From limos to taxis, tow trucks, delivery vans, and heavy construction trucks, it’s easy to find commercial vehicles on Santa Fe’s public roadways. If your Santa Fe business uses vehicles as a part of your company’s normal business operations, you will want to be sure that those vehicles are properly insured. A local independent insurance agent can help you find competitively priced commercial auto insurance that is compliant with state and federal laws.
Why Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
Commercial vehicles face greater risks than most personal vehicles. One reason is that commercial vehicles are simply out on the roads more than most personal vehicles, making it more likely that they could be involved in a crash. If your business-owned 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 real concerns after one of your company-owned vehicles is involved in a traffic accident. Without commercial auto insurance, how would you pay for damage to your vehicle? Would you have the resources to replace the vehicle quickly in order to avoid any lost productivity?
Any business that owns vehicles needs commercial auto insurance to protect itself from the large financial losses that can result after accidents involving their business-owned vehicles. It protects you from the costs associated with motor vehicle accidents and even helps you pay for attorney fees, court costs, and more if you are sued. Auto crashes are common in New Mexico. Take a look at some recent crash statistics to see why commercial auto insurance is so important for New Mexico business owners.
Recent New Mexico Crash Statistics
There were 45,071 traffic accidents along public roadways in New Mexico. These crashes involved 114,701 people, with 20,494 people injured and 405 people killed.
- A motor vehicle accident occurred every 12 minutes in New Mexico.
Heavy truck crashes are on the rise and were disproportionately represented in fatal crashes.
- A semi/large truck accident occurred every 4 hours.
- Crashes involving heavy trucks totaled 2,326, their highest level in five years.
- Heavy trucks were involved in 5.2% of all accidents, but 10.4% of all fatalities.
Santa Fe had the third-highest number of total crashes in New Mexico.
- There were 2,308 total motor vehicle accidents in Santa Fe in recent years, or 27.5 crashes per 1,000 residents.
How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost in Santa Fe, NM?
Insurance costs for commercial vehicles can vary greatly from one company to the next. This is because commercial auto insurance rates are based on a number of your unique risk factors, such as:
- The number of vehicles your business needs to insure
- The types of vehicles you are insuring (e.g., cars, trucks, vans, etc.)
- The year, make, model, and safety features of each vehicle on your policy
- Each vehicle’s passenger capacity if they will be used to transport people
- Whether your vehicles will be used to transport hazardous materials
- Whether the vehicles will be used locally or for interstate commerce
- Information about the employees who will be driving the vehicles
- The amount of coverage you wish to include in your policy
Often, commercial auto insurance companies will offer discounts to policyholders who provide routine safety training and materials to their drivers and manage a fleet of well-maintained vehicles. If you are worried about the cost of your commercial auto insurance, you can help control costs by making safety a top priority for your drivers.
How Much Commercial Auto Insurance Does My Santa Fe Business Need?
All New Mexico drivers, both personal and commercial, need to have a minimum amount of auto liability insurance in order to comply with state law.
- Minimum liability insurance limits: 25/50/10; coverage up to $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $25,000 for one individual; and $10,000 coverage for property damage
Trucks over 10,000 pounds have additional state and federal regulations that they must comply with, including additional liability insurance requirements. The amount of liability insurance required for trucks depends on the type of freight you transport and where you transport it. The minimum liability insurance requirements for trucks that stay within the state of New Mexico are:
- $300,000 liability insurance for transporters of household goods
- $750,000 liability insurance for transporters of general freight
- $1,000,000 liability insurance for transporters of oil
- $5,000,000 liability insurance for transporters of hazardous materials
These truck owners must also purchase cargo insurance that includes $50,000 per vehicle coverage and $50,000 per catastrophe coverage. Truck owners who participate in interstate commerce (travel across state lines) must meet all federal insurance requirements. There are other insurance requirements for vehicles that carry passengers, those that carry hazardous materials, for-hire taxis, and tow trucks.
Keep in mind that most businesses don't operate semis or heavy trucks. If your business vehicles are sedans, light trucks, or vans, your commercial auto insurance must comply with the normal state-mandated coverage. Your independent insurance agent can help you purchase commercial auto insurance that meets all applicable state and federal regulations.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
All commercial auto insurance policies in Santa Fe will include the specific coverage required by law, at a minimum. Insurance companies also offer several types of optional coverage. You can choose the options that are most necessary for your needs. Some typical coverage options 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 your vehicle’s damage 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.
You might also consider purchasing commercial umbrella insurance, which adds liability coverage that is beyond the limits of your commercial vehicle policy. This coverage can be invaluable if you face a lawsuit related to a serious crash involving one of your commercial autos.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
Your commercial auto insurance should meet the unique needs of your business. A local independent insurance agent can answer your insurance-related questions and offer advice and guidance when you are building a suitable policy and shopping around for the best rates.
Contact an independent agent in Santa Fe to start comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies.
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