If you own a business that involves deliveries or otherwise uses cars or trucks to provide a service or help produce a product, you’re no doubt looking for an insurance package that will give you the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Because your vehicle insurance is simply another expense, you want to be able to get a reasonable rate so it doesn’t cut too far into your profit margin. Following are a few tips for buying commercial auto insurance.
Among other things, you need to make sure that your insurance package stipulates business coverage. Although buying an insurance policy for your commercial vehicles is similar to buying any other type of insurance, there are differences. When you’re shopping for coverage, make sure you let the agent know you’re looking for commercial vehicle coverage and not for private cars or trucks–the liability limits will probably need to be much higher.
A good way to begin the shopping process is to go online and get some quotes from insurance companies that do business over the Internet. If you go to someplace, you can shorten the procedure because you will be able to compare quotes from multiple sources on this one website. Fill out the online forms–making sure you’re getting quotes for commercial vehicles–and use those quotes for comparison.
After you’ve gotten a few online quotes that seem to give you the coverage you want at a price that seems appropriate, you should continue your search by contacting a couple of independent insurance agents. An independent agent doesn’t work for any one company, but rather has contacts with a number of insurance companies. This can work to your advantage because an independent agent will browse through his insurance connections and try and find the best possible price for you. Because an independent agent has access to coverage packages from various companies he should be able to get you a good rate. But don’t sign any papers yet.
Contact Your Own Agent
Before you decide on any insurance package–even if you’ve received a quote that provides decent coverage at exceptionally good rates–it would be a good idea to contact the agent you presently do business with–you undoubtedly already have a home, health, auto, and life insurance coverage. In most cases, a company that you’ve been with for an extended period of time will bend over backward to meet or beat a competitor’s price. Insurance companies often offer discounts to longtime customers, as well. There may also be group insurance rate packages available. Ask your agent about potential discounts, and find out what the qualifications are in order to be eligible for them. Only after you’ve considered all your options, should you actually sign a policy.
Types of Coverage
Basically, you need the same type of coverage you would need for your personal vehicle, only more so. You will need liability insurance to protect against bodily injury and property damage. You will need coverage that provides medical costs for personal injury to your driver or any passengers. You will also need to make sure that any special equipment on the vehicle, such as winches or toolboxes, are listed on the policy.
If you go to the trouble of installing the latest safety features in your commercial vehicles, you could be eligible to receive discounts on your insurance policy. This includes putting in anti-theft devices and providing safe driving courses for your employees. You should also make sure the vehicles adequately and routinely serviced as well.
Keep in mind that insuring mature drivers will cost significantly less than getting coverage for younger drivers. Although it may sound prejudicial, the simple fact is that the majority of accidents involve drivers under the age of 25.
As with any other type of insurance policy, the higher the deductible you carry the lower your rates are going to be. Commercial vehicles are no different. If you choose to carry a somewhat higher deductible remember that if you file a claim the deductible will have to be paid before the insurance company will cut you a check.