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Commercial Auto Insurance

We offer flexible payment plans to fit any budget needs.

We offer flexible payment plans to fit any budget needs.

We've helped over 60,000 employers buy more affordable insurance coverage.

We've helped over 60,000 employers buy more affordable insurance coverage.

We shop your coverage with up to 35 national carriers.

We shop your coverage with up to 35 national carriers.

We shop your commercial insurance to save you time and money.

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial Auto Insurance is coverage that provides protection against physical damage and bodily injury resulting from vehicle accidents. It should also provide some protection from theft and vandalism. This coverage is meant exclusively for autos used for business purposes. Personal auto insurance does not usually cover autos used in business and thus the need for commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance provides much of the same coverage as personal auto, the major differences being in vehicles covered.

There are many types of usage for commercial vehicles in business; making one commercial auto policy fit for all situations is impossible. In order to provide the correct amount of coverage, no more and no less, all commercial auto policies utilize coverage symbols to denote what type of vehicles are used and how they are covered under the policy. Symbols 1–9 represent options for a) liability coverage and b) physical damage, medical payments and hired or non-owned coverage:

Commercial and personal auto discounts are available through many carriers. Ask us how you can save.
  • Symbol 1: any auto used for business.
  • Symbol 2: any auto owned by the business.
  • Symbol 3: owned private passenger vehicles only.
  • Symbol 4: owned autos with no owned personal vehicles.
  • Symbol 5: owned autos with personal injury protection (PIP).
  • Symbol 6: owned autos in states requiring uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Symbol 7: autos specifically listed in the policy.
  • Symbol 8: hired auto coverage.
  • Symbol 9: non-owned auto coverage.

More than one symbol can be used on each policy, but the more specific you are, the better your rate will be. For example, Symbol 1 is most often used alone as it applies to all vehicles and is the broadest category, also making it the highest rated. If you only want to cover specific vehicles and don’t plan on using any other vehicle for business, then using Symbol 7, and listing those vehicles, would be a more explicit and better-rated option.

However, while you want to be as specific as possible, you want to ensure you are protecting your business from all potential risks. Is it reasonable to think that you or an employee will never use a personal vehicle for business? What if your commercial vehicle is out of commission or on a job? What if you, or an employee, rent a vehicle while out of town on business? Every time someone uses a vehicle not owned by the business to perform a business-related function, the business is at risk. Having hired and non-owned auto coverage will protect your business from the liabilities associated with non-owned vehicles. It will cover bodily injury and property damage caused by a rented or borrowed vehicle, as well as vehicles owned by your employees. Hired and non-owned auto coverage is suggested for every business owner and can be added to most general liability insurance policies, as well as to packaged policies.

Options and coverages will vary between insurance carriers so it is very important to understand your policy regarding what is, and is not, included. The Insurance Shop specialists take their time to help customers fully understand what coverage they are getting and what may be excluded. It is important to work with someone who can help you define what you need in a commercial auto policy and provide that policy at a great price with a great insurance carrier.

There are many options for coverage as well as limits, or coverage amounts, and deductibles that you and your agent will choose. Typically a commercial auto policy includes the following:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability (injury and damage to others).
  • Bodily injury to driver and passengers, including medical and lost wage expenses.
  • Optional bodily injury coverage, extended to include injury occurring outside of the state in which you reside.
  • Collision, costs associated with an accident (regardless of who is at fault).
  • Comprehensive, covers all over damage other than collision.
  • Medical payments coverage, additional coverage for hospitalizations, treatments and funeral expenses.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Non-owned auto, covers employees driving rented or borrowed vehicles.
  • Loading and unloading liability coverage.
  • Towing and labor cost coverage.
  • Substitution transportation coverage, covers a loaner vehicle from an auto repair shop when your commercial vehicle is being repaired.
Find your lowest business insurance rates.

Find your lowest
commercial auto rates

We take the time to make sure your business and employees are classified correctly and then we get to work finding the lowest rates available for your insurance coverage.

  • National commercial auto specialists.
  • Licensed throughout the United States.
  • Multiple carrier discounts available.
Compare quotes from over 35 carriers.

Compare quotes
from over 35 carriers

Once we've got your best quotes back from our carriers, we take the time to help you understand your options and take the next steps to get you covered quickly.

  • Easy billing and installment plans.
  • We'll help you insure one auto or a whole fleet.
  • We continue to follow up after binding; our service to you never ends.

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Commercial Auto Insurance
We shop your commercial insurance to save you time and money.

Why do I need Commercial Auto Insurance?

Many business owners rely on their personal or commercial vehicles for the success of their business. Whether they run deliveries, haul tools and equipment to job-sites or operate unusual vehicles, they will need extra coverage in the event of injury or damage to vehicles or goods. Commercial coverage generally provides higher limits than personal policies will allow, ensuring that your business is never held liable for damages it can’t afford.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation1 (DOT), there were almost five and a half million police-reported commercial motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2011. Seventy-five percent of those crashes resulted in bodily injury; add in property loss, and that totals $87 billion in damages paid for 2011. That is not a small price tag, especially for small businesses.

If your business owns or leases one or more vehicles you need a commercial auto policy. If your business utilizes personal vehicles or other non-owned vehicles then you can add hired and non-owned coverage onto one of your other business liability coverages, like a general liability policy.


1Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts—March 2013 U.S. Department of Transportation

What does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

Cost for commercial auto insurance varies based on the size of your business, the number and types of vehicles you need to insure, your risks and symbols used/coverage needed. The cost of insurance is also affected by the driving records of anyone operating a business vehicle. The Insurance Shop can provide quotes for a stand-alone commercial auto policy or a hired and non-owned policy, but it is often more cost efficient to bundle policies, as many carriers have multi-line discounts and credits for additional coverages. Adding commercial auto onto a packaged policy is common practice, whether it is a general liability, professional liability or business owners policy (BOP). There are also discounts when purchasing in bulk, such as coverage for a fleet of vehicles, and some carriers give good driver discounts.

There are several factors used to rate the cost of commercial auto insurance:

  • Business Location: the likelihood of theft or damage.
  • Vehicle Type: cost and type of vehicle.
  • Driving Records: prior accidents or tickets per driver.
  • Policy Deductible: the amount of risk you self-insure.
  • Coverage Limits: the amount of total coverage.
  • Credit Worthiness: your credit scores.
  • Safety Devices: alarms, airbags, GPS and more.

What are Common Commercial Auto Claims?

The first step to take when you think you have a claim is to call your agent. Your agent will help you organize your information and guide you through calling the insurance carrier who will process your claim. There are five types of claims common in commercial auto:

  1. Accident: Employee at fault
  2. In this case, the other driver’s insurance company will file a claim with your insurance company. An accident will be covered by collision coverage. Liability coverage will cover the claim if there are special circumstances or there are medical payments.

  3. Accident: Another driver at fault
  4. In this case, your insurance company will file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s collision or liability coverage will pay for the claim. Uninsured/underinsured coverage will help cover the claim if the other driver’s insurance is inadequate.

  5. Accident: Single car
  6. A single-car accident could include a vehicle hitting a deer, a vehicle backing into a lamp post or even a vehicle swerving to avoid collision with another vehicle and hitting a tree instead. In these cases, you will be held at fault, but with comprehensive coverage, your claim will be covered.

  7. Weather damage
  8. If your commercial vehicle is damaged by a severe hail storm, or other covered inclement weather occurrences, your comprehensive coverage will pay for the claim. It is important to know what type of weather is and is not covered, in your policy. If you live in an area prone to hail storms, for example, you will want to make sure hail damage is covered and your limit is appropriately negotiated.

  9. Nature
  10. If your windshield gets cracked by a rock or falling branch, nature is usually to blame. In these cases, comprehensive coverage is used to cover the claim. However, some business owners, especially those with more than five commercial vehicles, purchase special auto glass coverage that will cover these types of claims. You’ll have a separate coverage limit from your auto policy and thus will not eat away at your auto policy limit by replacing windshields. So if you have a large fleet and work in an industry with a lot of debris, or windshield hazards, then you would benefit from higher limits for replacing windshields.

How do I Reduce my Risk?

Want to avoid filing claims altogether? Once you are covered by a commercial auto insurance policy there are a few steps you can take to reduce risk and reduce claims filed. Reduced claims will save you money on policies in the future—insurance companies love clean claims records. While driving in the U.S. is a defensive sport and not all accidents can be avoided, there are some measures you can take to help your employees be safe and courteous drivers. (Don’t forget that having safe and courteous drivers will benefit your business in more than one way!)

Before hitting the road:

  • Check driving records! An employee with a poor driving record can be a big liability and will be more expensive to insure.
  • Require safety training. Depending on your business this training could be a one-time course on road safety for employees who occasionally drive company cars. However, it could also be a monthly module for employees who use company trucks to deliver goods to customer homes. In this case, the training would include road safety, loading and unloading safety, customer care tips and more, reducing risk from many angles.

Once on the road:

  • Keep vehicles in good condition. Check your vehicles often. Oil changes, tire pressure, fluids and other important upkeep services should be done on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • Create a safety checklist for drivers. Keeping a list in each vehicle to remind drivers to turn the phone off, buckle seatbelt and check gauges will help drivers to remember your safety rules.

Avoid:

  • Avoid giving delivery incentives. Incentivizing your employees can be a great management technique. However, when you motivate them to increase speed and frequency of deliveries, or other driving tasks, the risk for unsafe driving rises. Taking shortcuts, exceeding the speed limit and running red lights/stop signs are all ways drivers try to shave time off their deliveries.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is commercial auto insurance tax deductible?
  2. Yes, commercial auto coverage is tax deductible. The IRS allows for several types of deductions regarding the use of vehicles for commercial or business use. Even employees, those which do not receive mileage or expense reimbursements from their employer, may receive deductions. It is best to contact the IRS, or a tax advisor, regarding your business before filing your taxes.

  3. How does commercial auto insurance work?
  4. Commercial auto insurance, once purchased and in place, works a lot like personal auto insurance. In the event of an incident, you will file a claim with the insurance carrier and receive compensation to help cover any costs of repair. If you or one of your drivers are at fault in an accident that causes bodily injury or property damage to another person then that person can file a claim with your insurance company. Keep in mind that the insurance company will pay, as long as the event is covered, and only up to the limit written on the policy. In some cases that may leave a hefty balance for the business to pay. Many business owners choose to buy a commercial umbrella policy which extends over all your commercial insurance policies and raises limits to prevent high out-of-pocket payments.

  5. Does commercial auto insurance cover personal use?
  6. If your business is protected by commercial auto insurance then the personal use of a company-owned vehicle will be covered. A personal vehicle, not used for business purposes or listed on the commercial auto policy, will NOT be covered. If you are using your personal vehicle for business then you may consider adding it to your commercial policy or adding additional liability coverage to your personal auto policy.

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Whether you are looking for the best coverage or to save more money over your current policy, our fast and friendly service staff is always here to help. As we work with numerous carriers across the United States we can offer more products at the best competitive rates. We at The Insurance Shop don't stop there, we also have a highly trained and experienced customer service team who guide and support you both before and after you've obtained your coverage.

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