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Similar to personal automobile policies, business auto covers the liability from operating your business vehicles on the public roads around Glen Rock, New Jersey. However, businesses are different from people and the types of vehicles and relationship to the business entity can be much more complicated.
Once the fleet has been defined in terms of which vehicles will be covered, the coverage is similar to a personal auto policy.
Liability coverage pays for damages a driver causes to other vehicles and those passengers. Limits of liability must be selected to protect the assets of the corporation, and the assets of the driver. Why is this true? High dollar claims are paid by layers of available limits. The commercial auto policy is the first limit, then the umbrella policy if in place, then the driver’s policy, then business assets, then the driver’s assets. If a business and its owner choose lower limits and do not buy an umbrella policy, the business and owners assets will be at risk to pay the balance of the claim. Choosing your liability limit is an important and complicated decision. Let Donnelly & Sproul help you make a good decision.
Increased limits are very important for businesses, especially closely held companies. Good risk management suggests implementing an umbrella liability policy over underlying commercial vehicle coverage in order to assure adequate protection for this most potentially catastrophic loss.
Injuries and property damage to third parties. You or one of your employees have an at fault accident. Or, anyone the business allows to drive the vehicle.
Employees injured in company vehicles are covered by workers’ compensation, so they are excluded from bodily injury in business auto policies. If an outside party is at fault, the injured employee collects workers’ compensation, and then has the right to sue the third party.
Forklifts, golf cars, and other mobile equipment are excluded under business automobile. Damages by these vehicles may be covered under the general liability policy.
Like personal automobile insurance, companies can buy collision coverage to insure their automobile asset from damage caused by at fault accidents, flipping the car, or hit and run incidents. Similarly, the business assigns a deductible comfortable to their budget.
Glass breakage is usually falls under this coverage. Animal destruction, either by collision or chewing the interior, is covered here. Fire, windstorm, hail, riots, theft to the vehicle or equipment in the vehicle are covered.
Since businesses vary in size and resources, specific designs of coverage are dependent on business circumstances. Does the business have its own garage and body shop? Many cab companies do. Are the fleet vehicles targets of thieves? Car dealerships face this issue.
Create a written policy for use of company vehicles. No texting or using a cellular phone, who may drive, who may ride, drug and alcohol testing after accidents, check driving records. Have all drivers sign that they have read the policy. Take control of this liability for your company.
Many insurance companies will negotiate premiums based on handling several policies for the same risk. One way to reduce costs: have your Donnelly & Sproul agent review your general liability, umbrella liability policy, property coverage, workers’ compensation, or business owners’ policy together with the business auto policy.