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Fleet Auto Insurance

If your business depends on several vehicles to succeed and run the business then you should look into fleet auto insurance. This essential coverage can make the difference between the success and failure of your business if something happens to the vehicles owned by the business.

As a form of commercial insurance, Fleet coverage is great option if the business needs to insure more than two vehicles. This type of automotive insurance can be used to cover cars, trucks, van, and any form of motor vehicle that requires a license to drive it. Not all auto-insurance companies offer fleet insurance. But it is important for business owners to compare policies with multiple carriers before making a choice on insurance.

Fleet Insurance – Full Coverage

Full coverage for fleet insurance means that you get collision, comprehensive, and basic liability insurance which will cover making repairs or replacing the vehicle in the event of an accident, as well as covering medical and property damage for your drivers or employees, and for those injured by your vehicles, up to the policies stated limits. Collision coverage covers moving vehicle accidents; comprehensive coverage protects the vehicle from theft, acts of flooding or hail, or any damage that occurs when the vehicle isn’t being driven.

With fleet insurance there are some companies that will allow you to cover all the vehicles with the same coverage and limits, or you can pick and choose each vehicle’s coverage depending on the use and your needs.

Fleet insurance may also be designed to cover temporary replacement if one of the business vehicles can’t be used for any reason. You may also be able to cover vehicles that are out of use and garaged due to business downturn or seasonal fluctuations. Full coverage premiums are typically higher than other types of fleet insurance policies but the coverage it provides may be what you need to protect the business.

Fleet Insurance – Liability Coverage

Liability only fleet insurance only covers property damage and medical care for third parties. This does not cover replacement or repair of your vehicle, nor does it cover the driver’s medical expenses. This type of fleet insurance is meant to only cover the medical costs incurred by those whom you might injure, or to reimburse others for property damage caused by your vehicles.

Typically liability only insurance is an option if you own the vehicles out right and aren’t paying a lender. If you have a lender for your vehicles you will most likely be required by the lending company to carry full coverage on the fleet.

Fleet Insurance – Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance is an option you can add to any policy and this type of insurance coverage can save the company time, money, and often customers. The intent of this coverage is to provide emergency assistance in the event the driver is disabled on the roadside. Abandoned vehicles are often invitations to theft and vandalism, keeping the driver with the vehicle while expecting assistance may save your business a great deal of trouble. Roadside assistance fleet insurance includes towing, mechanical help, and more. This can help keep your vehicles moving, your drivers serving customers, instead of having both sitting on the side of the road.

Fleet Insurance Requirements

The carrier that you choose to provide your fleet insurance will give you guidelines that will govern the payment of claims and the ability for your company to use the insurance. For instance, you will be given licensing requirements for drivers, which means any driver you hire must have the correct type of driver’s license. The cost of your insurance will depend on the driving record of the hired drivers.

Your fleet insurance will go up if your drivers have at fault accidents and speeding citations on their record. Age will also play into the costs as younger, less experienced drivers and elderly drivers will also force your insurance premium higher.

There are also options that will help reduce your fleet auto insurance premium. This includes parking unused vehicles in a protected area like a shop or fenced parking lot, which may help lower the cost of your fleet insurance. You might also include anti-theft systems, combining fleet auto insurance with other business policies, and looking into a combined deductible program instead of carrying deductibles on each individual vehicle.

Summary

There are many possible coverage options for fleet auto insurance. It is important to research and get several quotes from three or more insurance carriers on the same options, choose the carrier that you are interested in and then make sure you individualized the policy to meet your needs. The state you live in may also have some minimum requirements that you need to consider in your policy, as may any lenders that you have on the vehicles.

For online insurance quotes for fleet auto insurance, see here.

Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

Choosing a commercial auto insurance company or agent should be based on items such as stability, service, and price. Often agents or providers will offer different programs and policies from several insurers.

The price of the policy can vary from one insurer to the next and yet the coverage is the same. Check with several insurers before choosing the best policy. Once you’ve compared the pricing, check to make sure the insurance company is stable. You can do this by checking insurance rating at services like A.M. Best. You want a company with a rating of B+ or better.

Check reviews and the better business bureau to insure the insurance company holding your policy has an excellent customer service rating. You will also need to ensure that the company you choose has a brick and mortar location and is registered to sell insurance in your state. You can check this out by searching your state’s insurance department online. They should have a website that provides this information.

Understand Policy Options

Once you’ve chosen a couple of insurance companies, make sure you have the agent or brokers explain policy options that may benefit your business. For instance:

  • There are sometimes ways to combine vehicle deductibles on your commercial insurance if your business insures multiple vehicles. A single deductible endorsement allows you to pay only one deductible if a catastrophe occurs, taking out several of your commercial vehicles. Having this endorsement allows you to only pay one deductible, instead of one for each vehicle.
  • Or you may want to pursue unlisted vehicle coverage as an option if you need to expand your commercial insurance policy protection to vehicles you rent, or even to employee vehicles, if they use them for work. This may be advantageous for food delivery companies.
  • If your business is a sole proprietorship, you may benefit from an individual named insured endorsement. This endorsement works when you, your spouse, or related members of your household use rented, leased, or borrowed vehicles for business or commercial use.

Commercial Auto Insurance Providers

You may want to consider choosing a company that has been in business for at least ten years, they may not provide the cheapest premium, but they typically offer additional services that make up for the difference in cost. Some of the established insurance companies that offer commercial auto insurance include:

  • Progressive – Which offers not only commercial auto insurance through agencies and brokers, but they also provide commercial auto loans. This company was founded over sixty years ago.
  • GEICO – Not many realize that GEICO started as the Government Employees Insurance Company. It is now open to insure anyone in all fifty of the United States. GEICO has been in business for seventy-five years.
  • Liberty Mutual – Is another company with almost ninety years of experience. They also provide personal auto, life, and home insurance.
  • AIG or American International Group – Has operations in the US and over one hundred other countries. This world leader offers insurance as well as retirement plans, asset management, and other financial services.
  • Safeco Insurance – is available through a network of agents and brokers that stretches across the United States. They have been in business since 1923.
  • Mercury Insurance Group – has been offering affordable commercial insurance products for over forty-five years.
  • Nationwide – Began in 1925, but changed the name to Nationwide in 1955. This company is one of the largest commercial insurance providers in the world.
  • AAA Insurance – Is actually a non-profit lobby group offering car insurance. This American Automobile Association was founded over a hundred years ago and they can help you find an agent for commercial auto insurance.

These aren’t the only good insurance companies available that provide commercial auto insurance. There are others available that can provide the service and coverage that you need for your business.

Summary

Finding the best commercial auto insurance company can take a little research. You want a company that is registered and has a physical presence in your state, who has a good rating, and who has been in business for at least ten years. The big players in the industry include companies like Progressive, GEICO, and Nationwide. You can start your search by going online and getting several competitive commercial insurance quotes at one time. This can be done here.

It is important that your agent or broker understand your business and what you use the vehicles for in order to give you the best quote and talk to you about commercial insurance options that will benefit your business. The more they know about you and your business, the more they can make suggestions on ways to keep the costs down and increase coverage on your commercial vehicles. Sometimes combining a commercial policy with other insurance policies can also bring your company savings.

Cheap Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial vehicle insurance is meant to provide coverage for business owners and their employees while utilizing business vehicles. This may include insurance for commercial drivers, and business owners that have employees make deliveries or provide transportation, like pizza delivery or a senior shuttle service.

Many states will require companies that use a vehicle for their business to carry a specific limit of commercial liability. Whether your state does or not, you should consider cheap commercial vehicle insurance to protect your business or private assets if there is an auto accident and you or your employee is found to be at fault.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance is typically used to insure the following types of vehicles when they are used for business purposes:

  • Passenger car, bus, or van
  • Mini, cargo, or delivery van
  • Trucks – pickup, box, or straight truck, agricultural truck, fifth wheel truck, semi-truck, flatbed truck, car carrier, tow truck, refrigerated truck, garbage truck
  • Catering truck or van, ice cream truck
  • Cement mixer
  • Hearse
  • Motor home used for commercial purposes
  • Limousine
  • Sport utility vehicle or SUV
  • Wheelchair enabled bus or van

Make sure to enquire if there are policy limits or exclusions depending on the vehicle type. Some insurance companies will only offer physical damage coverage for vehicles like garbage trucks. It is important to understand the type and amount of coverage available for each of the commercial vehicles, prior to purchasing the business’s auto insurance policy.

What Is Covered?

Commercial vehicle insurance typically includes liability insurance, collision and comprehensive coverage, and underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Commercial drivers need to check and see what insurance the company carries so they can figure out if they should buy additional insurance.

Often companies or professional drivers will want to buy more liability insurance than the required minimum because often if there is a serious accident the minimum liability insurance won’t cover all repair and medical expenses. If the insurance policy doesn’t cover all the damage caused, than the rest will have to be paid by the driver or the company.

Insurance companies will help you determine the amount of liability insurance needed to cover the type of business you have and how much and what kind of driving you do. Often insurance professionals will recommend increasing your liability coverage.

Commercial Insurance Rates

Many different factors will go into determining the rate you pay for your commercial insurance coverage. You many qualify for discounts based on personal auto policies, for having a clean driving record, or buy combining multiple vehicles in one policy. Compare commercial vehicle insurance rates online here.

This online comparison tool while allow you to check rates by state. You will need to know the type of business entity your company is, for instance sole-proprietorship or what type of corporation. You will also need to know the number of years you’ve been in business, how many owners, part and full time employees, and sub-contractors you have that might drive company vehicles, and have contact information.

Eventually you will need to provide the age and personal drivers license number of all drivers, the type of drivers license each driver has, the vehicle makes and models as well as the Vehicle identification numbers or VIN numbers for all vehicles, the type of cargo carried or number of passengers each vehicle transports, and the annual mileage each vehicle is driven.

Insurance agents then figure out the risks for covering your commercial vehicles and give you a quote on the cost of the insurance policy.

The Insurance Department in your state can make recommendations for commercial insurance or you can talk to your personal auto insurance provider and get a quote for coverage that may include a multi-policy discount.

Drivers Make a Difference

The age, type of drivers’ license, and driving record of all drivers will make a difference in the price of your insurance policy. The insurance company will actually determine the risk of each driven and some will offer a discounted rate for those drivers who have a clean driving history and/or a commercial driver’s license.

Vehicles Make a Difference

Another thing that will make a difference in the cost of you commercial vehicle insurance is the make, model, and year of the vehicles you are insuring. Just as with personal insurance, if you haven’t already purchased your vehicles you may want to find out which models have lower insurance costs due to their safety rating. If the vehicles have added safety features, such as anti-theft devices, make sure that your insurance company has this information.

Other Information

If you have current insurance and are getting a competitive quote, make sure to provide the companies who are quoting insurance a copy of the declarations page from your existing policy or policies. If your company is a sole-proprietorship, offering the declarations page of your personal insurance coverage showing consistent coverage may save you money. The more information you provide, the more you may be able to save when you get cheap commercial vehicle insurance.