Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto Insurance. If you own a business that operates one or more cars, vans, or other vehicles in the course of operating the business, then commercial auto insurance is one of the costs of doing business. Finding the right business auto insurance policy for your commercial needs can be tricky, but a seasoned insurance agent can help you navigate the marketplace and choose a policy tailored to your needs.
Protecting your business to the fullest requires that you buy a sufficient amount of commercial auto insurance for your vehicles.
Commercial auto insurance helps your business cover costs from an accident if you or an employee is found liable - with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your proof of insurance now.
When buying a commercial auto insurance policy, it is important to review your risks, your risk tolerance, the coverage that you need, and the amount of coverage that will protect you from loss. Commercial vehicle coverage is a general term that refers to company cars, limos, taxis, cargo vans, buses, SUVs, pickups and other vehicles that your business owns or leases for business use.
Many small business owners find themselves relying on personal auto insurance for their needs, but this can be a foolhardy move. If you use your personal auto to conduct business, there's a good chance that your personal auto insurance company will not cover any accidents, bodily harm, or property damage that results from business use of your covered vehicle. This can leave you as the business owner open to claims against your business and against you personally.
There are multiple risk factors involved in using these vehicles in your business, and insurance companies look at how often you use the vehicles, how you use them, and the number of miles you log each year in the vehicles covered when determining your premium amount. Likewise, your insurance agent assesses the same factors when helping you determine how much coverage to buy to mitigate your business' specific risks.
Like personal car insurance, commercial auto insurance offers basic coverage types, including liability insurance, comprehensive insurance, collision coverage and more. This type of policy protects the business from any significant loss that might affect your company's overall financial well-being and success.
What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?
Usually, a commercial auto insurance policy for your vehicle is a mix of required and optional coverage. It may include some or all of the following, depending on your needs and insurance assessment:
- Bodily injury liability coverage. This type of coverage protects your from loss when you or an employee is involved in an accident that is deemed your fault. This coverage provides for medical costs and any associated costs for claims filed against you. The compensatory amount you receive depends on your deductible and the limits set by the policy.
- Property damage liability coverage. Costs for repairing property that is damaged by you or an employee as a result of operating your commercial vehicle is covered under property damage liability coverage. Assess your risks and the potential losses to determine the right level and policy limits for your needs.
- Collision coverage. This covers losses due to collisions in your covered vehicle, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage. This covers all types of non-collision perils. For example, vandalism to your commercial vehicle, theft of your company car, or damage incurred when a tree falls on your commercial passenger van.
- Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Should your commercial vehicle be involved in an accident with a motorist who has no insurance or who lacks a sufficient amount of insurance for the losses incurred, this coverage makes up the difference, up to the limits purchased.
- Medical payments insurance coverage. Drivers, passengers and others who are injured in an accident receive medical payments for associated injuries from this type of coverage.
Optional Coverage Types for Commercial Drivers
In addition to basic coverage types for commercial drivers, you can also choose from an array of different commercial auto insurance coverage types based on your particular needs. For instance, you may wish to opt for rental replacement insurance to cover the cost of renting a vehicle while yours is being repaired. You may choose roadside assistance and towing coverage to help offset the costs of vehicle breakdowns.
Will Your Policy Cover Personal Use of a Business Vehicle?
Many small business operators use their personal vehicles while performing work-related tasks such as running out for supplies or going to visit a client for a consultation. However, if any injuries or damage occurs when operating the car in a business capacity, the liability generally falls on the owner of the vehicle personally, not the business, and personal auto coverage will not pay claims that result. The same is true of employees running errands for the business. The insurance company may decline coverage for any event that occurs, based on the employee conducting business in a personal vehicle.
Getting a Commercial Auto Insurance Quote
When shopping for commercial auto insurance, be sure to work with an agent who is adept at writing policies or commercial customers Your agent can help you understand the various nuances that separate personal and commercial insurance, and he can also help you determine your particular risks, the amount of coverage you need to mitigate loss, and help you choose the deductibles and limits that are best suited for your particular situation. Some factors that will come into play when choosing a policy and getting a quote include:
- The number of vehicles to be insured
- The way the vehicles are used
- Whether or not you transport people or cargo
- The number of miles driven commercially each year
- The number of drivers who usually drive the vehicle
- Your driving history
- The age and experience of drivers
- Your credit history
- Whether or not you have taken a driving course
Your agent can best assess your needs and make recommendations based on your business' specific requirements.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Commercial Auto Insurance
Learn about small business commercial auto insurance which includes liability and physical damage protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes.
- Big Rig Truck
- Bobtail Non-Trucking Liability
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Van
- Dump Truck
- Food Truck
- Non-Owned and Hired Auto Liability
- Owner Operator
- Pizza Delivery
- Tow Truck
The person injured in an vehicle accident may be a child, a wage earning single parent, a brain surgeon, or even a homeless person. The costs of the accident may be relatively small or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the victim and his or her injuries. Do you have the assets to handle such costs?
The insurance company pays amounts an insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage and certain types of pollution events covered by this insurance caused by an accident and resulting from ownership, maintenance or use of covered vehicles.
The obligation to pay is triggered only by accidental occurrences involving vehicles covered under the Business Auto Coverage Form. An eligible pollution event is covered only if it is connected to a covered bodily injury or property damage loss.
It is important that you have the proper Limit of Insurance to protect your operations. This limit is the most the insurance company pays for the total of all damages, including any covered pollution cost or expense resulting from any one covered accident, is the Covered Auto liability limit of insurance on the declarations.
This limit applies regardless of the number of insureds, autos covered, vehicles involved in an accident, premium paid, or number of claims made.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Information
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.
- Safer System - The FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System offers company safety data and related services to industry and the public over the Internet. Users can search FMCSA databases, register for a USDOT number, pay fines online, order company safety profiles, challenge FMCSA data using the DataQs system, access the Hazardous Material Route registry, obtain National Crash and Out of Service rates for Hazmat Permit Registration, get printable registration forms and find information about other FMCSA Information Systems.
- FMCSA Forms - All forms needed for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Update MCS 150 - Form MCS-150 and Instructions - Motor Carrier Identification Report.
- How does CSA work? - CSA (Compliance - Safety - Accountability) re-engineers the former enforcement and compliance process to provide a better view into how well large commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers are complying with safety rules, and to intervene earlier with those who are not.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.