If you or your employees drive a vehicle for business purposes, the state of Vermont requires that you carry commercial auto insurance. A local agent can help you find affordable quotes on the cars and trucks you use.
You don't have to own a taxi fleet or trucking service to need commercial auto insurance. Even if you only use your car occasionally for business purposes, your personal auto insurance may be insufficient to protect you from financial loss. Your regular car insurance, for example, may not cover an accident that occurs while you are driving a client to the airport. Also, if someone sues you because of this accident, your home, assets and business could be at risk. Commercial auto insurance includes added liability protection to keep your finances safe, as well as coverage for the employees and customers who use your vehicles from day to day.
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Do You Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
Look at the following scenarios, and see if any apply to you and your business:
- Your car is registered or titled to a business entity.
- You have employees who use the car during business hours.
- You rent your vehicle to others.
- You pick up and drop off customers or potential clients.
- You deliver goods related to your business.
- Your truck or van is equipped with electronics, tools or toolboxes for your trade.
A standard car insurance policy will usually cover you when you use your car to commute to and from work. However, if you meet any of the qualifications listed above, you may need commercial auto insurance. It can be difficult to determine exactly when you need commercial coverage, but if you have questions, a local agent can help you.
What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Vermont is full of hospitality-related businesses, such as restaurants, hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns. It also produces electronics, paper products and sought-after agricultural products like maple syrup. All of these businesses need vehicles to make work run smoothly. Because of the higher risk of accidents and legal claims, those who drive for business purposes must carry commercial auto insurance. A commercial vehicle policy covers the automobiles you and your employees use from day to day, including the following:
- Personal cars
- Pickup trucks
- Shuttle vans
- Passenger vans
- Cargo vans
- Food trucks
- Freight trucks
Commercial auto and truck insurance includes the same types of coverage as your personal auto insurance but with higher liability limits and extra coverage options. You can ask a local agent for quotes on a commercial auto policy that includes the following types of coverage:
- Medical payments: This can cover medical treatment for you, your employees and your passengers if you suffer injuries in an accident.
- Uninsured motorist: This helps to pay for damage caused by a collision with a driver who lacks sufficient coverage.
- Collision: This can pay for damage to your vehicle after a collision with a pole, tree or other vehicle.
- Comprehensive: Also known as "other than collision," comprehensive coverage provides financial protection against weather damage, vandalism, theft and storage accidents, such as fire.
- Roadside assistance: This comes in handy if you or your employees blow a tire or experience a breakdown on the road.
- Rental coverage: If your car sustains damage in an accident, this coverage can help pay to rent a replacement, temporarily.
- Cargo loading/unloading: This can help cover the extra liability risk of loading heavy cargo in and out of a truck or van.
Commercial Vehicle Liability in Vermont
Liability coverage is perhaps the most important part of a commercial auto policy. This covers settlement costs, court fees and your legal defense if you or an employee causes an accident that leads to bodily injury or property damage.
By state law, businesses must carry a certain level of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage on each vehicle used for work. The amount of liability you must purchase depends, in part, on the size and purpose of the vehicle. You can ask a local agent in VT about the state liability requirements for your line of business and type of vehicle. These are the coverage requirements in VT for passenger vehicles:
- 7 passengers or less: $100,000 per accident
- 8 to 12 passengers: $250,000 per accident
- 13 to 20 passengers: $300,000 per accident
- 21 to 30 passengers: $350,000 per accident
These numbers represent the minimum amount of liability coverage necessary to satisfy the state of Vermont, but they are not ideal coverage limits. The chances of someone suing a business are statistically much higher than that of someone suing a private individual for the same type of accident. Also, large-vehicle collisions and business-related claims tend to lead to settlement costs in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Without sufficient liability coverage, you and your company must cover the damages, court fees, settlement costs and your legal defense, out of pocket.
Get the Best Quotes on Commercial Vehicle Coverage
A local Trusted Choice® network agent in your corner of Vermont can get you quotes on the commercial auto or commercial truck insurance you need, along with umbrella insurance, business insurance and many other policy types. You may find that you qualify for discounts by bundling the policies you need into one convenient payment.
Contact a local Trusted Choice agent to get commercial auto insurance quotes you can afford.