The road is a dangerous place. And if driving is an essential part of your business, you have special risks that many other businesses don’t. Your whole operation can be at the mercy of poor road conditions, heavy traffic, foul weather and crazy drivers. When you add uninsured drivers, vandalism and a litigious culture into the mix, the risks and potential costs only escalate.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a robust risk management strategy for business use of vehicles. And that means having the best commercial auto insurance coverage.
What exactly is the best commercial auto insurance?
In short, it’s coverage that fits your business and is there when you need it most. How do you make sure you get the best commercial auto insurance? Here are 10 tips:
- Hire smart, conduct background checks and properly train drivers. It’s the first step toward road safety and affordable insurance.
- Understand your unique risks. Take stock of your operation, your vehicle use and every risk scenario. Do you deliver food? Transport clients? Haul construction equipment? Every operation has unique hazards.
- Know your needs. If you occasionally use a vehicle for business purposes, expanding your personal auto coverage might suffice. If you only use rental vehicles, hired auto coverage is necessary. If your employees regularly use personal vehicles for business use, non-owned auto coverage is essential.
- Get as much coverage as you can afford. Every state has minimum coverage requirements, but your operation may require more. The more coverage you can afford, the more insulated you'll be should you or an employee be involved in an accident. So, get as much as you can afford.
- Know the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance. Personal auto insurance policies generally won’t cover accidents that happen when driving a vehicle for business purposes. You need commercial auto insurance to cover damages to your vehicle or other vehicles when you’re involved in an accident. It also provides liability coverage that pays for medical expenses and legal fees if another driver sues your business.
- Know what’s covered – and what isn’t. Commercial auto insurance generally provides auto liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, medical payments, collision, physical damage, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverage. But not every policy is the same. Things not usually covered include contents of a vehicle, injuries to employees while driving on company business and accidents that occur while driving rental vehicles.
- Don’t buy into costly myths. Think you’re immune from liability if your employees carry personal auto insurance? Wrong. Think commercial auto insurance isn’t necessary if your vehicle is registered in your name instead of the business name? Wrong again. These myths can cost you big.
- When renting cars for company business, think twice about buying the rental car liability and physical damage waiver. The coverage could add hundreds to the bill. Check what your personal and commercial auto policies cover and how they pay, with regard to rentals.
- Proactively cut costs. Consider installing safety devices on vehicles. When buying or leasing a new vehicle, consider getting anti-lock brakes, side airbags, automatic seat belts and daytime running lights. Anti-theft devices, such as an alarm system and GPS, can also lower your premiums.
- Choose your insurance company wisely. Always look for a company rated “A” or higher with the global credit firm A.M. Best. The higher the rating, the more likely the insurer will be there when you need it.
What’s the easiest way to find the best commercial auto insurance in Texas? Call Higginbotham Insurance. We’ll help you figure out exactly what you need for your business and get you the best coverage at the most competitive rate.