Most private drivers, when choosing a policy look at the bare bones of the plan: premium, payout, and deductable. However, when you have a business, the specific coverage components of your policy are more important because these special provisions are a big part of going for a commercial auto insurance policy.

Here are the different components of the small business auto insurance plan:

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a basic necessity in every US state. The point of liability protection is to protect you, financially and legally, in the event of a collision that causes property damage or bodily harm to the other party. Everyone who puts his or her car on a public road should have this insurance because being hit by an uninsured driver turns a quick ambulance ride into a mountain of debt for the injured party. While uninsured drivers can be held legally responsible, they can only pay as much out of pocket as they have, and often this payout only occurs after a drawn-out personal injury lawsuit.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection is not required in most states, but is a good idea. This coverage protects you from the financial burden of medical bills of injuries resulting from any collision, but most importantly collisions wherein you were either hit by an uninsured driver or you were deemed “at fault.”  Some personal injury protection even covers lost wages if you have an extended hospital stay. Another name for this type of coverage is “no fault” insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Protection

Uninsured Motorist Protection is a more narrowly tailored protection than that of personal injury protection. Unlike personal injury protection, it covers both property and bodily damage, but only in the event that the other motorist is at fault, and uninsured.

Bodily Injury Insurance

Bodily injury insurance is the component of liability insurance that covers the bodily injuries inflicted upon the other party in a collision. An important factor in bodily injury coverage is the limit. Most insurance agencies only cover bodily injuries up to a certain monetary value, after which you will be required to go to court and negotiate with the injured party to resolve the claim.

Property Damage Insurance

Like bodily injury coverage, property damage insurance is another component of liability insurance that covers collateral property damage in an “at fault” collision. Again, similar to bodily injury insurance, this coverage only goes up to a given monetary limit before you are held culpable for remuneration. In addition, this type of insurance covers stolen vehicle replacement, and unresolved “hit and run” property damage to your company’s car.

Medical Payment Insurance

Medical payment insurance works with your medical insurance to cover any ongoing medical and physical therapy costs not covered by your regular personal injury protection, L & I, or medical insurance policy for injuries resulting from a collision. This coverage is an important protection for your employees so that they can continue to work after they have been injured on the job.

Non-Owned Vehicle Insurance

Non-owned vehicle insurance covers vehicles that are damaged on your business’s property or in your care. For instance, if you are a tow-truck company, and a vehicle that you are shipping or towing gets damaged in your care, this coverage will protect your business from having to pay directly to the other party.

Individual Named Endorsement

This is the part of a plan that covers your company car, should you or your employees choose to take the car home, or on any non-business related ventures. This coverage is important for family businesses, and helps to cover grey areas of usage.  In any cargo or trucking industry, this type of insurance is called “non-trucking liability coverage” or “bobtail insurance.”

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Motor truck cargo insurance covers the cost of damaged cargo. For instance, if you have a shipment of cargo that is broken in a collision, then the lost revenue to replace the cargo will be covered by the insurance company. In addition, if your cargo load is dumped on the road in such a collision, the policy will cover the cost of clearing the road free of debris and pollutants in the case of chemical leaks. This type of insurance is required for transporting waste and hazardous chemicals in most states. Often this sort of insurance will require that your employees obtain a special commercial driver license so check your local regulations.

Special Vehicle Insurance

Special vehicle insurance will almost always require a commercial driver license. This type of coverage is specifically tailored to work vehicles that might be brought on the road such as farm equipment, construction equipment, snow plows, forklifts etc.

Whatever plan you choose, make sure that you have the correct policy components for the vehicles you utilize.