There are more than 100,000 businesses based in Montana. These businesses encompass many different industries and have varying insurance coverage needs. The ones that have company-owned cars or trucks must carry commercial auto insurance. Whether you own a manufacturing company like Spika Welding & Manufacturing or a transportation-based company like Wild Horse Limousine, you will probably need the extra liability protection that a commercial auto policy can provide. Rates and offerings will vary from one insurance company to the next, so you should compare a variety of commercial auto insurance quotes before purchasing a policy.
Montana Truck Crash Statistics, 2005
- Accidents involving trucks make up 6.0% of all motor vehicle collisions in this state.
- In 2005, there were 1,346 crashes involving trucks in MT. Regarding these, the following information is available:
- 509 involved trucks with no trailers
- 701 involved a single-trailer truck
- 92 involved a double-trailer truck
- 1 involved a triple-trailer truck
- Fatal accidents involving trucks make up 11.9% of all fatal crashes in this state.
- In 2005, there were 22 fatal collisions involving trucks. Regarding these, the following information is available:
- 8 involved trucks with no trailers
- 13 involved single-trailer trucks
- 2 involved double-trailer trucks
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Commercial vehicles can range from small cars to construction vehicles to tractor-trailers. It doesn’t matter whether your business uses cars, trucks, vans, taxis or buses. If your company owns the vehicle, it must have commercial auto insurance.
Different types of vehicles will have different insurance coverage requirements, as mandated by the state of Montana. For example, company cars must have the same minimum liability coverage as passenger cars, as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident involving two or more injured parties
- $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Larger commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks and construction vehicles generally have much higher liability insurance requirements, based on the following factors:
- The vehicle’s size and weight
- The type of cargo the vehicle will be transporting (Hazardous materials will have higher insurance requirements.)
- The vehicle's use such as interstate commerce, construction or transportation
- Whether the vehicle will be used to transport passengers
How Costly Are Motor Vehicle Collisions?
In 2011, the National Safety Council issued a report in which they calculated the average costs associated with traffic accidents across the country. These figures may give you an idea of how much your company stands to lose if one of your drivers is responsible for a serious vehicular accident:
- Fatal collisions result in about $1,420,000 in liability costs.
- Collisions involving incapacitating injuries average about $70,500 in liability costs.
- Collisions that result in non-incapacitating injuries average about $22,700 in liability costs.
- Collisions involving property damage only average about $9,100 in liability costs.
Of course, these figures represent averages, so your actual liability costs may be noticeably higher or lower if you or one of your employees is at fault for a vehicular collision. Keep in mind that when a company, rather than an individual, owns the vehicle involved in an accident, injured parties have a tendency to pursue higher amounts in damages and jury awards tend to be more excessive.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover in MT?
Although commercial auto insurance companies offer a variety of coverage options, the law mandates only liability coverage. Because a collision involving a company-owned vehicle has the potential to bring about significant financial losses, it is a good idea to purchase as much coverage as you can reasonably afford. Coverage options include the following:
- Liability coverage: This protects your business from liability costs if you or one of your drivers is responsible for third-party property damage or injury while operating a company vehicle.
- Collision coverage: This compensates you for collision-related damage to company vehicles, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This covers non-collision-related loss or damage to your company vehicles. Covered events include such things as vandalism, theft, falling objects, fire and flood.
- Medical payments coverage: This covers necessary medical costs if your driver or any authorized passengers sustain injuries in a collision, regardless of fault.
- For-hire (or non-owned) coverage: This provides extra liability coverage if one of your employees causes a collision while using a personally owned vehicle on company business.
- Bobtail coverage: This provides coverage for tractors during the times when you or your driver operates it without a trailer in tow, even for non-work-related purposes.
- Loading and unloading coverage: This compensates you or your clients if, while loading or unloading a company-owned vehicle, you or your employee damages products, merchandise, equipment or materials.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance: This covers personal injuries and property damage to your company vehicle if the responsible party lacks the necessary insurance to cover the damage.
- Towing and labor coverage: This covers the specialized roadside assistance that may be necessary if your company-owned vehicle becomes inoperable while out on a job.
Not all businesses need the same coverage options. For example, a flower shop with a fleet of delivery vehicles will not need bobtail insurance and a construction company that only uses company-owned vehicles may not need non-owned vehicle coverage.
Start Comparing Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes in Montana
You can customize coverage for your commercial vehicle or commercial truck to meet your specific business needs. When searching for the right policy, you may find it beneficial to enlist the help of an insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These independent agents can answer your insurance-related questions and assess your coverage needs. They can then obtain a variety of competitively priced commercial auto insurance quotes for your review.
Contact a local agent near you to get more information and to start comparing commercial auto insurance quotes in Montana.