Thousands of businesses are based in Tennessee. They encompass many different industries and have varying insurance coverage needs. Businesses that have company-owned cars or trucks will need to carry commercial vehicle insurance. Whether you own a large manufacturing company like International Paper Company or a smaller company like Courtesy Limousine Service, if you have company-owned vehicles, you will need the extra liability protection that these policies can provide. Rates and policy offerings can vary significantly from one insurance company to the next, so Tennessee business owners should be sure to compare a variety of commercial auto insurance quotes before making a selection.
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Tennessee Commercial Vehicle Requirements
- Commercial trucks must be inspected annually by a certified mechanic if they are:
- More than 10,000 pounds in weight
- Placarded for transportation of hazardous materials, or
- A passenger-carrying vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers
- Annual inspections include checks for safety for:
- Brake and fuel systems
- Coupling device
- Frame and suspension
- Wheels and tires
- Windshields and wipers
- If your commercial truck is used for interstate commerce, it must have a U.S. DOT Number
- Commercial truck drivers must have a CDL license if the vehicle they are driving is:
- More than 26,000 pounds
- Placarded to carry hazardous materials
- Able to transport 16 or more passengers
What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
Commercial vehicles can range from small cars used to make local deliveries, to tractor-trailers used for interstate commerce. It doesn’t matter whether your business uses construction vehicles, buses, taxis, vans, or pick-up trucks, if the vehicle is owned by your company, it must be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. Different types of vehicles have different insurance coverage requirements as mandated by the state of Tennessee. For example, company cars must be covered by the same liability minimums as passenger cars. These are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident involving two more injured parties
- $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Larger commercial vehicles generally have much higher liability requirements. These requirements will be determined by:
- The vehicle’s size and weight
- The type of cargo the vehicle transports (hazardous materials will have greater insurance requirements)
- The number of people it can transport if a passenger vehicle
- How the vehicle is used (i.e. interstate commerce, construction, transportation)
If you are uncertain about how much liability coverage you need for your vehicle, you can speak with a local insurance professional who will be knowledgeable about commercial vehicle insurance requirements in Tennessee.
How Expensive Are Motor Vehicle Collisions?
Recently, the National Safety Council reported the average costs associated with traffic accidents across the country. These figures give an idea of how much the responsible party may be liable for in the event of an accident.
- Each fatality results in about $1,420,000 in liability charges
- Incapacitating injuries average about $70,500 in liability charges each
- Non-incapacitating injuries average about $22,700 in liability charges each
- Property-damage-only collisions average about $9,100 in liability charges
Of course, these figures are averages, so your actual liability costs may be significantly 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, injured parties have a tendency to pursue higher amounts in damages, and jury awards tend to be more costly.
What Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover in Tennessee?
Commercial vehicle insurance comes with a variety of coverage options. Only the liability coverage is required. Because a vehicular accident has the potential to cause your company a significant financial loss, it is a good idea to purchase as much coverage as you can reasonably afford as this will not only protect you from liability lawsuits but will also protect the investment you have made in your vehicles.
- Liability insurance: This can protect your business from liability charges if you or one of your drivers is responsible for a collision or injury while operating a company vehicle.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance: This is designed to cover personal injuries and property damage to your company vehicle if the responsible party lacks the necessary insurance coverage to pay for damages.
- Collision insurance: This coverage can compensate you for collision-related damages to your company’s vehicle, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This coverage is designed to cover non-collision-related loss or damages to your company’s vehicles. Covered events include such things as vandalism, theft, falling objects, severe weather, fire, and flood.
- Medical payments insurance: This coverage is meant to cover medical costs if your driver or any authorized passengers are injured in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Non-owned, or for-hire auto insurance: This is designed to provide extra liability coverage in the event that one of your employees is responsible for a collision while using a personally-owned vehicle to do company business.
- Bobtail insurance: This provides coverage for tractors when they are being operated without a trailer in tow. It includes times that the tractor is being driven for non-working purposes, such as to and from a job site.
- Loading and unloading insurance: This is designed to compensate you or your clients if products, equipment or merchandise are damaged while loading them to or unloading them from a company vehicle.
- Towing and labor insurance: This is meant to cover the specialized roadside assistance your company vehicle may need if it becomes disabled while out on a job.
Not all businesses need all types of commercial vehicle coverage options. For example, a pizza shop with a fleet of delivery vehicles will not need bobtail insurance, and a construction company that does use only company vehicles may not need non-owned vehicle coverage. You can work with an insurance professional to design a policy that is right for your business.
Start Comparing Commercial Auto Insurance Quotes in TN
Your commercial vehicle insurance coverage should be customized to meet your specific business needs. When searching for the right policy, you may find it beneficial to enlist the help of an independent insurance agent in our network. These agents can answer your insurance-related questions and can help you compare a variety of competitively-priced commercial vehicle policies. Our agents can be found in several locations throughout the state, so you may be able to find one located conveniently close to your home or business.
Get more information by contacting a local agent and you can soon start comparing commercial auto insurance quotes in Tennessee.