Are you insuring your business fleet? Do you have vehicles in your business that need commercial auto insurance? If you want to keep costs down while protecting your assets, you need to know all of your options.
Insurance does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be confusing. Read on for our guide on choosing commercial auto insurance that is best for your business.
1. Understand Your Business Risks
Understanding the risks associated with the vehicles in your business can help lower your commercial auto insurance quote. Very few commercial transport businesses will have the same needs as you. If you can identify what you need to safeguard against and what you don’t need, it can get you a better quote and make your business more financially secure.
For example, some commercial auto insurance may cover you for passengers, while others may not need this. Some may cover you for goods in transit, while others may not. If you can think about the industry you are in and what you will be doing, you should make this known when getting quotes.
You must also consider the location your business is situated in. Geographical regions can often play a large factor in determining the price paid for insurance. If you are in a high crime area, for example, the increased chance of theft could push prices up.
2. Choosing Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage
Commercial auto insurance has a number of coverage options. Some of them may be essential to your operation, but you may not need some of them at all. By picking and choosing, you may be able to bring the costs down.
The main two types are collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage pays for accidental damage that occurs to your vehicle in a crash. Comprehensive also covers this, but also any non-crash-related accidents such as natural disasters, vandalism, or fires.
Rental reimbursement is essential if you need a vehicle to run your business. It will allow you to be reimbursed for any vehicle hire in the event of an accident which you may need to keep the business running.
Personal injury protection will cover the loss of income or medical costs for anyone in a business vehicle. This can be the driver or passengers, regardless of fault. Medical payment expenses are similar, but they only cover medical and funeral costs.
Liability coverage pays damages to others and their property. This is in the event that you are at fault.
Personal auto insurance will not cover you in the event of any mishaps. If you are found to be operating a business using personal auto insurance, you may lose coverage and have to pay legal fees as well as damages out of your own pocket.
3. Be Proactive
You can proactively cut costs within your organization with a few easy steps. The beauty of doing this is that you will be rewarded over time as you begin to renew your insurance.
The first step is to hire quality drivers. Make sure you conduct adequate background checks and deliver proper training. This will lead to fewer accidents, which will bring down the premium.
After this, spend some money on your fleet itself. Install safety devices, or use vehicles that have them installed. Automatic seat belts, anti-lock brakes, and airbags are just some features that may help to bring costs down.
In addition, you can consider adding aftermarket products to increase safety. Anti-theft devices and alarm systems are just some ideas that may help reduce your commercial auto insurance cost.
4. Do Your Homework
Commercial auto insurance is a very unique proposition. Two similar organizations may get very different quotes from the same providers, or you may find wildly different quotes from others. This is because each insurance provider will have different criteria and place more emphasis on certain aspects to come up with a final quote.
This is why it is worth shopping around. No one provider can claim to be the cheapest, as each case is judged on individual merit. If you choose to shop around you can find the quote that is best for your organization.
If using comparison sites, keep in mind that they take a commission for any commercial auto insurance quotes they give. This cost is passed on to you. By going direct to the insurance companies, you can get better deals.
Never overlook local insurance providers either. Though they may not be as well known, they may be able to provide competitive quotes and provide excellent customer service.
5. Don’t Skip Corners
When choosing commercial auto insurance, it may be tempting to go for the barebones. Especially if you are in the process of setting up a new business, you may be tempted to save some capital. However, you really should get the most comprehensive coverage you can afford.
Most states will have the minimum coverage required for business purposes. However, the more coverage you can afford, the more protected you will be if accidents do occur, which they inevitably will.
Also, do not leave insurance up to your drivers. Their insurance is personal, and you have no legal standing if they have an accident while working for you. This also applies to vehicles registered in your name under personal insurance that are used for business purposes.
Start Looking in Advance
When choosing commercial auto insurance, start your search early. This allows you to get more quotes. Leaving it late could mean you have to settle for what you have, which could not be the best deal.
Your first stop for all insurance needs should be Amistad Insurance. We are your one-stop local agency serving the North Carolina area. Contact us today for your auto insurance quote and let us safeguard your assets immediately!