What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial Auto Insurance policies are a specialized auto insurance policy specifically designed for businesses.  All auto’s that have a gross vehicle weight over 10,000 pounds must be listed on a Commercial Auto policy.  Similar to the Personal Auto policy, the compulsory coverage of the Commercial Auto policy provides Property Damage and Bodily Injury protections to others.  However, additional coverage can be purchased for the three main classes of commercial autos; scheduled, hired and non-owned autos.

Aside from three classes of autos covered on a Commercial Auto policy, there are several forms of Commercial Auto Insurance; Business Auto Form, Garage Form and Truckers Form.  Ask our agents for more information about these coverage forms and how to add them to your Commercial Package Plan!

What is a Scheduled Auto, Hired Auto or Non-Owned Auto?

As previously mentioned, there are three main classes of autos covered under a Commercial Auto policy:

  • A Scheduled Auto is an auto, trailer or semitrailer designed for use or travel on public road, owned by the business listed on the policy.
  • A Hired Auto is a non-owned vehicle that is hired, borrowed or rented by the business and used for business purposes. For example, a landscaping company may needed to hire a large excavator for a short period of time in order to complete job.
  • A Non-Owned Auto is an auto not owned or hired by the business, but the vehicle is used for business purposes. An example would be a restaurant that delivers food using an employee’s automobile for the delivery.

Commercial Auto Insurance Massachusetts

These three above classes are defined by nine symbols.  Understanding the difference between these symbols will determine which coverage is most suitable for your business.  The more common symbols used are:

  • Symbol 7, provides liability and property damage coverage for specifically described autos listed on the policy declarations page
  • Symbol 8, provides liability coverage for hired autos only including leased, hired, rented or borrowed autos
  • Symbol 9, provides liability coverage only for non-owned autos used for the business such as employee, partner or family members vehicles

The subtle difference between each symbol can be confusing.  Our friendly and knowledgeable Business Line Professionals can provide clarity about these symbols and which symbols best apply to your business operations.

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What Coverages Does Business Auto Insurance Include?

Commercial Auto policy provides basic liability protections to others.  However, you can broaden the coverage by purchasing additional coverage parts, and endorsements.

  • Liability coverage, which is compulsory to the Commercial Auto policy, provides liability protection to Property Damage and Bodily Injury to others resulting from the operation, maintenance or use of an auto used for business purposes.
  • Physical Damage coverage, provides physical damage protection to the covered auto. This includes Collison and Comprehensive coverage, similar to the personal auto policy.   

Ask our agents about even more optional coverages and endorsements, such as Substitute Transportation or Mobile Equipment, that can be added to your Commercial Auto policy.

What Massachusetts Businesses Need Business Auto Insurance?

In order to register a vehicle in Massachusetts, the State requires all vehicles intended to be driven on public roads meet the State’s minimum insurance requirements. Thus, all businesses that own a motor vehicle need to carry Business Auto Insurance.

Some examples of businesses that might need coverage include:

  • Charter bus companies and taxi drivers
  • Delivery and courier services
  • Landscapers and snowplows
  • Appliance repair outfits and contractors
  • Universities and colleges
  • Tow truck services 

Commercial Auto Insurance Massachusetts

How Are Commercial Auto Policies’ Premiums Calculated?

Similar to the personal auto policy, there are several factors that impact a policy’s premium.  A few of the items they may consider are:

  • How many vehicles a business owns?
  • What types of vehicles a business owns?
  • Where the business is located?
  • What are the vehicles intended use(s)?
  • What coverage and limits are selected by the policyholder?

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How Can Businesses in Massachusetts Get Commercial Auto Insurance?

Selecting a Commercial Auto policy requires carefully selecting the appropriate coverage parts, determining which symbols apply to your business needs and carefully reviewing the policy terms and conditions.  Altogether, a time-consuming and tedious task.  As an Independent Insurance Agency experienced in writing Commercial Auto Lines policy, our agents can quote your policy comparing multiple insurers and provide guidance on appropriate coverage levels for your business!

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