Commercial vehicle insurance provides peace of mind to small and large businesses that utilize trucks, vans or automobiles for business purposes. This type of commercial insurance is indispensable for the protection of companies and their employees operating in the scope of employment in that it provides coverage of medical care arising from bodily injury as well as vehicular and property loss or damage caused by uninsured motorists and accidents. Commercial vehicle insurance is also a financial life-saver in situations involving an employee's negligence while on the road and engaged in company business.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Commercial auto insurance and commercial van insurance are two sub-categories of commercial insurance. The former covers trucks, vans, pickups, and autos used in business which includes rented and non-owned vehicles.
Areas of Coverage
Coverage provided by the average commercial vehicle insurance policy includes the following:
- Comprehensive (i.e. broken glass, fire, theft)
- Medical payments
- Motor truck cargo
- Underinsured and uninsured motorists
- Property damage and liability
- Bodily injury and liability
Businesses need not pay an arm and a leg to obtain adequate coverage at an affordable rate. In some states, commercial vehicles are classified by type (i.e. passenger van, tow truck), while in others, they are classified on the basis of weight.
The cost of commercial vehicle insurance policies varies depending on the type of vehicle in question and its classification. Commercial vehicle insurance rates and premiums are based on multiple factors such as the following:
- Loss history and number of claims previously filed by the business
- Credit score of the business (the higher the rating, the lower the premium)
- Length of time that the company has been in business
- Type of vehicle used
- Vehicle classification and type
- Number of individuals using the vehicle
- Number of vehicles in the fleet
- Coverage limits (the lower the coverage amount, the lower the premium)
- Place where the vehicle is parked (a lower premium for cars parked in a secure parking lot or an indoor garage since these diminish the likelihood of theft)
- Presence of safety features such as daytime running lights, automatic seat belts, side air bags, and anti-lock brakes
- Geographic location, with higher premiums for businesses operating in regions subject to higher theft statistics, greater traffic congestion, or to extreme weather such as hurricanes and hail
- Amount of deductible (the lower the deductible, the higher the premium)
- Presence of anti-theft devices such as global positioning and alarm system (which lower insurance rates)
How to Obtain More Affordable Rates
There are numerous avenues that businesses can take to lower their commercial insurance premiums:
- Request commercial insurance quotes
It is recommended that companies compare rates both online and offline in order to find the package that best fits their circumstances. Since rates vary from one insurer to the next, it pays to shop around. Consumers may obtain free commercial insurance quotes from top insurance companies offering competitive insurance rates. To receive an accurate quote, businesses need simply enter the following information: 1) birth date, 2) driver's license number, 3) zip code, 4) vehicle type and make, 5) description of business, 6) type of business, 7) email and address, and 8) company name.
- Enroll in a defensive driving course
Businesses should inquire about defensive driving discounts from commercial vehicle insurance providers. One way for companies to lower premium costs is to offer training in vehicle crash prevention to their employees. Numerous commercial vehicle insurers offer discounts to businesses whose employees enroll and complete a defensive driving course. Generally, policyholders can obtain as much as a 10 percent discount for a period of three years following termination of the course. Online defensive driving classes in both English and Spanish are available through the National Safety Council.
- Gain CDL experience
- Show a clean driving record
Businesses whose employees boast a clean driving history can avail themselves of a discount from their commercial vehicle insurance provider.
- Choose an insurance-friendly vehicle
Companies should ask their insurer which vehicles are the least costly and most affordable to insure. Oftentimes, they can save a considerable amount by purchasing or leasing safer vehicles for their fleet since these lower the insurance premium on medical payment and liability coverage.
- Inquire about special group rebates on commercial vehicle insurance from associations such as the Chamber of Commerce
- Choose EFT payment
- Pay their insurance premium in full
- Find out if the insurer offers experienced commercial driver discounts or experienced business discounts
- Obtain a multi-policy discount.