Many businesses in Traverse City use vehicles for their day-to-day operations. Whether the vehicles are used for deliveries, transporting people, or performing construction work, you are required by Michigan law to have a certain amount of commercial vehicle insurance. What’s more, commercial auto insurance is necessary to protect your financial well-being if one of your vehicles is involved in a crash. An independent insurance agent in Traverse City can help you find the best policy to meet your needs as well as all of the state requirements. Contact a local agent to compare quotes and make an informed choice.
Why is Commercial Vehicle Insurance So Important for My Traverse City, MI Business?
Auto insurance companies assume that commercial vehicles face greater risks than most personal vehicles. And when a company-owned vehicle is involved in a crash, liability lawsuits, property damage expenses, and loss of income are often the result. Any business that owns vehicles needs commercial auto insurance to cover the large financial losses that can occur after accidents involving their business-owned vehicles.
What’s more, even if you are a small business owner who uses your personal vehicle for business purposes, you probably need commercial auto insurance to properly protect yourself in every scenario. Without it, you run the risk of your personal auto insurance claim being denied if the accident happened while driving for business purposes.
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.
Grand Traverse County, MI CMV crash statistics over the last year
- Total number of crashes involving CMVs: 138
- Total number of fatal crashes involving CMVs: 1
- Total number of injury crashes involving CMVs: 17
- Total number of property damage only crashes involving CMVs: 120
While lawsuits are limited in Michigan due to the state’s no-fault law, 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. You need a sufficient amount of commercial auto liability coverage in order to protect your finances in these situations
How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost in Traverse City, MI?
The cost to cover business-owned vehicles can vary significantly from one business to the next. Rates are calculated according to a number of different factors, including:
- The number of vehicles you are insuring
- The types of vehicles you are insuring
- Whether the vehicles will be used to transport people
- Whether the vehicles will be used to transport flammable or toxic materials
- The estimated number of miles the vehicles are driven each year
- Information about the employees who will be driving the vehicles
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing
You can minimize your risk of a collision by hiring experienced drivers with good driving records, and by ensuring that your company’s vehicles are well-maintained. It is also a good idea to limit the number of hours your employees spend on the road each day to prevent problems with driver fatigue. These activities not only promote safety and help you avoid accidents but also many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who provide their drivers with safety education materials and training.
How Much Commercial Vehicle Insurance Does My Business Need?
Commercial autos range from smaller vehicles, such as delivery cars and vans, to construction vehicles like dump trucks and front loaders. You might even need to cover a fleet of 18-wheel semis or large passenger vehicles like buses. The amount of coverage you need depends on the number and types of vehicles you own, and a variety of other factors. If your business owns trucks over 10,000 pounds, you must comply with all state and federal liability insurance requirements. The amount of liability insurance you’ll be required to purchase depends on the weight of your trucks, where they are traveling, and what they are transporting.
In addition to the requirements placed on heavy trucks, all Michigan drivers, both personal and commercial, need to have a minimum amount of insurance in order to comply with state law. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, your insurance will pay your own injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. All auto insurance policies in Michigan 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.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
All commercial vehicle insurance policies in Traverse City provide at least the minimum liability coverage required by the state of Michigan. Other coverage options you can consider include:
- 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.
An independent insurance agent can answer questions about your options and offer quotes from multiple insurance companies, so you can get all of the coverage you need at an affordable price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to commercial auto insurance. A business that relies on a few cars for making local deliveries will have vastly different needs than one that uses heavy trucks for interstate commerce. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a competitively priced policy that meets your state’s coverage requirements.
Contact an insurance agent in or near Traverse City to begin comparing customized commercial vehicle insurance quotes.
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