Commercial Vehicle Insurance FAQ
What is commercial vehicle insurance?
Commercial vehicle insurance is property damage and liability protection for vehicles designated for business use.
Is commercial vehicle insurance just for semi-trucks?
No. While semi-trucks, box trucks, company vans, and other such business vehicles should have a commercial vehicle insurance coverage, commercial insurance is not limited to the type of vehicle used.
How do I know if I need commercial vehicle insurance?
You need commercial car insurance if you use your vehicle to conduct a service for financial gain. Some circumstances that require you to get a commercial vehicle insurance plan include :
– Charging a fee to use your vehicle to transport goods or people
– The nature of your work requires higher limits of liability coverage
– Hauling a considerable weight or equipment/tools
– Towing a trailer used to conduct your business
– If ownership of the vehicle is in the name of a corporation or partnership
– If employees operate the vehicle
Some examples of vehicles that require a commercial vehicle insurance policy include:
– Cars, sports utility vehicles, and pick-up trucks used in business
– Snow plows
– Vehicles outfitted with work equipment
– Tow trucks
– Dump trucks
– Box trucks
– Utility vans
I use my personal automobile to conduct my business, do I still need commercial vehicle insurance?
Yes. If you use your personal vehicle primarily for business purposes, you should get commercial vehicle insurance coverage. In many states, it is the law.
Why can’t I just use a personal auto insurance policy?
Most personal auto insurance plans don’t have high enough liability limits to satisfactorily cover business vehicles in the case of an accident.
Why do I need higher liability limits?
Even if your business vehicle is a regular-sized automobile, commercial coverage can assist you in protecting victims from coming after your business assets in the case of a lawsuit among other protections. Typical personal auto insurance plans cannot and will not do that.
If your business vehicle is a box truck or similarly large hauling vehicle, the liability limits of a typical auto insurance policy aren’t usually enough to cover property damage and repairs of that scale. Plus, many commercial vehicle insurance plans offer coverage for any damages done to equipment or products hauled in the vehicle whereas a personal auto insurance plan does not.
My car is only used partially for business use, should I get a commercial vehicle insurance policy?
It depends. If you are a small business owner or freelancer, you may still need to get commercial insurance depending on how you use your vehicle to conduct your business and how often it is used for business affairs. It is best to talk to your insurance company to find out and see what kind of coverage will fit your needs thoroughly.
What does commercial vehicle insurance cover?
Most commercial vehicle insurance plans are customizable to fit the needs of your business, so there is a wide variety of different types of commercial plans and coverage. Many protections and forms of coverage within could include:
– Liability coverage for cases of bodily injury
– Liability coverage for property damage
– Collision coverage, regardless of fault
– Comprehensive coverage for damages done other than the collision
– Medical payment coverage for hospital treatment
– Funeral expenses
– Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
– Person injury coverage for you, employed drivers, or your passengers, which includes compensation for lost wages and medical expenses
– Non-owned auto coverage if you or your employee get into an collision with a rented or borrowed vehicle
– Liability for incidents that occur while loading/unloading the vehicle such as accidental injury, broken equipment, or damaged product
– Coverage for towing, labor costs, and other roadside assistance services
Where can I get commercial vehicle insurance?
Many reputable insurance providers offer commercial coverage for business vehicles, but Freeway Insurance allows you pick the best plan from a multitude of affordable options. You can get a free quote online for commercial vehicle insurance, too.
How much does commercial vehicle insurance cost?
The cost varies. It depends on a number of different factors such as how often you drive your business vehicle, what it is primarily used for, if you have employees driving the vehicle, etc. If you are using a typical passenger vehicle, the cost of commercial insurance will cost significantly less than commercial coverage for a semi-truck. However, many insurers offer fleet plans that can provide commercial coverage for multiple business vehicles at a discount.
Is commercial vehicle insurance tax deductible?
Yes. Commercial vehicle insurance is considered a business expense, so any premium payments made can written off on your tax return that year.
Will commercial vehicle insurance cover my employees?
Yes. Most commercial vehicle plans will cover employees that are driving your insured business vehicle. In fact, if you are using a rented vehicle or your employee is using their vehicle to conduct your business, many commercial insurance plans will provide coverage for these circumstances as well.
What if I drive my commercial vehicle for personal use? Am I covered?
Personal use is typically covered for company owned vehicles under a commercial car insurance plan. If your personal vehicle is insured under a commercial vehicle insurance plan and you allow family members to drive it, you will want to inquire about “non-owned vehicle endorsement” protection from your insurance agent in order to ensure that they will be covered.
I use my personal vehicle to deliver pizzas/as a courier. Do I really need commercial vehicle coverage for that?
Yes. If you make a living primarily as a courier, pizza delivery person, or other similar profession, you will probably need commercial vehicle insurance coverage for your personal car. However, if you are using your vehicle while working for a company, you can ask the business owner to list you on their commercial vehicle policy for non-owner coverage. If the work is seasonal or temporary, talk to your insurance provider to see if you can get commercial coverage for a shorter period or at a discounted rate.
I make money driving for a ridesharing service like Uber and Lyft. Does this mean I should get a commercial vehicle insurance plan?
It depends on your insurance provider, state law, and which ride-sharing service you are working for. If you are only using your car to make money via ridesharing apps on a part-time basis, you might not need commercial coverage if the rideshare company is willing to cover you while you’re working. However, that should not be assumed or taken as a given.
Ask the ridesharing company (Uber, Lyft, etc.) what their insurance coverage policy is and if you are covered. Talk to your local DMV to see if there are any state laws regarding rideshare services.You should also contact your insurance agent in order to know if you require additional coverage, need to switch over to a commercial vehicle policy, or are adequately covered under your personal plan.