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Commercial auto insurance policies

What to consider when buying a commercial auto insurance policy in Florida. Tips on types of fleet insurance and what types of policies you may need.

If your business uses vehicles for commercial use to transport products or materials or for transportation of your employee while on the job you must have a commercial auto insurance policy to protect you and your business from liabilities or property damage just as you would for your personal automobiles.

Commercial auto insurance is available under two categories:
• Trucks and Tractor Trailers
• Passenger Automobiles and Trucks.

commercial auto insurance for boca raton businesses

Types of vehicles covered in a commercial auto policy
Vehicles for passengers are considered cars, pick up trucks, SUVs, minivans and wagons. For commercial trucks there are several classes which are based on gross vehicle weight (GVW). For instance a heavy duty pick up truck would be considered a light truck while a sanitation truck would be considered an extra heavy duty truck.

A fleet is considered more than 5 vehicles used in your business whether they are passenger vehicles or trucks combined. Always have the car or truck model, year and make as well as the gross vehicle weight before you search for a commercial auto insurance policy.

Who should be named on the policy?
If your company doesn’t own the vehicles it uses for commercial use you are still liable for lawsuits against you business. Commercial vehicles that fall under this category are ones that are leased, rented or borrowed and also owned by employees used for your business. These all must be insured by you to protect your business from future liability due to personal injury or property damage. This is called a “hired” or non-owned” coverage.

When insuring you commercial fleet or individual autos or trucks you must make sure that the owner of the vehicle and the entity leasing or borrowing the vehicle are both named as the insured.

Make sure your insurance broker allows you to have additional insured drivers when and if you need to add more drivers onto your policy. In this case you may have new hires operate the same vehicle on different shifts.

Other types of commercial auto insurance
Driver other car coverage
This is an important coverage you should have if you or your family uses the commercial vehicle for personal use while not doing business. This ensures you are still covered during this time of use.

• Bobtail Insurance Coverage
This should be added to your commercial tractor trailer to cover you when your driver has unloaded his trailer and continues in route back to his destination. This is called bobtailing or deadheading. Simply put, it means the semi tractor is driving without the trailer and the commercial use is considered over.

• Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
Don’t forget to insure the contents of you truck. Just as in a home insurance policy, you want to not just cover the house but all of its valuable contents. The same thing applies to commercial auto coverage. Cargo insurance coverage usually has limits on what is insured and also under what conditions the contents have been sacrificed such as theft or while the contents are unattended.

• Medical Auto Payments
This type of coverage may not be in your commercial auto insurance policy but should be added to protect your business from injury related medical expenses and to ensure the person affected is immediately taken care of in order to prevent future lawsuits related to the accident.

How are my commercial auto rates determined?
How your vehicle is used, the age of the insured commercial car or truck, make, model and the average distance traveled all are considered when you get quotes on rate premiums as well as the service area in which you fleet is used. In addition, regulations apply to the type of coverage and cost for your commercial auto insurance. If you leave the state that your vehicles is insured with or transport hazardous materials you must meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements to do so.

If your commercial vehicles have all the best safety features you can save money on your rates. Your employees that operate your commercial fleet should have a clean driving record which impacts rate premiums. Also make sure you cars and trucks are stored on a secure property that is protected from theft or vandalism. You deductible will also affect your rates with higher deductibles translating into lower premiums.

If you own a business you can save money on your commercial auto insurance by bundling your commercial property insurance, and business owners insurance package into one. Contact your Blue Sky representative to thoroughly review your commercial auto insurance coverages so that you are protected in every situation that may arise. Ask about our Florida car insurance policies for personal use as well.

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