What is Commercial Auto Insurance?
California businesses that own vehicles are generally required to insure those vehicles, and personal auto insurance policies usually aren’t sufficient. For insuring business-owned vehicles, there’s commercial auto insurance.
Commercial auto insurance are similar to personal auto policies in many ways, but there also are important points where commercial policies diverge from personal ones. Commercial policies have been adapted to better meet the needs of businesses, which may require insuring different kinds fo vehicles, insuring multiple vehicles or providing higher limits.
What California businesses should carry Business Auto Insurance?
In general, most California businesses that own vehicles should carry business auto insurance. Not insuring vehicles is often a violation of state law, and it also can leave businesses dangerously exposed to financial risks associated with accidents and other incidents.
Some businesses that likely need business auto policies include:
- Food trucks and caterers
- Taxis, coach buses and limousines
- Medical transport companies and ambulances
- Fire departments and police departments
- Last-mile and local delivery companies
- Regional, national and international trucking companies
- Tradespeople and contractors with commercially registered vehicles
Do restaurants that offer delivery need Business Auto Insurance?
Whether restaurants that offer delivery need business auto insurance depends on how their delivery service is set up. When insurance is necessary, what type of insurance should be purchased depends on who owns the delivery vehicles.
Restaurants that use online delivery services generally don’t need to purchase a business auto policy. Although the delivery vehicles should still be insured, this responsibility generally falls to the delivery service and/or vehicle owner.
Restaurants that directly offer delivery usually should have a business auto policy. A standard business auto policy is likely appropriate if the restaurant actually owns the delivery vehicles. If drivers’ personal vehicles are used for deliveries, a hired and non-owned business auto policy may be sufficient.
What is Hired and Non-Owned Business Auto Insurance?
Hired and non-owned auto insurance policies are specialized policies for situations where a business uses vehicles but doesn’t actually own those vehicles. The insurance normally provides liability coverage in the event of an accident, but coverage for the vehicles themselves often isn’t included. Instead, making sure the vehicles are insured against damage falls to the vehicle owners.
Businesses that might need hired and non-owned coverage should speak with an insurance broker who specializes in business auto policies. A broker who knows these policies well will be able to confirm that hired and non-owned coverage is sufficient, and they can help compare different policies that offer the coverage.
What protections are available through Commercial Auto Policies?
Most commercial auto policies make several protections available, often including:
- Personal Injury Coverage: May cover injuries to company drivers and their passengers
- Bodily Injury Coverage: May cover injuries to pedestrians and people in other vehicles
- Collision Coverage: May cover damage to company vehicles occurring during accidents
- Comprehensive Coverage: May cover damage to company vehicles occurring during other incidents
- Property Damage Liability Coverage: May cover damage to other vehicles and property
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage: May cover accidents involving underinsured drivers
There are still more coverages that policies can offer. A broker can help review all available protections.
How can California businesses get Commercial Auto Insurance?
For help insuring commercial vehicles in California, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers have the expertise necessary to help you find the best available commercial auto insurance policies, and we can recommend those best policies regardless of what company is offering them. With our assistance, you can be confident that your business’ vehicles are well insured.