Commercial vs. Personal Auto Insurance – Which One Is Right For You?
The line between commercial and personal auto insurance policies can be a little blurry. If you’re a business owner, then you understand the importance behind every decision you make. If you’re wondering whether you should purchase commercial or personal auto insurance, we’re here to help.
What is the main difference?
The biggest difference between commercial and personal auto insurance policies is their liability coverage. Commercial auto insurance covers accidents that happen while you or your employees are operating a vehicle for business needs. Business needs could be things like transporting products, clients, or materials. A commercial policy is also quite broad and can include many people. All of your employees can be on your commercial auto insurance policy as long as they all have valid driver’s licenses.
Personal auto insurance is meant for the vehicles that you own and that you use for your own needs. Liability coverage will be lower because there will be less vehicles and people involved. The details of the policy will be pretty simple because it’s just for the few vehicles that you own. You can decide on specifics like comprehensive collision, underinsured driver coverage, and what liability limits are best for you.
Commercial auto insurance
Take a look at these tasks. If you use a vehicle regularly to complete tasks like these, then commercial auto insurance is definitely the best option for you.
- Transport products
- Transport employees and clients
- Charge passengers to ride in the vehicle
- Transport large loads for your business
- Use your vehicle with a tow
- Use your vehicle to perform a service that you’re paid for
A commercial auto insurance policy can have higher liability limits than any personal policy. It can give you high protection if you are ever in any legal challenge regarding a vehicle accident.
If you don’t own multiple business vehicles and your employees use their own vehicles to perform business services, there is an option for that situation as well. You can purchase a “hired non-owned” policy. This means that those vehicles will be protected, even though they are not owned by your business. Many business owners go this route because it’s cheaper and it eliminates some of the stress from their shoulders.
Both corporate companies and independent contractors need auto insurance, but the policies will differ slightly. Corporate companies will need to insure thousands of people because of their size, while independent contract companies will mostly likely be insuring a lower number of people. Liability coverage will most likely need to be higher for corporate companies. These specifics can be ironed out with your insurer based upon the policies that are offered.
Personal auto insurance
Personal auto insurance will only cover accidents that happen while you’re driving for personal reasons. These personal reasons can be things you do every day, like commuting to work or going to the grocery store. These policies only insure the owner of the vehicle and immediate family members that are added to the policy. You can add several people to a personal policy, but it’s not meant for twenty people. Commercial policies are designed for those high numbers.
In some cases, personal auto insurance will be enough for some sole proprietors. If you only use your vehicle for business purposes very infrequently, your insurer may be able to change your personal coverage slightly to meet those needs. You may end up paying a little bit more per month, but having protection is definitely worth it. This all depends on who your insurer is and what kind of adjustments they can make for you.
If you use a heavy vehicle for your business, then you will need a heavy-duty vehicle policy. Insurers have different policies for these vehicles because their weight will cause more damage in an accident than a “normal” vehicle. Any vehicle that weighs more than five tons or transports more than a one-ton load is considered heavy-duty and will require special insurance. These vehicles include tow trucks, buses, cement mixers, and semi-trucks.
If you use these heavy vehicles in your business, your policy will need to have a liability limit high enough to cover damages. If you’re unsure about your policy and what its liability limits are, you should speak with someone from our team – we are happy to answer any of your questions.
Looking to purchase insurance?
Contact Bieritz Insurance Agency today! We offer an assortment of products for all your insurance needs. Our staff is dedicated to working with you to procure the best possible policy at the best price. Our offices are located in Cooperstown and Morris, New York. You can contact us at our Cooperstown office at (607)-547-2951 or at our Morris office at (607)-263-5170. Click here to find out more about our company and to make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!