Commercial auto insurance provides insurance coverage for any vehicle used for business purposes. If you were hit by a commercial vehicle, you will negotiate with the insurance company of the commercial vehicle’s driver. Often, the employer of the driver will get involved, as he can also be held liable.
Commercial vehicle insurance covers fleets of vehicles that are used to:
- Carry equipment
- Transport flammable or hazardous material
- Transport housekeeping equipment for business use
- Use, carry, or transport cranes, a winch, or a plow
- Tow other vehicles
- Deliver any goods or any form of wholesale or retail products
- Deliver newspapers
- Transport trucks and freights
- Transport people as a service
All commercial trucks (ie: semis, dump trucks, haulers, tow trucks, tank trucks, box trucks, and flatbed trucks) must be covered with liability insurance. Liability insurance covers injuries and property damage caused to others in an accident that you or your drivers cause. Liability minimums are mandated by law in each state, but truckers who frequently cross state lines will need to meet federally mandated minimums as well.
The insurance policy will depend on:
- Weight class of the truck
- Size, age, model of the truck
- Driving record of drivers
- Routes and mileage covered
- Types of materials being hauled
Some of the most popular commercial trucking policy options include:
Physical damage insurance
Covers the cost of damage to the vehicle from an accident or other incident. Equipment coverage can also fall into this category, as it provides coverage for loss or damage to driver-owned property kept in the truck, as well as equipment such as chains, tarps and added electronic and navigational devices.
Property damage insurance
Covers the physical damage inflicted (while acting in a work capacity) on vehicles and other types of property that don’t belong to the business.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
Covers the costs of injuries and damages if a driver is in an accident where another driver is at fault, but that driver does not have adequate coverage to pay for the injuries and property damage.
Motor truck cargo insurance
This insurance covers the cargo being hauled if it is lost or damaged while in transportation. The federal government requires a truck to have a minimum of $5,000 in coverage, but the driver is likely required by the shipper to carry more insurance.
Medical payments insurance
This insurance (similar to personal injury protection insurance) provides coverage for any medical costs that drivers/passengers may incur from an accident in the truck’s rig. For this reason, insurance companies often require a list of all drivers operating the vehicle.
Bodily injury insurance
Covers personal injury expenses that do not include medical expenses.
Occupational accident insurance:
This coverage provides drivers and their families with added protection if a driver is hurt while on the job. It provides benefits for accidental death and dismemberment, medical expenses for accident-related injuries, and both temporary and long-term disability coverage.
Non trucking liability insurance
Non trucking liability insurance covers the driver while he is not working on the job, such as when he is driving to and from the job site or if the vehicle is being used for personal reasons.
Non-owned trailer coverage
This insurance provides compensation for damages to a third-party-owned trailer that is hitched to the rig. This coverage is for the structure of the trailer only and does not include the contents. Additionally, it will only cover damages that are incurred while the trailer is hitched to the truck.
(Sources: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/commercial-truck-insurance-work-40548.html; http://www.dmv.org/insurance/types-of-commercial-auto-insurance.php)
If you were in an accident with a commercial vehicle, either as the commercial vehicle’s driver or as the vehicle driver, use the Calculator to assess the value of your case.