Commercial Auto Insurance for Businesses
Commercial auto insurance, also known as Fleet Insurance provides coverage for vehicles that are used by a business in order to perform the operations of the company. A commercial auto policy will provide:
- Physical damage coverage for the insured vehicles
- Liability insurance for damages incurred by a third party stemming from usage of the insured vehicles
- Accident benefits coverage should a driver of the vehicle, typically an officer or employee of the company, sustain an injury while operating an insured vehicle.
Having a liability slip for a vehicle does not necessarily imply that a company’s vehicle is covered by an appropriate auto insurance policy which is why obtaining proper commercial auto insurance is critical.
Auto insurance coverage is dependent on the rating classifications assigned to your commercial vehicles. FCA will ensure the appropriate rating has been assigned to your commercial vehicle, so that you are not paying for auto insurance coverage that potentially cannot be used in the event of a claim.
3 Factors that Impact Commercial Auto Rates
Commercial Auto Classifications
The size and usage of your commercial vehicle will determine the rating classification assigned by your insurance provider.
Territory and Radius of Operations
Insurance companies consider the distance a vehicle is driven on average each day and the general location driven.
Driver’s Background and Experience
The experience, age and driving record of your company’s vehicles are all important considerations.
Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?
All businesses or individuals that own a vehicle which is used for commercial purposes require commercial auto insurance to ensure that either a first-party or third-party claim will be covered if an accident occurs. This includes the use of personal vehicles to work on behalf of food delivery or courier companies as personal auto policies will not cover losses incurred when a vehicle is being used for commercial purposes.
What is a Commercial Fleet Policy?
A fleet policy is a type of commercial auto insurance that insures a group of vehicles owned by a business under one single policy. A minimum of five vehicles is typically required to qualify for fleet coverage. Volume discounts do apply, which can result in considerable savings. Coverage can be uniformly applied for all vehicles or customized as needed.Get a Quote
What Vehicles Have Higher Insurance Rates?
The following types of commercial automobiles tend to have higher rates:
Courier or Delivery Service Vehicles
The time-sensitive nature of the operations these vehicles are used for tend to result in more frequent claims and drivers are more susceptible to accidents when driving routes they are unfamiliar with (which is common with this type of vehicle usage) than a driver who routinely follows the same routes.
Heavy Commercial Vehicles
These vehicles have greater value due to their sheer size, the size the likelihood of a third party experiencing a bodily injury if involved in an accident with a heavy commercial vehicle increases
FCA is Canada’s Insurance Expert Since 1919
FCA has been providing Canadian companies with insurance since 1919. We have set the industry standard for turnaround time for both new and existing clients. We pride ourselves in ensuring our clients are receiving the best suite of coverages at a fair price.
Premium charges for commercial auto insurance can range significantly from as low as $900.00 per year to over $6,000.00 for one vehicle. There are many factors that underwriters consider when assigning a rating which influence the price for a commercial auto coverage including:
- Value and age of vehicle
- Radius of operations
- Total kilometers driven per year
- Usage of a vehicle
- Driver of a vehicle
- Coverages and limits selected
To obtain commercial auto insurance it is vital to fully disclose all vehicles being used for commercial purposes. This will ensure you have the right ratings applied and no potential for exposure in the event of an accident.
Your FCA broker should be contacted as soon as the operator of a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident to share the incident. Experiencing an auto accident is always an unsettling time for any driver, but it is important to remember their broker is always there to guide them through the situation.
Once the claim has been reported to an insurance company, an adjuster is assigned to discuss the situation with the insured, investigate the accident and ultimately proceed towards a settlement.
When filing a commercial auto claim, the vehicle owner is required to pay GST for vehicle repairs upfront which differs from personal auto claim procedures. The payment of GST can then be claimed as GST credits at a later date as a commercial automobile is technically deemed as one of the business’s expenses.
A Waiver of Depreciation is added to newly purchased or leased commercial vehicles which prevents your insurance company from deducting depreciation from the value of your automobile after it has been involved in a total loss. As soon as a new vehicle is driven off the lot of a dealership its value begins to decline sharply, therefore this coverage will ensure a policyholder receives an adequate settlement in the event that their vehicle is involved in a total loss. Not carrying this coverage will result in a substantially lower payout. Insurance companies will offer this coverage for vehicles that qualify for a period of 12, 24 or 36 months. Although a vehicle may be purchased new, some commercial vehicles are not eligible for this coverage with certain insurance companies due to the vehicle’s classification. Connect with your FCA broker when purchasing a new vehicle for guidance on what company to insure your vehicle with, in order to secure this vital coverage for the longest duration possible.
When applying for commercial auto coverage, not-at-fault claims that were previously incurred by a driver listed on the policy will not impact the driver’s rates, but at-fault claims continue to impact a driver’s rating for six years. After six years that driver is able to receive Accident Forgiveness coverage, which should be obtained by all commercial drivers who are eligible. The eligibility requirements for obtaining Accident Forgiveness Coverage on a commercial auto policy are more favourable than personal auto policies as drivers on a personal auto policy typically need to wait 7-10 years following an accident in order to able to obtain this coverage. Similar to Personal Auto Insurance, convictions will impact a driver’s rates on a commercial policy for a period of three years following the date of conviction.
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FCA covers us for all our business requirements, from equipment to liability, property, builds and everything in-between. Errol Williams is so patient and helpful; I am always confident that we are getting the best possible coverage at a competitive rate. Always the best service!
Chris Dardarian and FCA were great to work with! They provided timely and comprehensive advice and a product that suited our needs. Our situation was complicated by COVID but the transaction was handled efficiently.
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