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Commercial Auto Insurance for All Vehicles

Auto insurance is a must for all drivers, owing to laws all across the country mandating coverage for every car and every vehicle. For most of us, this means purchasing a personal auto policy for ourselves and anyone else in the household who owns or drives a vehicle. However, personal auto policies are not always sufficient. There are situations in which commercial policies are needed, because the coverage afforded by personal plans is insufficient or does not apply in these cases. If you use a vehicle for commercial purposes, it must have commercial auto insurance, even if it is your own personal vehicle.

Commercial Use Creates Higher Risk

One of the reasons why auto insurance providers will not allow people to simply carry personal insurance coverage on their personal vehicles when they are being used for commercial purposes is that the risk of loss goes up due to this different type of vehicle use. For example, pickup trucks used for the transport of heavy equipment to a job site are more likely to crash or experience other troubles due to the increased load on the truck. Stopping distances are affected. The truck may be more prone to roll over depending on how the weight in the back is distributed. Any number of things could increase that risk when a privately owned vehicle goes into use for commercial purposes.

Commercial auto insurance policies have much higher limits than most standard personal policies for just this reason. This is incentive to get auto owners to switch, because a driver or owner of a truck can actually be much better protected as far as insuring the vehicle is concerned with a commercial policy. Higher liability limits in particular are very important because of this increased risk taken on when these vehicles are on the road in this particular business context. In most cases, companies are also encouraged to have company specific policies so that individuals who are authorized by the company to drive these vehicles can be specifically listed in the paperwork. This also applies to drivers taking vehicles home after work. Business owners who allow certain workers to driver trucks home must have commercial coverage on those trucks or they might risk denial of a claim or even cancellation in the event of an accident.

Check Records of Prospective Drivers

Because there is such an emphasis when it comes to commercial policies on listing out all the drivers on a policy, it is strongly recommended that companies first screen the driving records of those drivers whom they are considering adding to their policy. This makes them aware of driving history and the potential impact of a poor driving record on their rates going forward, and helps them to more accurately predict who might be most at risk to make mistakes behind the wheel in a commercial context. Driving even normal medium duty trucks turns into quite a chore when heavy loads are involved. Companies must choose drivers who can handle the responsibility. Extra training is strongly encouraged to avoid claims and resulting less affordable rates. Rechecking the driving records of all drivers once a year should be standard practice as well.

Employee Accidents at Work

When an employee driver gets into an accident while driving a work vehicle, ideally the company will have that company specific policy in place already to take care of the claim. This coverage can be withdrawn if it is found that the employee was driving the vehicle outside the confines of his normal permission to do so, such as sneaking in on the weekend and borrowing a truck without asking first. Additionally, it is fairly routine to have employees submit to a drug and alcohol screen following any auto accident. This simply covers the company and ensures that they are not paying higher rates based on the driving behaviors of a substance abuser behind the wheel.

Employees who use their own vehicle for work purposes are normally covered under a company commercial policy, but it is best to check with an agent or consult your paperwork before agreeing to let an employee take her own vehicle out to a job site or to make a delivery or other work centered activity. Companies should use caution here as well, because employees can sometimes come back and sue companies for excessive uncompensated wear and tear to their vehicles as a result of work use.

Non owned vehicle auto coverage is the best solution to prevent these problems. Any damage sustained can be dealt with through an insurance claim. Every vehicle that is used for any work related purpose needs to be covered one way or another on the company's commercial auto insurance policy. Keeping up commercial car insurance for all vehicles is extremely important.

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