There are approximately 140,000 vehicle accidents in South Carolina every year. About one in 26 accidents in this state involves a commercial vehicle. In fact, in 2017 alone, there were 5,292 collisions involving commercial trucks and trailers.
Because they are larger than most other vehicles, trucks can cause extensive injuries and property damage. This is why commercial vehicle insurance is so important. If your business owns vehicles, you will need to be sure that your coverage meets the state’s requirements. Trucks used for interstate commerce will also need to meet federal coverage requirements.
Independent insurance agents in South Carolina can help you find reliable, competitively priced commercial vehicle insurance that is compliant with all state and federal laws. Find an insurance agent near you to start comparing customized commercial vehicle insurance quotes.
What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
When a commercial motor vehicle is involved in an accident, the company that owns it has a high chance of being named in an expensive liability lawsuit.
Commercial vehicle insurance is designed to protect businesses that own or use vehicles from the large financial losses that may arise due to a collision. This insurance can cover everything from liability lawsuits to the potential loss of income that may occur if your business is left without its necessary mode of transportation.
If your business owns a vehicle or vehicles, South Carolina law requires that these trucks, vans, or buses be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a highly rated, but competitively priced, policy.
How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost in South Carolina?
There are a number of different commercial vehicle types, from cargo vans to semi-trucks. Therefore, the cost to cover business-owned vehicles can vary significantly from one company to the next. Rates are calculated according to a variety of factors, including:
- The number of vehicles you are insuring
- The types of vehicles you are insuring (e.g., cargo van, bus, dump truck, etc.)
- The estimated number of miles each vehicle will be driven per year
- Whether the vehicles will be used locally or for interstate commerce
- The driving records of any employees who will be operating the vehicles
- How much liability coverage you wish to purchase
- The amount of your deductible
The only way to get a good idea of what a policy will cost you is to request quotes from a variety of commercial vehicle insurance providers. A local independent insurance agent can save you time by obtaining these customized quotes on your behalf.
What Are Commercial Vehicle Coverage Requirements in South Carolina?
All commercial vehicle insurance policies in South Carolina must include the following:
- Uninsured motorist insurance: This is designed to cover injuries to your drivers or passengers if an uninsured or underinsured driver is responsible for a collision with your company vehicle. All commercial vehicle policies in this state must include bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident.
- Liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party property damage and injuries if one of your drivers is responsible for a collision. The amount of liability coverage varies according to the vehicle type, as shown below.
The amount of liability coverage you will be required to carry varies according to the vehicle’s type, purpose, and weight. The requirements in this state are high enough to meet federal requirements, so they are valid for both intra- and interstate commerce:
- Passenger vehicles with a seating capacity of 1-15 people must have a minimum of $1,500,000 in single-limit liability coverage.
- Passenger vehicles with a seating capacity of 16 or more people must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in single-limit liability coverage.
- Vehicles carrying less than 10,000 pounds of non-hazardous freight must have a minimum of $500,000 in single-limit liability coverage.
- Vehicles carrying 10,000 or more pounds of non-hazardous freight must have a minimum of $750,000 in single-limit liability coverage.
- Vehicles carrying hazardous freight, regardless of weight, must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in single-limit liability coverage.
Your local independent insurance agent can be very helpful when you are searching for an affordable policy that is in full compliance with the law.
What Else Can South Carolina Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover?
While uninsured motorist and liability insurance are a required part of your commercial vehicle policy, there are a number of additional coverages you can opt to purchase in order to further protect your business finances in the event of a collision. You can expect your commercial vehicle insurance provider to offer the following coverage options:
- Collision insurance: This is designed to cover the cost of repairing collision-related damage to your company-owned vehicle, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This is designed to cover the cost of repairing non-collision-related damage to your company-owned vehicle, such as may occur due to falling objects, floods, or structure fires.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This is designed to cover the cost of medical treatment for your driver or passengers if they are injured in a vehicle collision, regardless of fault.
- Towing and roadside assistance insurance: This is designed to provide coverage for assistance if your company vehicle becomes disabled while out on the road. This may be of particular benefit to businesses that own larger vehicles that require specialized towing.
- Rental car insurance: This is designed to cover the cost of renting a comparable vehicle while your company-owned vehicle is being repaired following a covered event.
- Gap insurance: This is designed to bridge the gap between what your business still owes for your vehicle and what it is actually worth in the event that it is totaled due to a covered event. This is often necessary for newer vehicles, which depreciate in value rapidly.
- Non-owned auto insurance: This is designed to cover your company’s additional liability exposures if an employee or contractor uses their own vehicle to do jobs for your business. While these vehicles may already have liability coverage, this added coverage may be necessary because your company may be named in a lawsuit if the driver is responsible for an accident.
A local independent insurance agent can help you determine which coverage options are a good fit for your South Carolina business. Your agent can also help you secure an affordable umbrella insurance policy if you wish to have even more liability coverage than your commercial vehicle policy can provide.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in South Carolina?
Commercial vehicle insurance needs can vary significantly from one company to another. Obviously, a business that relies on one or two cargo vans for making local deliveries will have vastly different coverage needs than one that uses construction vehicles or semi-trucks for interstate commerce.
A local independent insurance agent can help you find a competitively priced policy that meets all of your business’s coverage needs. Contact an insurance agent in South Carolina to learn more, and you can start comparing commercial vehicle insurance quotes in no time.