10 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Commercial Auto Insurance

Posted on March 23, 2017

There are several companies who utilize trucks, vans or cars for their businesses. With vehicles on the road, even for limited use, there are probabilities for accidents, and thus automobile insurance is required by law. Buying commercial auto insurance is non-negotiable!

What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?

With the right type of commercial auto insurance, your company’s coverage will include:

  • Property damage liability
  • Liability for bodily injury
  • Collision coverage for costs associated with an accident
  • Medical payments coverage for the cost of hospitalization, treatment and funeral expenses
  • Non-owned auto coverage for when you or your employees drive a rented vehicle
  • Loading and unloading liability
  • Towing and labor costs

Choosing the right commercial auto insurance might seem overwhelming and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be! A proficient insurance agent can assist you in buying commercial auto insurance and help you purchase the policy suitable for your business. To get the best coverage at the best rate, you should ask these 10 questions before buying your business auto insurance.

1. What Kind of Coverage Do You Need?

Before buying commercial auto insurance, ask your agent whether the policy will provide additional coverage for collisions and injuries. This will help cover the costs of if there is an accident. The coverage will pay for medical expenses and lost wages to the drivers. If employees are injured while riding in someone else’s car, it will cover their medical bills. Be sure to ask your agent what additional coverage you may need.

2. What Are Your Payment Options?

If you can afford it, it’s less expensive to pay your annual insurance premium in one lump sum. Most insurers provide discounts for those who do, or they tack a surcharge onto monthly payments. If a single annual payment stresses your budget, ask your agent whether you can pay monthly or bi-annually, and what it’ll cost you. Make sure to inquire about these options if you know it will be problematic to pay annually.

3. Does Your Firm Use Vehicles It Doesn’t Own?

For business purposes, your firm may use vehicles that it doesn’t own, like when an employee rents a car on a business trip. But, but if this employee is involved in an accident, there may be lawsuits against your firm. Therefore your business needs commercial auto insurance coverage even if it doesn’t own any vehicles. Ask your agent whether the policy that you are going to purchase covers hired and non-owned autos.

4. How Much Liability Coverage Is Needed?

Commercial insurance policies can offer combined liability limits that offer higher coverage than you can purchase with a personal auto policy. However, commercial insurance policies might have certain usage restrictions. Hence, making the right decision about a commercial auto insurance policy is extremely important for your financial future. For a better understanding of the right choice for you, discuss your specific situation with a licensed insurance professional.

5. How Much Does Your Insurance Policy Cover?

For general liability policies, there are two limits:

  • Aggregate limit includes the maximum amount that your policy will pay in a single year for all claims.
  • Occurrence limit refers to the amount your policy will pay for any single claim.

Make sure that you inquire from your commercial insurance agent about the policy limits of your commercial auto insurance.

6. What Will Your Deductible Be?

If you’re involved in an auto accident and file a claim, you are very likely to pay a certain amount of money out of pocket. This is the deductible before your insurance company pays the rest of the bill.
Carrying a higher deductible in exchange for a lower insurance premium can be a wise move. However, you should not set your deductible so high that you can’t afford to pay it after any car accident. Before investing in the policy, learn from your agent how to manage deductibles properly. Your insurance agent can also help you choose deductibles strategically.

7. What if You Need to Change the Coverage?

Sometimes, you need to change the coverage on your existing vehicles. Perhaps you decided to put a specific type of vehicle in storage for some time. Here, your insurance agent will be able to give you advice on your decision, and also make sure that the changes are processed correctly.

8. How to Submit a Claim?

Your agent can give you useful tips on making the claims process easier. While filing a claim, you may need to contact your insurance company’s claims department directly, and your insurance agent can guide you through the entire process. Also, inquire if there are any special requirements when filing a claim. In general, you provide general information like the number of injured people and witnesses in the accident, along with a detailed narration on the nature of the loss and amount claimed.

9. How to Reduce Your Commercial Vehicle Premium?

Your auto insurance broker will be the best bet to rely on for tips to curb the insurance premium. They can suggest many ways to decrease the premium, such as incorporating secure storage for commercial vehicles, hiring efficient drivers with good records, and recommending the types of vehicles bought. They can also teach you about GPS tracking, alarm systems and other anti-theft devices which can lower your premium.

10. What Are Your Legal Obligations?

If you are involved in a severe accident, you may be sued for a hefty sum by the other party involved. Your agent will tell you how the policy can provide significant coverage for your commercial vehicles. Also, ask them how to get additional coverage for the critical situations.

Making the Best Decision

Choosing a commercial auto policy based on the best value for your money is what matters, and the expert brokers at Crest Insurance Group can help you. Schedule a free consultation with us to ensure that you’re properly covered with the right commercial auto insurance policy for you and your business.

 

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