What is Commercial Auto Insurance?
Businesses that own cars, trucks or other vehicles generally need insurance for those vehicles, but they usually can’t get personal auto policies for commercially registered vehicles. Instead, Massachusetts businesses normally need to cover their company-owned vehicles with commercial auto insurance.
Commercial auto insurance policies are similar to personal auto policies in many ways, but there also are important differences between the two. Commercial policies are typically adapted to meet the needs of companies rather than individuals, and they sometimes include higher limits or different coverage definitions to do so. Additionally, commercial policies frequently can insure anywhere from one to many vehicles at the same time.
What Massachusetts Businesses Need Business Auto Insurance?
Most vehicles driven on public roads in Massachusetts, regardless of whether the vehicles’ registration is personal or commercial, must be insured per state law. Therefore, the vast majority of businesses in the state that have vehicles need insurance for their vehicles.
Some examples of businesses that likely need to procure commercial auto coverage include:
- Limousine and taxi cab companies
- Plumbers, electricians and HVAC businesses
- Caterers and food trucks
- Morticians and funeral homes
- Local delivery services
Do Businesses That Rely on Employees’ Vehicles Need Their Own Auto Insurance?
Businesses that rely on employees’ vehicles, such as pizzerias that have employees make deliveries using personal cars, may need a specific type of business auto insurance called “hired and non-owned” coverage. This coverage typically provides a business with liability protections while vehicles the business doesn’t own, such as employees’ vehicles, are used for work-related driving.
Do Rideshare Drivers Need Business Auto Insurance?
Drivers who earn money through a rideshare service frequently need some form of business auto coverage because such driving normally isn’t considered personal driving. An insurance agent who specializes in business auto coverage will be familiar with the various commercial policies available and can recommend one that’s suitable for this situation.
What Coverages Do Commercial Auto Policies Come With?
Commercial auto policies come with a range of standard and optional coverages. Some coverages that a business may be required or want to include in their policies are:
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which normally covers injuries to people not inside an insured vehicle
- Personal Injury Coverage, which usually covers injuries to people inside an insured vehicle
- Property Damage Liability Coverage, which usually covers damage to other vehicles and property
- Collision and Comprehensive Coverage, which usually covers damage to an insured vehicle
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which usually covers hit-and-runs and accidents caused by improperly insured drivers
(Exact coverages and protections frequently vary from one policy to another.)
Are Commercial Auto Discounts Available to Businesses?
Just as there are many discounts available for personal auto policies, insurers often also a variety of discounts on commercial auto policies. Depending on their insurer and situation, businesses might be able to take advantage of premium reductions for:
- Paying a policy’s premium in its entirety at the start of the policy
- Only hiring drivers who have a commercial driver’s license
- Avoiding an auto insurance claim for a set amount of time
- Bundling commercial auto coverage with one or more additional coverages
- Being in business for a minimum number of years
How Can Businesses in Massachusetts Get Commercial Auto Insurance?
For help finding commercial auto insurance, contact the team of independent insurance agents at Flavin & Flavin Insurance. Our team members have worked with Massachusetts businesses of all sizes, and they have the expertise necessary to help you find the right commercial auto policy for your business’ particular situation.