Automotive Specialty Insurance

Vehicle And Fleet Auto

Whether you are a sole proprietor, multi state distributor or mass merchant, automobiles used in the course of your business add many benefits and carry their own unique exposures. The most important aspects of your business insurance program is auto liability . If your business uses a vehicle, or many vehicles, a commercial or business insurance policy is needed and will embody many aspects of your business. Therefore, you should work with an agent that understands your business model, and will take the time to structure adequate coverage accordingly.

Vehicle Ownership

The biggest difference between personal auto insurance and commercial auto insurance is personal auto insurance follows the registered driver and commercial insurance follows the registered vehicle. Therefore, careful consideration should be given when designated employee usage as even a minor accident can bring a financial burden to the registered company owner. In the end, it is strongly recommended that all vehicles scheduled on a business owners policy be registered to the company to ensure proper defense is afforded should an accident occur. Therefore, as your personal auto policy will exclude coverage for commercial uses of your vehicle, it is important that you read the definition and discuss this with your insurance agent. If there is any question, it is better to obtain a commercial auto policy so that, in case of an accident, there is no chance of being uninsured.

All to often businesses set up a leasing company to lease equipment to the main company and the leasing company is the titled owner of the vehicles. A common mistake is to identify the main company and not the leasing company as the titled owner on the policy. Or, the dba of the company and not the full name of the company is listed. You want the full name of the company as an insured, the titled owner, any affiliates, and dba, and all employees as insureds on your commercial auto policy.

Typical Coverage

A commercial auto policy utilizing the following coverage’s;

Coverage / Limit

  • Automobile Liability $1,000,000
  • Medical Payments $5,000
  • Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured $1,000,000
  • Comprehensive Stated Value /Actual Cash Value/Replacement Cost, Less $1,000 Ded.
  • Collision Stated Value /Actual Cash Value/Replacement Cost, Less $1,000 Ded.
  • Hired Auto Liability May be Included
  • Non Owned Auto Liability May be Included
  • Hired Physical Damage May be Included
  • Rental Car Reimbursement May be Included
  • Drive other Car Coverage May be Included
  • Garage Keepers Legal Liability May be Included

Auto Liability Symbols

When purchasing a commercial auto policy the following symbols will dramatically alter coverage;

#1 Any Auto – Will afford liability protection for claims brought against the registered company. These can be vehicles owned, leased, rented, loaned, used with or with out company consent. This is the broadest interpretation of the commercial liability coverage part.

#2 All Owned Vehicles – Only affords liability protection for vehicles owned by the registered owner.

#3 Owned Private Passenger Vehicles – Similar to #2 but only for PPV’s

#4 Owned Auto’s Other then PPV’s

#5 All Owned Auto’s that required No Fault Coverage

#6 Owned Auto’s Subject to Compulsory Uninsured Motorist Law

#7 Auto Specified on a Schedule

#8 Hired Auto’s – Vehicles rented by a named insured

#9 Non-Owned Auto’s – Third party individuals using their vehicle in the course of your business.

How Can You Lower Premium Costs for Business Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto business insurance premiums can be lowered by:

• Business Location - the location of the vehicles determines premiums for theft.

• Driver Records - hire only qualified drivers with safe driving records.

• Choice of Vehicle - sales people may want sports cars, but five-star safety rated, domestic, mid-sized sedans have the lowest premiums.

• Deductibles - can your business afford part of the risk and maintain a high deductible? If so, your premiums will be lower.

• Safety and Anti-Theft Devices - alarms, GPS tracking, air bags, seat belts, and other such devices can significantly lower premiums.

• Positive Loss History – If commercial coverage has been purchased and no losses have occurred for the past 5 years, a loss report / Loss Run can be ordered to support credits that will reduce your over all pricing.

Special Commercial Coverage’s and Considerations

Certain businesses must adhere to federal and state regulatory standards in the operations of their vehicles. For example, if your business will be hauling cargo interstate, there are specific Department of Transportation requirements for insurance that must be met. You will need to make sure you and your insurance professional have a thorough understanding of those requirements. Also, if you will be delivering or hauling for others or using other's equipment such as leased trailers or rental equipment, you will need hired or non-owned vehicle coverage and should consider scheduling said equipment to your commercial auto policy.

If you are considering or currently own vehicles that are used in the course of your automotive after market company, Alliant has turn key solutions that are broadly defined to specifically meet your needs at group pricing that will fit your budget.

Please contact Alliant today to discuss how they deliver commercial auto insurance solutions to member companies nationwide.

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