Commercial Auto Insurance: What Does It Cover?

A lot of business owners tend to confuse commercial auto insurance with business insurance and/or personal driver's insurance. The fact is, these are three separate types of insurance, and you should have all three if you are operating any sort of shipping company or delivery service where you have a fleet of vehicles and drivers working for you. To sort out the confusion, here is what commercial vehicle insurance covers versus what the other types of insurance do or do not cover.

Just the Trucks (or Work Vehicles)

This type of insurance does not cover your drivers. It is solely meant to cover your trucks or other vehicles that are used for business purposes. For example, if your business is a courier business, it will cover courier trucks and cars used for that express purpose and only when these vehicles are in use during business hours and conducting business-related tasks. The commercial insurance does not cover a truck, car, or van that you choose to drive home from the office some night because your personal vehicle is in the shop.

Not the Drivers and Not During Incidents of Non-Work

Your drivers need to carry their own insurance that covers them while they are operating a vehicle they do not own for work-related tasks. There is a special kind of insurance made just for delivery and commercial drivers that covers their injuries and protects their jobs. Some employers will pay for this insurance to cover their employees, while other employers ask that their employees find a policy and cover themselves before taking a position with their company. Additionally, commercial insurance for vehicles covers damage to the fleet only when the fleet is in service and conducting business.

The exception to the rule is when the vehicles are taken to a gas station to fill up, or when the vehicles have completed their daily routes and are returning to the business's garage. Then they are covered. The rest of the time, such as after-hours driving unrelated to business, only limited liability for damages to the business's vehicle may be covered, and not much else.

It Does Not Protect Against Lawsuits

If other drivers are injured by any vehicle in your company's fleet, and the other drivers want to sue, the commercial vehicle insurance is not the insurance type that will cover that. Your business insurance addresses this issue because that is what business insurance does. It covers the cost of the lawsuit and the settlement so that your business can continue as usual.

Contact a company that offers commercial auto insurance in order to learn more about what this kind of insurance can do for you.