As a business owner, you know that a lot of hidden costs and surprises can take a chunk out of your budget. One of the expenses you may not factor in is the price of insurance on every aspect of your company. In most states, though, you need insurance coverage for your business, equipment, and employees to operate legally.

Commercial auto insurance is a cost you may not have considered, but one you don’t want to miss. Whether you use a personal vehicle for business reasons or operate trucks on a daily basis, you have to insure your cars and trucks appropriately to use them as part of your company. Take a brief look at what you need to know about commercial auto insurance.

Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?

Work vans, box trucks, company cars, and delivery vehicles are just a few of the vehicles your company might own and operate regularly. Most states require commercial auto insurance for vehicles owned by your business. The good news is when tax time comes along, you may be able to write off the insurance premiums as business expenses.

Privately owned vehicles can qualify for commercial auto insurance as well — with some stipulations. Your personal coverage may extend to some business-related incidents but likely won’t be enough to protect your company in a lawsuit. If you use your private car for business purposes besides the daily commute and ordinary errands, you should look into commercial auto insurance for that car as well.

What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?

Commercial car insurance will relate specifically to the kind of work your business does and the vehicles you need to accomplish that work. Your policy will cover drivers within your company for any car, van, or truck the company owns. You may also have non-owned vehicle coverage for employees who drive company cars or trucks for business purposes.

Liability coverage, which commercial auto policies usually offer, will cover damages the business would pay when a covered vehicle has an accident. Your policy should also cover regular collision damage for any authorized drivers of your business vehicles to ensure that your company is protected no matter what accidents may happen.

What Do I Look for in Commercial Auto Insurance?

Depending on the insurance company you work with, you may be able to add coverage to your policy. For instance, if your vehicles usually carry merchandise or a significant amount of cash, you may want to insure against theft and extend the policy to cover items within your cars. Comprehensive or named-peril coverage may be wise if your vehicles operate in specific dangerous conditions.

If your business relies on company-owned vehicles to function, such as a delivery service or food truck business, you may want to add rental car costs to your policy. That way, if anything happens to your vehicles, you can keep your business running while the car, van, or truck is in the shop. Some policies even cover your rental vehicles for certain busy seasons or transporting your employees.

As with most insurance policies, your commercial auto coverage is a matter of both necessity and preference. Your state will require all policies to meet legal minimums, like medical expenses for those injured in an at-fault accident, but otherwise leave the rest to the business. The responsibility falls on you to choose policies that meet your company’s needs and protect your drivers from outrageous charges.

If you need any help with insurance, Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants, Inc, has your back. Get in touch today to cover your commercial vehicles or purchase any personal or business insurance you might need.