What is commercial auto insurance?
Whether you are an owner only artisan contractor or a company with a fleet of vehicles, commercial auto insurance is important to make sure that your company can still perform its duties in the event of a claim. Your commercial auto coverage protects you, the owner, and your employees in the event of an accident. From an employee backing into a parked vehicle to a major accident, your commercial auto insurance covers expenses that could be detrimental financially to your company. There are many additional coverages that can be added to a business auto policy, depending on the insurance provider, that can help in the event of a claim. Some of those include additional insured, waiver of subrogation and hired/non-owned coverage.
In many cases when dealing with a contract between you and your customer you are required to provide an additional insured endorsement on your business auto policy. What does this mean? Additional Insured simply means a person or organization can enjoy the benefits of being insured under an insurance policy, in addition to whoever originally purchased the insurance policy. This allows the additional insured the right to go straight to your insurance provider if needed. This endorsement is typically offered for an additional fee on the commercial auto policy and be purchased in a couple of different ways. The customer can purchase each additional insured individually, or if the customer needs to purchase multiple, they can purchase a blanket additional insured policy that allows the customer unlimited additional insureds during the policy period.
Waiver of Subrogation
Waiver of subrogation is another coverage that is being requested more in recent years. What is waiver of subrogation? A waiver of subrogation means that a party to a contract waives the right to allow someone (usually an insurance company) to sue the other party to the contract in case of a loss. This endorsement is much like the additional insured endorsement in that it can be purchased on a case by case basis or a blanket for as well.
Hired/non-owned coverage is important if you have employees using their own vehicles in the business, or you have to rent or lease a vehicle to complete a project. Hired/non-Owned coverage allows businesses to extend liability coverage to a rented or leased vehicle that the company may need to use for a short amount of time, and non-owned coverage extends liability coverage to the vehicle of an employee that is using their vehicle for job related purposes. This coverage is usually inexpensive and can be added to either the commercial auto policy or your general liability policy.
The use of personal vehicles for business is common. What most people are not aware is that your personal insurance may not cover your vehicle in the event of a loss if the vehicle is being used for business use. This is why it is important that you sit down with your agent and discuss the way you are using your vehicle and what coverages may need to be added. Commercial Auto insurance is an important part of keeping your business running smoothly and allowing your company to continue business as usual in the event of a claim. Each business is different, so visiting with your agent is important to make sure your business is protected the way it is supposed to be.