Good commercial vehicle insurance is going to be the catalyst to running a business efficiently that involves any type of travel. Whether your business uses cars, trucks, boats, or planes, your peace of mind will hinge on the type of insurance you have. Some carriers of this kind specialize in providing insurance for certain types of commercial vehicles. They are worth checking out.
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Your zip code will be the first piece of information insurance companies need to determine what is available in the state where your vehicle(s) is registered. Most companies are licensed to provide service to several states. The required amount of minimum coverage varies from state to state also.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance: Good Business Sense
No one has control over someone else’s mistakes made behind the wheel. Even the most defensive drivers can not avoid every accident. In the offensive position, an expert driver can over-correct or doze off at the wheel after a grueling day of work. No matter what we do to avoid them, accidents do happen.
One of the first things a business owner with vehicles in operation must do is insure them. Dealerships are required to make sure insurance is obtained before vehicles leave the lot. Some businesses rent the means of transport they offer. Moving and relocation outfits fall into this category. Although people who rent cars, trucks and moving vans for a day or so tend to forego the insurance, it is not the smartest thing to do.
What Could Happen Without Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Individuals who rent vehicles take a risky chance in not having some type of coverage. Especially when renting trucks for those DIY or do-it-yourself moves. Many credit card companies and personal auto insurance carriers that offer to pay for rentals do not extend this incentive or provision to moving vans and trucks.
Moving van companies and other transportation businesses are required to be licensed by the Department of Transportation. FMCSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, through DOT regulates interstate truckers. Truckers are also required to be bonded in most cases.
Those who are not able to provide proof of insurance, should they be stopped by law enforcement, could be subject to stiff penalties. Some states do not require federal interstate licenses, such as:
- South Dakota
Although this list of states may not require interstate licensing for those transporting goods across country, they do require the transportation business to be licensed and insured in the registered state.
The Amount of Commercial Vehicle Insurance Needed
Each state determines how much insurance is needed to run your commercial vehicle. It is particularly important to sit down with an insurance agent or accountant to assess how much insurance coverage is needed. Each business, in most cases, is vastly different. One of the main points to determine is whether the coverage will be based on actual value, minus depreciation, or replacement value. Commercial vehicle contents and the risk of liability have to be taken into consideration as well.
How to Shop for Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Shopping for commercial vehicle coverage is a matter that requires knowledge of what you are getting. A referral from a similar business owner or someone who is knowledgeable in acquiring commercial insurance would be one option. A commercial vehicle insurance agent is a good recommendation. Online options are also available for information and advice.
Making sure you have a clear and concise understanding of the prospective policy is the key to protecting yourself against surprises down the road, should an incident occur. Customer service is always a good indication that you are in the right place. An important point to address is whether they offer rental replacement should the vehicle be out of service. This could be critical to your profits.
How to Save on Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Most commercial vehicle insurance carriers will offer discounts on a fleet. In some businesses employees are required to use their own vehicles and the company insures them on a group policy. Others, in using company vehicles, will make sure the employee has a good driving record, as this impacts premium rates as well.
Safety driving courses are always good to offer employees to maintain skill and awareness. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for participation in safety driving courses. Instead of paying the premiums monthly or quarterly, premiums paid in advance will make a difference in the bottom line cost of coverage.
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