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This will be the first part in our series discussing commercial auto insurance.

In this post we will discuss commercial auto insurance as it pertains to helping individuals determine if a commercial auto policy is right for them. If you have a personal auto insurance policy and you use your vehicle for your business you may not be adequately insured. Your personal policy will exclude coverage for business use in most circumstances.

Each insurance company has different guidelines on what must be insured on a commercial auto policy so it is important that you discuss this with your agent to ensure that future claims will not denied.  Often times insured drivers don’t realize until it is too late that another policy type must be written to cover their vehicles.  

Some common situations that require business auto policies are:

Vehicle type- Large trucks such as dump trucks and tractor trailers are always on commercial policies but even small pick-ups, vans, and, in some cases, personal autos can also be included.

Ownership- In most cases, if your vehicle is in the name of a business you typically will need a commercial policy.

Advertising- Painted or wrapped advertising including logos and signs on your vehicle is a common guideline that will require you to need a commercial auto policy.

Vehicle use- If you are using your vehicle for things such as delivery of goods, transportation of people, reading of meters, or transportation to more than 1 job site per day.  

Weight of vehicle- Most often referred to as gross vehicle weight (GVW), vehicles over a certain weight are required to be on a commercial policy.

Drivers- Typically if you have employees that aren’t family members living in your household as regular drivers, you should insure your vehicle on a commercial auto policy.

Trailers- Personal auto policies will not typically cover trailers towing items used for business. If you aren’t using the vehicle to tow items for your personal use you may need to update your policy.

State Filings- Any proof of liability insurance that is required by the NC DMV other than your typical liability responsibility filings will require you to purchase a commercial auto policy.

Some common vehicles that require commercial auto policies are below:

  • Some private passenger vehicles

  • Pickup trucks

  • Vans

  • Truck tractors 

  • Dump trucks

  • Bucket trucks

  • Box trucks or Straight trucks

  • Flatbed trucks

  • Tow trucks

  • Refrigerated trucks

  • Catering trucks or Food trucks

  • Tank trucks

  • Stake body trucks

It is very important to make sure that your current auto insurance policy will adequately cover you in the event of a claim. The best way to determine that is discussing it with an insurance agent. Our friendly and knowledgeable agents are more than happy to discuss this subject with you. Please feel free to call us anytime at 704-494-9495.