Massachusetts businesses that have commercial vehicles are generally required to insure those vehicles, and they normally do so with commercial auto insurance policies. These policies are similar to personal auto policies, except they’re adapted to meet the unique risk mitigation needs that businesses have.
Commercial auto insurance policies can be underwritten to insure almost any number of commercial vehicles. There are policies for single vehicles and for fleets of vehicles, and policies often can also be adjusted for different types of vehicles.
Most Massachusetts businesses that own commercial vehicles need to have a commercial auto policy. State law requires most vehicles that are taken on public roads to be insured, and that includes vehicles used for commercial purposes. Without a policy in place, businesses may face legal penalties and expose themselves to substantial risk.
While most vehicle-owning businesses need policies, there isn’t a single commercial auto policy that’s right for every business. Instead, there are many different policies available and businesses need one that’s well-suited for their particular situation. Selecting such a policy can be an involved process, for commercial policies sometimes are more complex than personal auto policies.
Businesses that need help finding the right type of commercial auto policy should talk with an insurance agent who specializes in commercial lines. A specialized agent will know what coverages are available and how those coverages can help protect against the specific risks that a business faces.
Business auto insurance policies are generally written to include multiple coverages, and the mix of coverages included in a policy can vary depending on the purpose of the policy and other factors. Some coverages that may be included in or available through a policy are:
Personal Injury Coverage, which might cover injuries to a vehicle’s driver and passengers
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which may cover injuries to people outside a vehicle
Collision and Comprehensive Coverages, which might cover damage to a vehicle
Property Damage Liability Coverage, which may cover damage to others’ property
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which might cover accidents caused by other drivers who aren’t insured
Hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance is a specialized type of auto insurance that businesses sometimes use to insure vehicles they don’t own. For example, businesses that rent vehicles or have employees use personal vehicles for work might get this insurance.
The insurance normally covers a business’ liability risks while the vehicle is being driven for work. It usually doesn’t cover damage to the employee’s vehicle or accidents that occur during commutes, but it might cover other people’s injuries if an employee causes an accident while delivering pizzas.
HNOA policies typically aren’t suitable for vehicles that are owned by a business.
Insurance companies consider many factors when setting business auto insurance premiums. The following factors are just some of the items that often influence rates:
The number of vehicles being insured
The make and model of the vehicles being insured
The location where vehicles are kept when not being used
The type of driving vehicles are used for
The number of miles vehicles are driven each year
The driving records of employees
In addition to these factors, many insurance companies also offer discount programs that can help reduce rates. Businesses might qualify for paid-in-full, package policy, experience-based, loyalty or other discounts.
An independent agent can help businesses compare policies from different insurance companies to find an option that provides robust coverage at a fair price.
To speak with an independent insurance agent about your business’ commercial auto insurance needs, contact the agents at Garrity Insurance. Our team of independent agents has helped many Massachusetts businesses find policies that suit their needs, and we’re ready to assist your business as well.