Commercial Auto Insurance

A common misconception is that personal auto insurance will cover someone using a vehicle for business. However, whether you drive a truck for your construction company, a personal car for delivering food, or a van for transporting people, commercial auto insurance is needed to properly protect yourself, your employees, and your business.

Here’s a little more information about commercial auto insurance and why you may need it.

The difference between personal and commercial auto policies

The main difference between personal and commercial auto insurance is the type of liabilities the policy covers. Yes, personal auto insurance will cover vehicle repairs and medical bills after an accident — but not to the extent of a commercial policy. 

For small business owners, it can be difficult to know if you should invest in a commercial auto policy. To help with this process, we’ve put together the following questions: 

  • Do you transport goods or equipment often?

  • Do you charge passengers a fee to ride in your vehicle?

  • Do you haul heavy, work-related materials?

  • Do you charge people a fee to transport goods (like groceries, takeout, packages, etc.) in your vehicle? 

  • Do you tow a trailer used for business?

If you answered yes to the questions above, you should consider a commercial auto insurance policy.

Commercial vehicles are typically at a higher risk

As commercial vehicles are typically at a higher risk for an accident than personal vehicles, a personal auto insurance policy does not cover individuals when operating a vehicle for work-related purposes. 

According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities. While large trucks and semis typically come to mind when thinking about commercial auto insurance, it applies even to employees who are running errands for their business. From minor rear-end accidents to pedestrian incidents, drivers are at risk every time they are on the road. 

Coverage included with commercial auto insurance 

Coverage will vary based on your business’ specific needs, but the following are typically included in a commercial auto insurance policy:

  • Liability Coverage — Covers damage to you or another individual’s vehicle and any legal costs related to an accident.

  • Medical Payments Coverage — Covers the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation, and, if applicable, lost wages and funeral expenses for you and your passengers as a result of an accident, no matter who is at fault.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UI/UIM) — Coverage in the event that another driver involved in an accident does not have insurance or doesn’t have sufficient coverage to pay your medical bills. Nearly 14% of all drivers in the US are uninsured, so you’re taking your chances if you don’t add UM/UIM coverage to your commercial auto policy. 

  • Comprehensive Coverage — Pays to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged from an incident out of your control, such as fire, vandalism, theft, natural disasters, or collisions with animals like deer.

Discounted plans 

Depending on the number of employees driving, and the purpose for commercial vehicle use, you may be able to receive discounted commercial auto insurance. Additionally, there are safe-driving programs available that employees can participate in to help reduce the overall cost of your policy. Here are a few other ways you may be able to reduce your premium:

  • Hire employees with good driving records

  • Offer drivers additional training 

  • Use the same company for all of your business needs and ask about packaged discounts

  • Purchase vehicles with additional safety features

Still have questions about commercial auto insurance? Contact your local Doherty agent for more information. Only after fully understanding our clients’ needs do we make recommendations, and match our clients with an insurance company that provides the best combination of coverage and price for that client’s individual situation.


Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303