Commercial Auto Insurance Checklist

Everything You Need To Know For Your Commercial Auto Policy Review

Your company’s fleet of automobiles and trucks serves more than just mobile advertising. These mobile offices serve as the physical representations of your company, transporting your tools, your tractor, your employees, and you from appointment to appointment in comfort. However, most business owners only consider purchasing commercial auto insurance after facing the consequences. 

According to Automotive Fleet magazine, at least 20% of commercial vehicles are involved in an accident yearly. The pharmaceutical industry has an even higher rate. Therefore, commercial auto insurance is essential for business. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect commercial auto insurance, thinking that their personal auto insurance will cover them in the event of an accident. 

The commercial auto insurance checklist below can help you make sure you get the right coverage for your business. 

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Things You Need to Consider Before Getting Commercial Auto Insurance 

  • Make sure you understand the different types of commercial auto insurance coverage and choose the ones that are right for your business. 
  • Make sure you know how much coverage you need and get quotes from several different insurers to find the best rate.
  • Be sure to provide accurate information about your company vehicles when you’re getting a quote.
  • Be informed about your vehicle type, make and model, usage and every pre-required detail.
  • Review your commercial auto insurance policy periodically to ensure it still meets your business needs. 

    Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Commercial Auto Insurance 

    It is essential to analyze your business before signing up for any insurance. Here are the questions you can gather up to have a clear view on getting the right commercial auto insurance. 

    1.How do you use your vehicle? 

    You need to specify the vehicles you use. If it is for commercial use only or personal use or both. There are a few things to consider if you use your vehicle for both personal and business purposes. First, make sure the vehicle is used for business on your personal policy. If this designation is not made and you have an accident on the way to a work event, your coverage may not apply. You may also want to consider a commercial auto policy that protects you from all the risks that come with your work.    

    2.What task do you use your vehicle for? 

    Commercial vehicles are used for many purposes. For instance, your business may use automobiles for transporting goods and people, haul tools and equipment, make deliveries in remote locations, or transport employees or clients. Hence, all these tasks have different risk related in course of action. So, you must be able to specify the task your business vehicle operates on a daily basis.  

    3.Do your employees use a company vehicle? 

    If you have employees using a company vehicle for business purposes, you may need a commercial auto policy to protect your employees and your business. If you have employees who use a company vehicle, talk to your insurance agent about whether a commercial auto policy is a right choice for your business or not.  

    4.Do employees use their vehicle for work purposes? 

    If you have employees who use their own vehicles for work-related purposes, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. Personal insurance policies may provide some protection in an accident, but they typically don’t cover work-related accidents or damage. If your employees drive their personal vehicles to work, you can consider having a Hired and Non-Owned Auto (HNOA) insurance policy.For instance, using a personal vehicle for higher-risk activities may nullify their personal coverage, making it important for you to provide commercial coverage.  

    5.What dangers are your vehicles most likely to face in your location? 

    As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of your commercial vehicle’s potential risks. . By examining the statistics for your area, you can get a better sense of the type of danger your vehicles are most likely to encounter. By taking the time to understand the risks that your vehicles face, you can ensure that you have the right level of protection. 

    6.How much coverage do I need? 

    When insuring your business vehicles, you must know the number of vehicles that need insurance. . It makes the buying process smoother and allows you to compare premium prices.

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     Details Required to Get a Commercial Auto Insurance Quote 

     Once you decide to get the insurance for your business vehicles, you must request quotes from different commercial auto insurance companies to find the best rate.  

    Here are some details necessary to obtain commercial auto insurance quotes.  

    Vehicle Details: A Commercial auto insurance company requires details about the vehicle you want to insure. So, a few things you need to keep in mind when shopping for commercial auto insurance are: 

    -Type and amount of coverage
    -Type of your vehicle
    -Details of your vehicles such as make, model, year and VIN number 

    Use Details: To get a quote, you must specify the purpose of use of your vehicle. Are you going to use your vehicle for personal or commercial purpose? 

    Driver Information: In order to get a commercial auto insurance quote, you must provide details about the drivers who will be driving the vehicle. The details include: 

    • Legal name 
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • Driver’s license number 

      The insurance company will contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to review driving records for each person on your list. This information is kept confidential. 

      Business Information: You will also need to provide a commercial auto insurance company with information about your business. This includes type of business, years in business, and more. 

      Driving History: You will also be asked to provide your driving history. They will want to know about any accidents or violations you might have been responsible for in the past. 

      Liability Coverage: You need to decide how much liability coverage you need. This is the amount of coverage that will pay for damages if you are found at fault in an accident. 

      Deductible: You also need to decide how much you will pay out of pocket if you have an accident. This is your deductible. 

      Note: If you are not aware of the liability coverage and deductibles, you can get assistance from any of the local commercial agents near you or you can discuss with the same company’s agents you are requesting quotes from. 

      How to File a Commercial Auto Insurance Claim? 

      In the states where commercial auto insurance is not required, businesses are still liable for damages caused by their employees while driving on company time. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider commercial auto insurance, even if it’s not required in your state. Hence, if employees meet with an accident while driving your business vehicle, you need to file a commercial auto insurance claim. If you are confused about when or how to file a commercial auto insurance claim, here is a step-by-step guide: 

      1. Gather all the necessary information and documents. This includes the contact information of all parties involved in the accident including witnesses. You will also need your insurance policy information and the police report (if applicable). 
      2. Review your auto policy. It’s important to understand what your policy covers and the amount of your deductible. This will help you determine how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket. 
      3.  Contact your insurance company. You will need to notify them of the accident and start the claims process. Make sure you have all the information and documents ready when you call. 
      4. The insurance company will then investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. Once they decide, they will let you know what your next steps are. 
      5.  If you need to file a police report, you will need to do so within 24 hours of the accident. Once the police report has been filed, you must submit it to your insurance company. 
      6.  The insurance company will then process your claim and issue you a check for the damages. 
      7. Cooperate with the insurance company. They will likely need to get your side of the story and may also request an inspection of the vehicle. Be sure to comply with their requests in a timely manner. 
      8.  Be patient. The claims process can be lengthy, so patience is important. Once the insurance company has all the information they need, they will decide on coverage and benefits. 

      Considering the process mentioned above can help you understand the requirements for claimants. Knowing what to do when you have to make an auto insurance claim can help you avoid some of the headaches involved in tackling the process. 

      Although commercial auto insurance is not required in all states, it is a good idea to consider coverage for your business if you own or operate vehicles for commercial purposes. If you are unsure whether or not commercial auto insurance is right for your business, you can check with your state’s insurance department or speak to an insurance agent or broker. 

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