From pizza delivery cars to mobile pet-grooming vans and semi-trucks traveling on the Interstate, commercial vehicles are abundant on the streets of St. Joseph. If you are a local business owner who has company vehicles, you will want to be sure you have the right commercial vehicle insurance policy. An independent insurance agent can help you find competitively priced coverage that is compliant with all state and federal laws and affordable for your business. Find an insurance agent in or near St. Joseph to learn more about your coverage options and make an informed choice.
Why Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance So Important?
If your commercial vehicle is involved in an accident that results in serious injuries or fatalities, you can be faced with a very expensive lawsuit. What’s more, property damage and loss of income are not uncommon when a business car or truck is involved in an accident. You need to be able to pay to repair or replace damaged vehicles, as well as pay for attorneys, court costs, and damages if you are sued. With commercial auto insurance, you can protect yourself from the large financial losses that can result after accidents involving your company vehicles.
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.
Berrien County, MI CMV Crash Statistics
- Total number of crashes involving CMVs: 286
- Total number of fatal crashes involving CMVs: 3
- Total number of injury crashes involving CMVs: 57
- Total number of property damage only crashes involving CMVs: 226
How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost in St. Joseph, MI?
Commercial vehicle insurance costs can vary significantly from one business to the next. Insurance companies assess risk and calculate rates according to a variety of factors that are unique to your business, including:
- The number of vehicles your business is insuring
- Each vehicle’s type, year, make, model and safety features
- Each vehicle’s passenger capacity if used for transporting people
- Whether your vehicles will be used to transport hazardous materials
- The estimated number of miles your vehicles will be driven annually
- The driving histories of the employees who will be operating the vehicles
- The amount of coverage you wish to purchase
Because each insurance company has its own method for determining costs, it pays to compare rates before purchasing a policy. That way you can be sure you are getting the coverage you want at a competitive price.
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How Much Commercial Vehicle Insurance Does My Business Need?
Michigan is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your own injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. What’s more, drivers have a limited ability to sue an at-fault driver after an accident unless the accident results in serious injuries or a fatality. All Michigan vehicle owners must have a minimum amount of insurance in order to comply with state law:
- 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 several factors:
- The truck’s weight
- Whether the truck is involved in interstate commerce
- Whether the truck is transporting people, household goods, hazardous materials, etc.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
All commercial vehicle insurance policies in St. Joseph will include state-mandated coverage. In addition, insurance companies offer several other types of coverage that may be included as standard in their policies or offered as optional coverage. Some coverage options you may want to consider include:
- Collision coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle sustained in a collision, regardless of who was at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers the cost to repair damage to your vehicle due to non-collision events such as fires and property crimes.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Covers your employee’s medical expenses and damage to your vehicle following an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Towing and roadside assistance: Covers the cost of a service call if your company vehicle becomes disabled while it is 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.
Your local independent insurance agent can help you determine which coverage types may be beneficial for your unique needs.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
Shopping for the right commercial vehicle insurance coverage does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. A local independent insurance agent can answer your insurance insurance-related questions, offer trustworthy advice, and obtain customized quotes from multiple insurance companies.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to begin your search for the best commercial vehicle insurance policy for your St. Joseph business.