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Business Auto Insurance
As a business owner, it is essential that you protect all assets of your business, including the vehicles that are owned, used, maintained or stored throughout the day-to-day operations of your company. It is important to understand that a personal auto policy will not cover any vehicles that are used for business operations; therefore, a commercial auto insurance policy is recommended.
This policy encompasses coverage for liability exposures, direct damage to your vehicle, and medical-related expenses that may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of an accident involving a company vehicle, having an efficient commercial auto policy in place will provide you with compensation and peace of mind.
Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage
Depending on your business needs, a business auto policy can cover for a single vehicle or a fleet of vehicles. Types of business vehicles that can be covered include:
- Passenger vehicles
- Van, Pickups, and SUV’s
- Flatbeds and State Trucks
- Box Trucks
Recommended Vehicle Insurance Coverage Options
There are several optional coverages that can be added to your policy, which allow you to customize it based on your specific business operations. Below are additional coverages Ruhl Insurance recommends most businesses add to their policy:
- Hired Auto Insurance. This optional coverage protects you as the business owner in the event that an employee would have an accident while using a borrowed car for business purposes. It covers bodily injury and property damage to the other person involved in the accident.
- Non-Owned Auto Insurance. If an accident is caused by your employee in his/her personal vehicle while driving for business purposes, this type of insurance protects your business. Non-owned auto insurance covers bodily injury and property damage to the other person/vehicle involved.
- Underinsured. This coverage is to protect you in the event an accident occurs and the other party does not have sufficient coverage to cover the claim, leaving you to pay for the outstanding losses and damages.
- Uninsured. By adding this coverage, you will be compensated in the event an accident occurs and the other party does not have insurance to pay for the losses and damages.
Visit Ruhl’s blog for more on the differences between uninsured and underinsured coverage, as well as information on minimizing risks with hired and non-owned auto insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Commercial Auto insurance?
Any vehicles that are used for business are not covered under a Personal Auto Policy. When you have a Commercial Auto Policy, you are covered for property damage, injury, and liability claims that may transpire.
Are there any businesses or vehicles Ruhl Insurance does not ensure?
At Ruhl Insurance, we have markets for almost all types of commercial use vehicles. Depending on the mileage radius and the type of cargo you are hauling (including whether or not you are hauling for others), the company options may become more, or less, limited. Providing all applicable information to your agent can help in placing your business auto insurance coverage with a carrier who can properly insure all your risk exposures.
What specific coverages do I need for my business autos?
Specific coverages are written on a Business Auto Insurance Policy by adding "symbols" to the policy. For example, hired and non-owned vehicle liability coverage can be placed on a policy by adding symbols 8 and 9. If you are renting or borrowing a vehicle, or your employee used their own vehicle on behalf of your business, symbols 8 and 9 should be added to your policy to avoid coverage gaps and uncovered claims. Other symbols apply to different situations and your individual needs can be determined through a detailed conversation with a Ruhl Insurance Agent.
How many vehicles and drivers will Ruhl Insurance insure?
There is no limit to the number of vehicles and/or drivers when requesting a commercial auto policy. Although the insurance company may have additional questions if the number of vehicles significantly outnumbers the listed drivers on the policy, this in no way jeopardizes the coverage provided under the business auto policy.
If an employee use a company-owned vehicle for personal use, am I covered? Is my employee covered?
From time to time, employees may use an employer’s vehicle for personal use. Many times, this situation will occur when the employer owns trucks, trailers, or other vehicles used for transporting items. The commercial auto policy does provide coverage for the owner of the vehicle in these circumstances. However, the standard business auto policy does not provide protection for the employee personally. Any protection for the employee personally would fall to the employee’s personal auto policy.
**NOTE: There are endorsements that could be added to the commercial auto policy to cover the employee under the commercial auto policy. This should be discussed with your Ruhl Insurance Agent.
Do I need to start a new policy to add a driver or a vehicle?
No, you can add a driver to your existing business auto policy by providing the name and license number of the proposed new driver. Keep in mind that the insurance company will obtain the employee’s driving record or MVR (Motor Vehicle Reports) to determine the risk the driver presents. Therefore, depending on the severity of the record, the insurance company may increase the policy premium, or even deny adding the driver. Ultimately, adding drivers with a clean driving record would be the most favorable for the policyholder and insurance company.
Do the first party benefits from my personal auto policy transfer to my commercial auto policy?
In the state of Pennsylvania, the first party benefits from your personal auto policy can follow you when you are driving a commercial vehicle. Medical payments for your employees who are driving a commercial vehicle for work-related purposes are covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance.