Do You Need Commercial Insurance For Your Vehicle?

When it comes to insuring vehicles, individuals usually purchase personal auto insurance, while businesses buy commercial insurance policies. But whether or not you should have commercial auto insurance varies greatly depending on how you use your vehicle. Individuals who engage in certain business-like activities with their car should definitely contact their insurance company to check to see if they need to purchase additional insurance. Additionally, any small business owners who have employees drive vehicles as a part of the job need to look into commercial auto insurance as well.

What Do You Use Your Personal Vehicle For?

Any personal vehicle that is used sometimes for business purposes probably needs commercial vehicle insurance. While it is true that some personal auto insurance policies may cover damage that occurs during business to an extent, you need to check with your insurance provider. Make sure you are dealing with a well-qualified independent insurance agent who understands your needs and has experience in dealing with both commercial auto and personal auto insurance issues. If you are unsure whether or not your policy covers your automobile, your best option is to utilize the wealth of knowledge that your agent holds. Bring your policy to your agent and ask them to review the your policy and coverage with you. Don’t leave your coverage to chance.

If you use your car or truck for any sort of business activity, you should consider purchasing commercial insurance for the vehicle. Do you deliver pizzas or other food with your personal car? What about delivering newspapers? Are you an event photographer that uses your own car to carry equipment? Any catering company, door-to-door consulting service, day care van service, real estate agent, or landscaping and garden service should definitely look into commercial auto insurance policies.

Businesses Need Commercial Insurance

Any vehicle that your business owns, leases, or rents, needs to be covered under commercial vehicle insurance. It’s required in most states to cover any financial responsibility if you or an employee is at fault in an accident. Basically, if you or your employees drive company vehicles or personal vehicles to conduct business, you also will most certainly need commercial vehicle insurance. A benefit of commercial auto policies is that they allow you to list anyone that you employ as a driver, an option you don’t always have with a personal auto policy. This way, any listed employee who needs to drive your vehicle can, without getting into issues that may come up should that person get into an accident.

Truckers in particular need to look into commercial truck insurance. Because trucks are much bigger vehicles and require special training to drive, truckers are held more liable for damages. They need to make sure they’re covered under a commercial policy.

Consider Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is also needed if you need more liability coverage than a personal insurance policy provides. In general, you’ll need commercial auto insurance if the vehicle is owned by a corporate partnership, used to haul tools or equipment weighing more than 500 pounds, used to make deliveries, or is heavy enough to need state or federal filings. If this applies to your business, or if you use your personal car for any sort of business activity, look into commercial insurance today to protect yourself and your wallet.

Commercial Insurance That’s Right For Your Business

Unless you are a very small business running without a lot of overhead and liabilities, it is a very good idea to have commercial insurance. Indeed, your financial safety could very well depend on it as commercial not only allows you to recoup your losses in the event of a disaster outside your control, but allows you get your business up and running again. Commercial insurance can also save the ruin of your business by those who would seek to benefit by suing you for damages they have sustained directly in your workplace or through the products and/or services that you market.

There are three components to commercial insurance, and you can buy policies that cover one or all of them according to the type and size of business you own. The first one of these, property insurance, is most similar to homeowner’s insurance. It reimburses you for damage to your place of business, whether through fire or damage from burglary. As with all insurance policies, you must be careful in making sure that you get the coverage you think you might need. Indeed, it can often be a good idea to get coverage for things you don’t think you will need, if the extra cost is reasonable.

Commercial liability insurance is also an important component of commercial business insurance. It guards against lawsuits brought on by customers, and allows you to be reimbursed for things like legal fees and settlement money. Some professions need liability insurance more than others. The healthcare profession, for instance, needs malpractice insurance as they work directly with patients’ health and a mistake here could be very costly. Malpractice insurance affects other professional fields as well, from architecture to accountants. Even businesses that sell a product may benefit from this insurance in the event that a customer suffers some injury or damages due to their company or product. Indirect damage, such as Errors and Omissions, can be covered under liability insurance. You can also be reimbursed if your product causes harm to a customer, or if a company vehicle causes the damage. Under commercial vehicle insurance, you can also get coverage that will reimburse you if your vehicle suffers any damage or is broken into. Remember that there are many frivolous lawsuits these days and even legal fees can have a devastating effect on a business. Commercial liability insurance can make the difference between whether or not your business survives such a lawsuit.

The third type of commercial insurance is worker’s compensation insurance, and this is to protect you as the employer from exorbitant expenses if your employee is injured while on the job. Most states in the U.S. require some form of this insurance, and it reimburses the employer for medical bills and days of work missed due to the injury, as well as lawsuits for employer negligence.

Commercial Insurance Helps Pay For The Catastrophe Clean Up

Commercial insurance policies provide cover for buildings and property against all kinds of perils, but it is important to consider what it would cost to get your buildings reinstated following a total loss catastrophe such as a fire or major flood, and to ensure that your business insurance policy contains provisions to cover all the costs of reinstatement expenses.

If you under-estimate the total rebuilding costs of your commercial premises when initially applying for cover, then following any future claim, any payouts agreed will be subject to reductions by what is called ‘average’.

Average will reduce the claim payout proportionally by the amount of under-insurance of the declared value from the actual current rebuilding costs. For example if your premises costs 150,000 to rebuild and you have declared the sum insured at 120,000, your claim will be reduced by a fifth.

If allowances are not made for all the costs of rebuilding, including those that may not at first be apparent, when applying for a commercial property insurance quote, then it is more than likely that the premises will be under-insured.

Commercial buildings cover may or may not include cover for fees for architects, surveyors or consultant engineers that may be required before rebuilding work can be commenced. These will usually work alongside any loss adjusters appointed by the insurer to minimise costs and agree any rebuilding proposals. Insurance companies will not pay rates for fees above those set by the governing professional trade bodies.

It is important to establish whether professional fees are included in the policy cover and if not, add an amount to cover these to the declared sum insured. When doing so be aware that these professions usually charge a very high hourly rate, and inflation should be allowed for.

Another area that can often cause disagreement between an insured and an insurance company following total loss of the premises, is that of debris removal and clearance of the site in preparation to rebuild.

Most commercial policies will include a section outlining the insurance companies responsibility as regards the insured premises site clearance and debris removal. This typically includes cover for dismantling and demolishing buildings, shoring and propping up dangerous or adjacent buildings and site clearance. More often than not the amount for this is included in the sum insured, in which case this should be calculated and also added in to the rebuilding cost at proposal.

Debris clearance can be extremely expensive, especially if for example hazardous building materials such as asbestos have to be removed, or if the site was storing chemicals or dangerous machinery that have to be treated and removed by specialist clean-up teams.