In the insurance and indemnity sector, lines of insurance refer to the types of policies issued to clients. Personal lines typically issue policies related to health, auto, disability, homeowners, and renters insurance. Commercial lines are dedicated to the issuance of policies that protect business interests, including vehicles used for commercial purposes. Depending on how insurers manage and market their policies, commercial auto insurance may be offered on an individual basis or as part of a comprehensive package. Here are some important aspects of commercial auto insurance to know about.
Liability Issues Related to Commercial Vehicle Operations
Whenever vehicles are driven, numerous risks and liability issues arise. Airline pilots often say flying entails less risk than driving because of the careful planning and multiple safeguards observed by the commercial aviation industry. When it comes to operating motor vehicles, however, the planning is greatly simplified, and drivers are expected to share the road with millions of their peers. All the risks associated with driving personal vehicles, from accidents and theft to injury and damage, are amplified when cars, vans, or trucks are put to work for business purposes.
Determining the Need for Commercial Auto Insurance
If you own a business and use a vehicle as part of your operation, you may need to purchase commercial auto insurance. San Diego business owners should check with their insurance agents to see if they’re required to carry this level of coverage. The most common scenario that illustrates the need for a commercial auto policy is a worker driving a vehicle registered to a company. Another example would be a truck used to make deliveries. Even self-employed professionals who use their privately owned vehicles in the course of their businesses may need commercial auto insurance. Let’s say a freelance real estate appraiser uses her Toyota RAV4 compact SUV to drive from one assignment to another. Since she is using her car to conduct a service, she’ll need a commercial policy.
Similarities to Personal Auto Insurance
Many of the coverage provisions found in personal auto insurance policies are included in their commercial counterparts. Some examples would be personal injury protection, general liability, and uninsured motorist coverage. In addition to these fundamental coverage items, commercial auto insurance policies may include special features such as combined single limits, which provide a higher coverage amount per accident, and comprehensive damage provisions that pay for damages caused by things such as natural disasters and vandalism perpetrated by disgruntled employees.
The Cost of Commercial Auto Insurance
In general, commercial auto insurance may cost more than personal auto liability coverage, but this may not be a fair comparison because the policies are written differently. One of the best strategies for lowering the cost of commercial auto insurance is to bundle it with other business policies. If the vehicles that need to be insured are used for construction purposes, the premiums won’t be very high. Cars, SUVs, and vans used to transport passengers will require higher premiums. One advantage of commercial auto insurance is that many business owners are able to write off the premiums as tax deductions.
If you aren’t sure whether you’re required to purchase commercial auto insurance, it’s a great idea to contact a knowledgeable insurance agent for information. The experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services can help you with a wide variety of insurance options, including motorcycle, homeowners, and commercial insurance. San Diego residents should call one of our friendly representatives today at (800) 719-9972.