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What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Just as individuals in Massachusetts need to insure cars they own, businesses in the state likewise need to insure vehicles that they own. Commercial auto insurance is similar to personal auto insurance, except commercial policies are adapted to the unique needs that businesses have.

Insurance companies offer an array of commercial auto insurance policies and options. Policies may insure a single vehicle or a whole fleet, and they can be adapted in many other ways.

Commercial Auto Insurance Massachusetts

What Massachusetts Businesses Need Business Auto Insurance?

Per state law, most Massachusetts businesses that own vehicles must carry insurance that at least meets the state-minimum requirements. In very few situations can a business legally use a vehicle on public roads without first procuring insurance.

Below are just a few examples of businesses that have vehicles and probably need to purchase auto insurance:

    ● Limousine and taxicab businesses
    ● Delivery companies
    ● Landscapers and snowplowers
    ● Tow truck owner-operators

Businesses that don’t own vehicles but have employees use personal vehicles for work may also need insurance. These businesses might at least need liability coverage when employees’ vehicles are being driven for work. Restaurants that offer delivery and real estate offices (among other businesses) may fall into this group.

Do Drivers Who Offer Ride-Sharing Services Need to Carry Business Auto Insurance?

Whether people who earn income by offering ride-sharing services need business auto insurance depends on the coverages included in their personal policy.

Because ride-sharing is a commercial endeavor, many personal policies don’t cover this type of driving in their standard protections. If coverage isn’t included, drivers should purchase it either through an option on their personal policy or a supplemental business auto policy.

In a few situations, coverage is offered through a personal policy. Drivers who already have sufficient coverage might not need to get additional protection through another policy.

Any drivers who are unsure whether they’re protected while working with ride-sharing apps should contact an independent insurance agent who specializes in business auto insurance. An agent who’s familiar with this type of coverage will know how to review policies’ protections, and an independent agent can help compare coverage options from multiple insurers in Massachusetts if an additional policy is needed.

What Affects Business Auto Policies Premiums?

As is the case with personal auto policies, insurance companies consider many factors when setting premiums for business auto policies. Some of the items that might affect a policy’s premiums include:

     ● How many vehicles a business has
     ● What year, make and model the vehicles are
     ● Where the vehicles are kept when not in use
     ● What the vehicles are used for
     ● How many miles are put on the vehicles annually
     ● Whether employees’ have clean driving records

Commercial Auto Insurance Massachusetts

Do Insurers Offer Discounts on Business Auto Policies?

Most insurance companies offer multiple discounts that may help businesses lower their auto policy’s premiums. Businesses might be able to take advantage of the following:

     ● Package policy discounts
     ● Pay-in-full discounts
     ● Experienced-based discounts
     ● Loyalty discounts
     ● Commercial driver discounts

(Commercial driver discounts generally require that all employees who drive company vehicles have a commercial driver's license.)

How Can Businesses Get Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance may be purchased as a stand-alone policy, or through a business owners policy or commercial package policy. To evaluate these three options and find the commercial auto coverage that’ll best meet your Massachusetts business’ needs, contact the insurance team at John P. Russell Insurance. Our team has helped many businesses find policies that are right for them, and we’d be happy to assist you.

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