(By: Brittany Brooks)
Commercial vehicle insurance covers physical damage, and medical expenses while offering liability coverage, specifically for vehicles owned by a business. However, you need much more information to ensure that your company vehicles have the right amount of coverage.
Below, you’ll find detailed information on what your commercial vehicle insurance policy should cover and a few add-ons that could come in handy in unpredictable moments.
Let’s jump in!
Click here to find out “What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?”
Commercial vehicle insurance requirements vary from state to state, and typically mirror personal auto insurance standards. Surprisingly, there are only three minimum requirements for commercial auto insurance in most states. For example, New York state only requires:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP protects the driver and passengers injured in your company vehicle during an accident. It also covers any pedestrian wounded by your company vehicle. PIP pays out swiftly regardless of who is at fault. It covers:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
- And specific other required yet reasonable expenses
*Expenses must be in relation to the injuries sustained in the accident.
No-Fault insurance is a term used interchangeably for Personal Injury Protection because it pays whether you’re at fault or not. The injured person can recoup the expenses listed above up to $50,000. New York’s No-Fault Law has a fascinating stipulation. You can only bring an auto accident lawsuit to court for two reasons:
- Financial losses beyond the $50,000 cap
- Non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering)
A severe injury caused by the accident has to occur to file for non-economic damages.
PIP will kick in to cover medical expenses before your medical insurance does to help shoulder the load until the expense cap is reached.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
It’s unfortunate to admit that not every driver is insured.
If your company vehicle is involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, UM coverage will step in to cover some expenses. In New York, it only covers costs stemming from bodily injury inflicted by an auto accident.
Anyone injured in the vehicle or by the vehicle is also covered. Keep in mind that UM insurance does not cover physical damage done to the vehicle’s body or any other property.
You’ll need the Uninsured Motorist Endorsement add-on to be covered outside New York.
The minimum coverage amounts can be confusing, but here’s how to simplify them. If one person is injured during an auto accident, the insurance will pay up to $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 if they pass away. If two or more individuals are injured in an auto accident, up to $50,000 will be paid out for bodily injury, and up to $100,000 in the event of their deaths.
When you’re at fault for the accident, liability coverage will protect you from claims made against you for physical damage and bodily injury. Your commercial vehicle insurance has to provide you with a legal defense for the claims made against you. If the other person is at fault, you can file a claim against their auto insurance, and you have to prove they were at fault.
The minimum coverage amounts and guidelines are the same as Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Except for property and physical damages are covered up to $10,000 per accident, which isn’t covered at all under UM insurance.
Minimum Coverage Amount in New York
|Personal Injury Protection||Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage||Liability Insurance|
|$50,000 per person||$25,000 per person for bodily injury||$25,000 per person for bodily injury|
|$50,000 per accident for bodily injury||$50,000 per accident for bodily injury|
|$10,000 per accident for property damage|
The Rest Are Optional
What some may think is required by law are actually voluntary add-ons. Although these aren’t mandated, they can undoubtedly give you peace of mind. A trusted broker would be the one to advise your individual case accurately.
Protects your company vehicle if it collides with another car, object, or rolls over. It also helps cover costs if an uninsured driver hits you and you don’t have UM coverage.
Physical Damage Insurance
Collision and comprehensive coverage rolled into one to cover physical damage expenses due to an auto collision. Vehicle theft is also covered under this insurance, along with vandalism, fire, flood, weather-related damage, and animal collisions.
A Little Something Extra
The following add-ons aren’t required either, but they’re nice to have in the event of an accident or road trouble.
Allows you to keep business moving. While the company vehicle is in the repair shop, you’ll get access to a rental car. The insurance company pays the expenses, or they’ll reimburse you for out-of-pocket rental fees.
This coverage comes to the rescue when you’re having a bad car day. Roadside assistance will assist you with lockouts, flat tires, and towing services if you run out of gas, need a jump, or just stuck in the mud.
Everything is subject to your state laws and requirements for commercial vehicle insurance. Check with your insurance broker or carrier to find out precisely what your policy covers so there are no surprises.