There are a number of important components of a standard commercial auto insurance policy. These include:
- Bodily injury liability, which covers expenses arising from an injury or death caused by an auto accident in which you or your employee was at fault. Your legal expenses, if any, would also be covered.
- Property damage liability. This covers damage done to the other driver’s vehicle or to other property. It must have been accidental damage (not intentional) and incurred to a third party (not to your own business or your own employee.)
- Medical payments coverage helps pay for personal injury to the driver of a company vehicle or to his/her passengers who were injured. Payments are made regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
You should also consider adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy, which covers you in cases when either uninsured and underinsured motorists are at fault – but cannot pay. If your company has relatively expensive vehicles in its service, don’t hesitate to add comprehensive and collision cover to protect your own property as well!
Remember that commercial auto covers not only your own vehicles used for business purposes but can cover employees while using their own cars for business uses AND can cover rented, leased, or borrowed vehicles. You may need to add a rider to get some of this extra coverage, while other insurers may include it as a part of their standard commercial auto policy.
Ask About Your Coverage Limits
Another factor to be aware of is your coverage limits. Most policies have a separate limit for bodily versus property liability, and there may be separate limits for one versus multiple persons injured in the same accident.
But you can also sometimes get a “combined single limit” that puts the payout cap at the same level for injuries, property damage, and for single/multiple injured parties. The limit simply applies to everything per incident.
In Florida, you have to have $10,000 or more in personal injury and in property damage liability. But with most commercial policies, you would want a higher limit than for a personal auto insurance policy. The more risky activities involved and the higher-traffic the areas frequented by your drivers, the more important it is to raise your coverage limits – perhaps, beyond that of a standard policy.
Who Needs Commercial Auto Coverage?
Any business, of whatever size, that uses vehicles to deliver products, drive to clients’ homes to make installations, transport materials to job sites, transport clients from point A to point B, or for virtually any other purpose needs to have those vehicles covered with commercial auto.
You simply can’t insure business vehicles with ordinary auto insurance – plus, liability risks are just too high to skip getting covered. Even a single uncovered accident by one of your employees could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
For more information on what commercial auto insurance is and how it works, contact Flagler County (FL) Insurance Agency today!