Rather than insure all of your business vehicles individually, you can use fleet insurance to cover them all at the same time. This commercial auto insurance product can cover a large number of vehicles or a small number (six or less is typically a mini fleet). It covers any type of motor vehicle where a license is required, including cars, trucks and vans. Fleet insurance offers different options and costs for coverage, so it pays to shop around when deciding to obtain coverage.
Fleet insurance, a type of commercial insurance, gives insurance coverage for a company's motor vehicles. You can choose to have all vehicles covered with the same types of coverage or a variety, all depending on your needs. The most complete coverage is comprehensive and basic liability insurance. This will cover repairs and medical for accidents that may occur involving your vehicles and your drivers (comprehensive) as well as the other injured party (liability). You can even include coverage that temporarily replaces a vehicle when one of yours is out of use. You will find that premiums will cost more on this type of policy, but depending on how the vehicles are used, it may be worth it in the long run.
You can elect to purchase insurance coverage on your fleet that covers just the other party in an accident (liability only). You can opt for this limited type of coverage if you own the vehicles free and clear. (If you owe a lender for the vehicle, the lender will require full coverage on the vehicle to protect its financial interest in the event the vehicle is in a devastating accident). Liability insurance covers the other party's medical needs for injuries and repairs on his vehicle if an accident happens and it is determined that your driver is at fault. Your driver and vehicle will have no coverage under this limited type of coverage. Your premium cost will be much lower in this type of policy.
Roadside Assistance insurance coverage is a good idea to have, no matter what type of coverage you have on your vehicles. This coverage offers emergency assistance to your driver in the event he is stuck on the roadside, unable to move. Vehicles get abandoned, leaving them to the dangers of vandalism without roadside assistance coverage. It will cover towing as well as mechanical help to the driver and vehicle when needed, keeping your vehicles and drivers moving and producing.
Insurance companies will not cover claims for drivers that do not meet their licensing requirements, so make sure that all your drivers have the right license for the vehicles they will drive. It is advisable to run a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) report on all of your drivers, looking for accidents where the driver was at fault, as well as speeding citations. You will find that premium costs will be higher for young drivers as well as those who are elderly. Signing your employees up for driver education classes may help reduce your fleet insurance costs. You may also qualify for discounts if you install electronic immobilizing theft systems in your newer vehicles and have a secure area to store vehicles when they are not in use, such as a shop or fenced lot.
Choosing a Fleet Insurance Policy
When choosing an insurance company for your fleet policy, it is best to use one where someone you know has had good experience. Compare rates and coverages by shopping via the Internet, as well as your local insurance providers via yellow pages. Look for fleet insurance providers that specialize in the type of vehicles you use in your business. Talk with each agent about your company's specific needs and vehicle usage honestly. Good communication will insure that your needs will be met, and at competitive rates.
Joey Campbell spent eight years in real estates sales and property management. She has been active in residential and commercial mortgage for the past 23 years in the Southeastern U.S. Campbell has attended hundreds of seminars, and has written and conducted workshops on subjects such as credit, debt excelleration and prequalifying for residential mortgages.