Many firms in Missouri rely on commercial auto insurance to cover company-owned vehicles. Businesses in the construction and manufacturing industries often have a fleet of vehicles ranging from large utilitarian trucks to company cars used by sales personnel. Smaller, privately owned businesses, such as florists and cleaning services, also rely on vehicles for day-to-day operations. Regardless of your business's size or industry, if you have a company-owned vehicle in Missouri, you need to have commercial auto or commercial truck insurance. Rates on these policies can vary significantly from one insurer to the next, so be sure to shop around for quotes before making a purchase.
Missouri Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics
- In 2011, 9.2% of all traffic accidents in this state involved a commercial vehicle:
- Of these, 68.4% involved a commercial vehicle colliding with another vehicle.
- 15.1% involved a commercial vehicle colliding with a fixed object.
- 60% occurred in urban areas.
- 40% occurred in rural areas.
- A total of 120 people died and 3,479 suffered injuries in these accidents.
- Commercial vehicles were involved in 15.2% of all fatal accidents in this state:
- 25.9% of these fatal crashes occurred in urban areas.
- 74.1% occurred in rural areas.
- The commercial vehicle overall accident rate decreased 3.9% from 2010.
- The rate of fatal accidents involving these vehicles increased 10.2%.
Missouri Has Commercial Auto Insurance Requirements
Commercial vehicles can range from cars, such as those used for deliveries and service calls, to large 18-wheeler trucks. Different types of vehicles have different insurance requirements mandated by the state. For example, those used to transport passengers have higher liability coverage requirements because an accident can lead to injuries to many, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials need additional insurance to cover cleanup costs in the event of an accident.
In addition to state liability requirements, big-rig trucks used for interstate travel need to meet federal insurance and weight requirements.
If your business sometimes has employees driving their own personal vehicles while doing company business, you need to insure those vehicles with non-owned or for-hire auto liability coverage. This coverage lets you avoid the risk of facing a liability lawsuit against your company if your employee is responsible for an accident while carrying out business duties.
When you purchase commercial auto insurance for your company vehicle or fleet of vehicles, you need to make certain that your policy is compliant with Missouri’s coverage requirements. Depending on what you are transporting in your vehicles, you may also want to include coverage for your cargo with your policy.
MO Commercial Vehicle Types Involved in Fatal Accidents, 2011
- Tractor trailer with one unit attached: 51
- Single-unit truck: 40
- Pickup truck: 13
- Commercial bus: 3
- Other heavy truck: 2
- School bus: 1
- Tractor trailer with two units attached: 1
It is worth noting that no commercial cars, vans or other smaller vehicles were involved in fatal crashes in Missouri in 2011. The larger vehicles, due to their size and weight, are far more likely to cause significant damage to vehicles and third parties, so owners should insure them accordingly.
When an accident involves fatalities, the overall liability costs increase dramatically. This can result in especially expensive lawsuits against your company. For this reason, it is a good idea to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy that includes very high liability coverage limits.
The Most Common Causes of MO Commercial Vehicle Crashes
- Driving while distracted or inattentive: 27.4%
- Using/changing lane improperly: 16.5%
- Exceeding speed limit/driving too fast for conditions: 12.6%
- Failing to yield right of way: 11.2%
- Following too closely: 10.8%
- Turning improperly: 6.2%
- Driving an auto with defects: 6%
Unmistakably, adhering to simple roadway etiquette and traffic laws could prevent most commercial vehicle accidents, so be sure that your drivers are well educated on traffic safety and defensive driving. It only takes one small error in judgment to cause an expensive traffic accident.
Missouri Business Owners Can Minimize Risks
A fully comprehensive commercial auto insurance policy is a great way to protect your Missouri business. You can go one step further toward eliminating your risks by taking precautions when it comes to your drivers and your vehicles.
Take the time to carefully screen drivers before you hire them. Try to hire only experienced drivers with good driving records, but keep in mind that even the best drivers can find themselves involved in a motor vehicle collision. Factors such as inclement weather, hazardous roadways and reckless actions of other drivers can all play roles in causing your drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Because many accidents are preventable, you can do your part to reduce risks by ensuring that you properly maintain your company’s vehicles at all times. It is also a good idea to provide your drivers with safety-related educational materials and training. Because fatigued drivers can easily become distracted or inattentive, which is the top cause of commercial vehicle accidents in this state, it is also a good idea to limit the number of hours your drivers spend on the road each day.
Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes Can Be Easy To Find
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance policy when it comes to commercial auto or commercial truck insurance. The amount of coverage offered by different carriers can also vary, so do not go simply by price alone when deciding which commercial vehicle policy is the best for you. You can get help building an appropriate policy when you turn to an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network for assistance. A local agent can help you fully assess your commercial vehicle coverage needs and can explain the details of the many options available to you.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent to receive and review a variety of competitively priced commercial vehicle insurance quotes.