Running a business involves dealing with necessary expenses to keep the door open. Among your business expenses might be insurance costs. Expenses also might include the costs to maintain company vehicles and drivers.
If you operate vehicles for commercial purposes, you might need commercial auto insurance. These policies can be costly. Nevertheless, there are ways that you can keep your commercial auto insurance affordable.
A Brief Overview of Commercial Auto Insurance
When companies own vehicles or employ drivers, they assume of responsibility for the driving risks of their staff. The same goes when employees drive their own vehicles for significant business purposes. Commercial auto insurance can help cover the costs associated with these risks.
Commercial auto coverage is much like personal car insurance in terms of components. It will often contain:
- Medical payments
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage
However, do not insure business vehicles with personal auto insurance. Personal auto coverage usually does not contain the protection necessary for a business’ investment in vehicles and drivers. Also, some personal policies exclude coverage for accidents that happen when someone uses a car for business. Commercial auto insurance specifically protects a business from the effects of vehicle accidents and other dangers.
Saving on Your Business Auto Insurance
Smart business owners recognize how business auto insurance will protect their operations. However, if you’re a business owner, you won’t want to pay exceptional costs for your policy coverage.
Policy Management Can Help Reduce Your Policy Costs
One of the best ways to save on your commercial auto insurance policy is through the policy itself. By establishing coverage specifically for your needs, you will likely pay no more than necessary.
- You might need different types of protection, depending on which types of vehicles your company operates. Company-owned vehicles usually need more expansive coverage for collision, damages and liability risks. If your employees will drive their own vehicles for business, the company might only need to add a non-owned auto liability endorsement to its commercial policy. How you insure each vehicle will vary. Tell your insurance agent about who owns the vehicles you plan to use in your business. Getting the right protection can help you save money.
- Increase your policy deductible. Your deductible is how much you pay for claims before insurance covers remaining costs. By increasing your deductible, you might show your insurer that you won’t have to file claims as often. This can help the insurer classify you at a lower risk level. They might lower your policy costs as a result.
- Ask about insurance policy discounts. Various insurers award discounts for safe drivers, automatic payments and a host of other factors associated with your policy.
- Pay your policy premiums on time. If you keep your policy active, many insurers won’t charge as much. Some insurers will even apply discounts for companies that pay their premium in one sum up front.
Even after you’ve established your policy, there are steps you can take to keep your commercial auto insurance affordable.
Safe Driving Practices for Commercial Vehicles
Every business operation that included vehicles runs the risk of driving violations or accidents. So, whenever drivers hit the road, they should always strive to be the safest drivers. Businesses can use a wide range of methods to enforce and encourage safer driving.
- Require employee driver training and vetting, both before and after hiring. Never let an employee with a poor driving record operate a commercial vehicle. Periodically check employee driving records, if your state allows access to them. Should an employee accrue driving violations, it might best to revoke their company driving privileges.
- Invest in GPS tracking service. These can help companies enforce speed and safety practices for employee drivers. Encourage public reporting practices so other drivers can notify you of unsafe driving by your employees.
- Encourage your employees to take safe driving courses. This can help them learn better defensive driving techniques and stay safe on the road.
- Determine how you will use your vehicles. For example, never haul heavy materials in vehicles that cannot carry the weight. You might cause damage that commercial auto insurance won’t cover.
Only buy company vehicles that have strong reputations and good values. If you can buy a strong vehicle at a lower price, you might be able to save money on your commercial auto insurance. This is the case because expensive vehicles cost more to insure.
It can be tricky to determine how to insure your business’ vehicles. However, with the right care, you can come up with a policy that best represents your interests. Talk to your insurance agent about how to set up a policy that is right for you. Be honest about what vehicles you have, who will drive them and how you will use them. Honesty will likely help you determine the best policy.