Whether your Kansas-based business delivers pizzas or flowers, or hauls heavy equipment or livestock, only a comprehensive commercial auto insurance policy can protect your business interests and investments from costly repairs and expensive lawsuits. Before you search for commercial auto insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.
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Commercial Vehicle Statistics for Kansas
These are vehicle statistics, according to the KS Department of Highway Patrol:
- In the decade between 2000 and 2010, more than 42,000 commercial vehicles were involved in accidents in which there was $1,000 or more in damage.
- During those same years, commercial vehicle accidents caused 851 deaths on Kansas streets and highways.
- More than 13,000 people suffered injuries in commercial vehicle accidents in Kansas between 2000 and 2010.
- In 2010, heavy/large trucks were involved in 5 percent of all Kansas accidents and 15.5 percent of fatal accidents.
Are You Required To Carry Commercial Auto Insurance?
KS law requires business owners to obtain commercial auto insurance for any car or truck that transports people.
State regulations also mandate that businesses transporting goods, retail or wholesale, carry commercial auto insurance.
If your business has cars or trucks registered with the KS Department of Motor Vehicles as commercial, chances are that you must carry commercial auto insurance.
Kansas classifies commercial vehicles in the following categories:
- Commercial class A motor vehicles: This includes any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, providing the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Commercial class B motor vehicles: This includes any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating.
- Commercial class C motor vehicles: This includes any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds, or any vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight rating towing a vehicle in excess of 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, provided the gross combination weight rating of the combination is less than 26,001 pounds comprising the following: (A) vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or (B) vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous materials, which requires the vehicles to be placarded.
Why Is Commercial Auto Insurance Important?
As a business owner, you need commercial auto insurance for any car, taxi, van, limo, bus or small truck that you use for business because a personal auto policy will not cover your vehicles used for business. This coverage will protect you and your business investments from the expense of property damage, injury and liability claims that you may incur in the use of your commercial vehicles.
For larger commercial trucks or vehicles such as tow trucks, cement trucks, construction vehicles, tractor-trailers or semi-trucks, you will need a commercial auto insurance policy. Not only is your commercial policy critical for protecting your business financially, but the law requires it.
Businesses are often an easy target for personal injury lawyers when accidents occur. Only a commercial auto insurance policy can protect your business assets and future revenues from being part of a high-value settlement following a lawsuit.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
A basic commercial auto insurance policy operates much like your personal auto insurance. However, you may want to carefully consider the additional policy coverage options offered by most Kansas insurance providers to fully protect your investments. Your options will include the following:
- Liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury to others
- Optional bodily injury coverage for injuries that occur outside of Kansas if your fleet crosses state lines
- Personal injury coverage for you, your employed drivers or passengers, including medical expenses and lost wages
- Collision coverage for costs associated with a crash, regardless of who is at fault
- Comprehensive coverage for damage caused by a severe weather event, vandalism or theft
- Medical payments coverage for the cost of hospitalization, treatment and funeral expenses
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in accidents with uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run drivers
- Non-owned auto coverage for when or if you or your employees need to drive a rented or borrowed vehicle
- Loading and unloading liability coverage for when your drivers also remove and load cargo into your vehicles
- Towing and labor costs coverage for when your commercial vehicle breaks down
What Will Your Commercial Auto Quotes Look Like?
Because no two Kansas businesses are exactly alike, neither will any two commercial auto quotes be identical. Most insurance providers use several factors in calculating your commercial auto quotes, including the following:
- The size of your business
- The types of vehicles
- The number of vehicles you need to insure
- Your risks
- The amount of coverage you need
Generally, insurers will quote a lower premium for a passenger car than for a heavy-duty vehicle such as dump truck. However, insurance carriers also offer discounted fleet insurance.
The quotes you receive for commercial auto insurance will also depend on the driving records of the drivers who will be using your commercial vehicles. That's why it's important to conduct driving record background checks on any potential driver.
In terms of the cost for the type of vehicle you are insuring, rates are generally the least expensive for vehicles used in construction and farming. Vehicles used as passenger vehicles and for small deliveries are slightly more expensive. The most expensive quotes are for heavy-duty cargo vehicles that transport loads of more than 10,000 pounds.
Where Can You Find Commercial Auto Insurance?
You have probably worked hard and invested much into your Kansas business and the vehicles you use to earn that revenue. Protect that investment with a comprehensive commercial auto insurance policy. Knowledgeable independent insurance agents of the Trusted Choice® network are always here to answer any questions, suggest coverage options unique to your business and even assist you in filing a claim.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to find out how you can protect your business investments with a commercial auto insurance policy.