This can cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is lost or damaged due to non-collision hazards such as falling objects, floods, fire, or theft.
- Gap insurance: This can bridge the gap if your vehicle is totaled and its assessed value is lower than the amount you still owe on it.
- Uninsured motorist insurance: This can provide coverage for damage and medical expenses if your employee is involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
- Towing and roadside assistance insurance: This can cover the cost of assistance if your company vehicle becomes disabled while out on the road.
- Rental reimbursement insurance: This can cover the cost of renting a loaner vehicle that enables to you continue normal operations while your company-owned vehicle is being repaired.
- Non-owner auto insurance: This is designed to provide liability coverage if one of your employees or contractors is in an accident while operating a vehicle that is not owned by your company while doing a job for your business.
A local independent insurance agent can help you determine which of these optional coverage types are right for your St. Petersburg business.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
Commercial vehicle insurance can cover everything from small cars to large buses, so businesses have varying coverage requirements and needs. As a St. Petersburg business owner, it is to your advantage to seek the advice of a local independent insurance agent when you are shopping for appropriate coverage for your company cars.
Find an insurance agent in or near St. Petersburg to learn more, and you can soon be comparing a selection of customized commercial vehicle insurance quotes.