Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

Whether you’re an independent worker or operate an entire fleet of commercial vehicles, it’s important to safeguard your business. At American Insurance Brokers, we connect you with the best protection money can buy. No matter where your route takes you, we understand the need for commercial insurance options that are fast, efficient, and straightforward. Here’s everything you should know about commercial auto liability insurance.

What is commercial auto liability insurance?

 

Commercial auto liability insurance may cover injuries to other people or damage to property if you’re at full or partial fault for an accident. It may also pay for your legal defense costs in the case of a lawsuit. This type of policy generally covers any type of vehicle for commercial use, including cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks.

While requirements vary from state to state, you probably need commercial auto liability insurance if you:

  • Transport goods or products
  • Offer certain services, such as towing
  • Haul heavy loads of materials or equipment
  • Drive passengers in your vehicle for a fee
  • Have employees who operate your vehicle(s)

When you’re using vehicles for these types of work, a personal policy isn’t enough. There is much more at stake when you factor in employees, passengers, and additional usage. Without commercial auto liability coverage, many companies can’t survive the financial impact of a lawsuit.

What does commercial auto liability insurance cover?

 

commercial auto liability insuranceCommercial auto liability insurance is a form of coverage that is essential for most businesses. It can cover injuries or damage to other people or property if you’re at fault for an accident.

If you cause an accident that injures or even kills another person, the bodily injury portion of your liability insurance can help pay for the related expenses, depending on your coverage limits. For example, it may cover:

  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Long-term nursing care
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering

It may also cover other expenses, up to the covered limits you select.

If you cause an accident that damages another person’s property, the property damage portion of your liability insurance can pay for the related expenses. Property damage covers the expense to repair or replace damaged items, including other vehicles, equipment, buildings, or even a pet (up to the limits you select).

Commercial auto liability insurance may also pay for your legal defense costs if you are sued as a result of your involvement in an accident.

What does commercial auto liability insurance exclude from coverage?

 

Commercial auto liability insurance will protect your business in a range of situations, but there are always exclusions. This does not mean you can’t find coverage for these instances. It will simply be a separate type of insurance you should obtain.

Here are a few examples:

  • Short-term or long-term disability benefits also referred to as workers’ compensation, which is a necessary protection if an employee is hurt while operating a company vehicle
  • Expected or intended injury resulting from an incident where the driver meant to cause harm
  • Employer’s liability for claims made against you by injured employees

Again, these types of coverages can be found in other types of policies. Our team at American Insurance Brokers can advise you on all of the coverage you need based on your business.

How much commercial auto liability coverage do I need?

 

There are many factors that will determine how much commercial auto liability coverage your business needs. Your location, fleet, and business model will all be important elements. For example, if you use a van to transport passengers to and from the airport, you will need less coverage than someone who manages an entire fleet of semi-trucks.

Most tractor-trailers require a limit of $750,000 for operation, but all other vehicles require coverage amounts according to the laws in their home state. In general, many companies opt for more than the minimum required coverage. This simply provides peace of mind in the event of a devastating crash that could lead to expensive litigation.

You may be wondering, how much will I have to pay for this type of coverage? Again, premiums are determined by several factors, including:

  • Driving record
  • Garage location
  • Limit of liability coverage needed or desired
  • Type of business operation
  • Condition and age of vehicles

Our knowledgeable team will provide free policy reviews for any type of commercial vehicle. This allows us to learn more about your business to find the best policy match. American Insurance Brokers works with more than 35 “A” rated truck insurance companies in order to get the most competitive price for your insurance.

Does commercial auto insurance cover personal use?

 

There are many situations where you or your employees may use a commercial vehicle for personal use. For example, if you provide transportation to and from the airport, it may be typical to also use your vehicle for personal use to return home.

Most commercial auto liability insurance policies will still cover you in these instances, but there are usually conditions attached. This may depend on how often you use it for personal use or what type of vehicle it is.

The team at American Insurance Brokers is well-versed in these types of questions and concerns. We can help guide you toward the right policy decisions to ensure your protection at all times.

Does it cover out of state work?

 

While Louisiana is our home base for operations at American Insurance Brokers, we understand the unique needs of our drivers. Crossing state lines can be a typical and necessary part of your business.

Most commercial auto liability insurance policies include built-in protection when you’re traveling out of state. This is important because of the varying state’s requirements. In most cases, if you’ve purchased the minimum requirement for your state, you will be covered in other states. Your policy will provide protection within the scope of the minimum required limit wherever the accident happened.

The team at American Insurance Brokers can get you the coverage you need to give you peace of mind, no matter where your business takes you.

How do I comply with regulatory filings?

 

Once you have made the choice to obtain insurance through American Insurance Brokers, we will also help take care of your regulatory filings. These are important legal documentation tasks that you must fulfill to do your job.

For example, we provide the following state and federal commercial vehicle insurance filings:

  • FMCSA: Proves Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration registration
  • MCS90: States that the driver’s financial commitment meets the state’s minimum requirement
  • BMC34: Provides cargo liability coverage
  • BMC91-X: Shows public liability insurance (such as bodily injury, property damage, or environmental restoration)
  • Form E: Demonstrates that drivers carry the minimum required insurance for their home state
  • Form H: Confirms that drivers carry the minimum required cargo liability insurance for their home state
  • OS/OW COI: Proves to Louisiana that drivers have sufficient liability insurance to operate oversize or overweight vehicles
  • SR22: Shows that drivers have filed minimum liability insurance with their home state’s motor vehicle department

Because different situations require various filings, our team will take a close look at your needs to ensure accuracy. We will always work with your team to ensure we’ve filed the appropriate paperwork for your company.

How do I know I have all of the coverage I need?

 

At American Insurance Brokers, we provide free annual policy reviews for any type of commercial vehicle. This is an opportunity to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need at the right price.

First, we’ll examine your current deductibles and limits. The amount you will have to pay before the insurance company makes any payment (your deductible) should be relatively low. When it comes to the absolute limit regarding what the insurance company is required to pay, the number should be considerably high for your industry and risk profile.

Next, our team will check for compliance with the regulatory filings previously discussed. While there are many forms to keep track of, your insurance company should always ensure that you’re up to date while enrolled in one of their policies.

Finally, we’ll make sure you’re on board with a responsive insurance company. You will get the most competitive price for your insurance, as well as excellent customer service if challenges occur.

AIB is your first choice

At American Insurance Brokers, we’re proud to have decades of experience in states across the southern region. We should be your first stop for commercial auto insurance requirements before you hit the road. Our team will find the best policy for your business at a price that is fair and reasonable.

When your business is on the line, it’s important to have someone you can trust in your corner. We won’t leave you high and dry once the process of finding your policy is over. Our goal is to provide the answers you need as soon as you need them as long as you’re under our care. If you have a question along the way, all you have to do is ask.

Get your free coverage review, and find out why American Insurance Brokers is your first choice for commercial auto insurance across the southern U.S.