Many businesses in Sault Ste. Marie use vehicles in the course of day-to-day operations. These vehicles may include delivery and messenger vans, snowplows, construction trucks, limousines, and many other vehicle sizes and types. In Michigan, all business-owned vehicles must be covered by commercial vehicle insurance policies. An independent insurance agent in Sault Ste. Marie can help you find an affordable policy that meets your coverage needs and fits within your budget.
Why Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance So Important?
Commercial vehicle insurance is designed to protect your business from losses caused by liability lawsuits, expensive vehicle repairs, and loss of income after an accident involving one of your commercial vehicles. If you don’t have any business-owned vehicles, but you or your employees occasionally use personal vehicles for business use, you also need commercial auto insurance. If you try to file a claim with your personal auto insurance policy for an accident that occurred while using your vehicle for business purposes, your car insurance company may deny the claim.
The state of Michigan tracks the number of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). While not all business-owned vehicles are categorized as such, CMVs are defined as any vehicle used in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property with a weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more. This definition applies to many types of vehicles, including small package delivery vehicles, pickups with trailers attached, box trucks, straight trucks, and more.
Chippewa County, MI CMV Crash Statistics
- Total number of crashes involving CMVs: 34
- Total number of fatal crashes involving CMVs: 0
- Total number of injury crashes involving CMVs: 4
- Total number of property damage only crashes involving CMVs: 30
How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost in Sault Ste. Marie, MI?
Because of the wide range of commercial vehicle types and purposes, commercial vehicle insurance costs can vary significantly from one company to the next. Rates are calculated according to a number of factors, including:
- The number of vehicles you are insuring
- The types of vehicles you are insuring (e.g., cars, vans, semis, dump trucks, etc.)
- Whether the vehicles will be used to transport people, and if so, each vehicle’s passenger capacity
- Whether the vehicles will be used to transport hazardous materials
- Whether the vehicles are used locally or for interstate commerce
- The driving records of the employees who will be operating the vehicles
- The amount of coverage you wish to purchase
It is a good idea to hire experienced drivers with good driving records and to ensure that your company’s vehicles are consistently well-maintained. Also, limiting the number of hours your employees spend on the road each day can reduce problems with driver fatigue. Preventive steps like these not only lower the risk of a collision, they can also lead to lower insurance rates.
How Much Commercial Vehicle Insurance Does My Business Need?
Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance will pay your own injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. All Michigan drivers, both personal and commercial, need to have a minimum amount of insurance in order to comply with state law. Minimum coverage must include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Pays your medical expenses and some lost income if you are injured in an accident.
- Property protection insurance (PPI): Pays for damage to stationary property (e.g., a building or a light pole) up to $1 million per crash.
- Residual bodily injury and property damage: Pays for third-party medical bills and car repairs, under limited circumstances due to Michigan’s no-fault laws. Required limits are 20/40/10, or $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage.
Trucks over 10,000 pounds must comply with additional state and federal regulations, including additional liability insurance requirements. The amount of liability insurance required for trucks depends on the truck's weight, where the truck travels (only in Michigan our out-of-state), and what the truck is transporting (people, household goods, hazardous materials, etc.). An independent insurance agent can help you make sure you are compliant with all state and federal regulations and have the coverage you need to appropriately protect your assets.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
Commercial auto insurance policies in Sault Ste. Marie will include coverage that meets the state's minimum requirements. Most businesses choose to purchase coverage that exceeds those minimum requirements, as well as certain other optional coverage types, such as:
- Collision insurance: Covers the cost to repair your own vehicle after a collision.
- Comprehensive insurance: Covers 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.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Provides coverage for damage and medical expenses if your employee is involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
- Towing and roadside assistance: Covers the cost of assistance if your company vehicle becomes disabled while out on the road.
- Non-owned or hired auto liability insurance: Provides liability coverage for non-owned vehicles being used for business purposes, such as when you rent or lease a vehicle or when you or an employee use a personal vehicle for business purposes.
You might also consider purchasing a commercial umbrella policy, which provides liability coverage beyond the limits of your commercial auto insurance policy. This coverage is essential if you are involved in a large lawsuit where the damage claims exceed the limits of your commercial auto insurance. Your local independent insurance agent can help you determine which of the many available coverage options may be beneficial to your Sault Ste. Marie business.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
Because it can cover everything from small cars to large buses, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all commercial vehicle insurance policy. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a competitively priced policy that meets all state and federal coverage requirements, and that offers the coverage you need to protect your financial well-being.
Contact an agent in or near Sault Ste. Marie to start comparing quotes from multiple, highly rated insurance companies.
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