If you have a business that utilizes company vehicles, whether it’s one single truck or a fleet of twenty company cars, you need commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance, like personal auto insurance, is designed to protect the vehicle owner as well as the driver, if they’re different. It also protects others on the road with whom your commercial vehicle may be the proven cause of physical damage, property damage or both. Finally, commercial auto insurance protects the business itself from losses, including liability suits. Here are some things to know about commercial auto insurance in North Carolina:

  1. Commercial auto insurance is applicable to vehicles bought specifically to be used for business or for personal vehicles that are also used for business.
  2. Every business owned vehicle driven on North Carolina public roads must have commercial auto insurance coverage.
  3. North Carolina State minimum commercial auto insurance minimums are the same as the minimums for personal vehicles (30/60/25) and include liability for bodily injury and property damage plus uninsured motorist coverage.
  4. In addition to having state-mandated liability coverage, optional insurance coverage is available with commercial policies just as they are with individual personal policies. These options include collision, comprehensive, medical payments and more.
  5. Since personal vehicle insurance policies don’t cover using a private vehicle for business, if you or your employees regularly use your private vehicles for business-related activities you may need to get HNOA, hired and non-owned auto insurance coverage. This also protects you from losses suffered while operating a rental vehicle. This HNOA policy covers liability only and doesn’t pay toward the costs of repairing the vehicle.
  6. Numerous factors go into the underwriting of a commercial auto insurance policy, not the least of which is the quality of the drivers you have operating your company vehicles. Those with poor driving records, with moving violations and accident claims, can cause your insurer to look at your company as a higher risk when writing your coverage. This may result in a higher policy cost. Check your drivers’ driving records before adding them to your employee roster and make sure they submit to a drug test.

Who Needs Commercial Vehicle Insurance?

If you or your employees operate company vehicles for business purposes, you need commercial vehicle insurance. This may include the following types of vehicles:

  • Company cars
  • Service trucks
  • Food trucks
  • Construction vehicles
  • Forklifts
  • Dump trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Work vans
  • Utility trucks
  • Tractor/trailers