Commercial auto insurance is a vital asset for businesses and individuals who use their own vehicles for professional purposes. It’s different from personal car insurance, but many people aren’t quite sure exactly how it works.
If you’re managing commercial vehicles, starting a business, or launching a part-time venture using your personal car or truck, it’s essential that you get the right coverage. To do that, you need to understand the ins and outs of commercial insurance. Get started by reviewing the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Commercial Auto Insurance Calgary: When Do You Need Commercial Coverage?
You’ll need commercial auto insurance if:
- You use your vehicle to transport equipment, tools, goods or materials that are directly related to your profession or occupation
- You or your employees drive company-owned, registered commercial vehicles as part of their work duties
- You’re using your vehicle as a primary tool for commercial and/or business activities
All vehicles which have commercial license plates and/or license tags must also be specially covered.
In some cases, you will need supplemental commercial insurance if you’re going to be using your personal vehicle for specific purposes. Examples include:
- Hiring out your vehicle for any reason
- Using your car to make commercial deliveries
- Transporting household equipment to a site for commercial use
- Using your personal vehicle to carry specialized commercial equipment from one place to another
The reason you need additional insurance is that commercial goods, equipment and materials are not covered by standard personal policies, and you need to protect these assets from damage and/or theft. Drivers also face additional liability issues when driving vehicles for commercial purposes, which are also not part of most personal vehicle insurance policies.
Commercial Auto Insurance Calgary: What Are the Different Types of Coverage?
Third-party liability and accident benefits coverage are standard policy requirements in most parts of Canada. However, as with personal auto insurance, keep in mind that the business may be held liable for damages exceeding the policy’s maximum coverage limits. Minimum coverage amounts vary, depending on the nature of the business, the number of vehicles being insured, and who will be driving the vehicles.
Other types of protection afforded by commercial auto insurance include:
- Uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage, which is mandatory in most of Canada, provides compensation if an uninsured motorist injures or kills the driver of a commercial vehicle.
- Direct compensation coverage. In Alberta, you have the option of adding direct compensation coverage, which offers financial protection in the event that the driver of a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident which was not his or her fault.
- Collision and comprehensive coverage. These types of coverage are essentially identical to personal auto insurance policies, and also typically include deductibles.
Does Commercial Insurance Cover Personal Use of a Vehicle?
Most policies allow commercial vehicles to be used for personal reasons, so long as the driver is permitted to use the vehicle under normal circumstances. Your personal insurance will cover you if you’re just driving to or from work, without using your car or truck for business purposes.
If you use a personal vehicle for part-time commercial activities, it may be possible for the business owner to add you to his or her existing insurance policy.
What Unique Protections Does Commercial Insurance Offer?
With commercial auto insurance, you have many options for upgrading your coverage. You can choose supplementary protections, which offer:
- Vehicle replacement in the event of theft or severe damage
- Coverage which extends to borrowed vehicles and rented vehicles
- Full reimbursement, with no depreciation factor, for write-offs on new vehicles
- Protections which limit or eliminate rate increases, even if drivers are involved in at-fault accidents
- Extended coverage for garages and vehicle storage bays
If you have other specialized needs, be sure to discuss them with a qualified insurance professional. You’ve invested a lot in your commercial vehicles; don’t leave them unprotected.
Trust Lane’s for Excellent Rates on Commercial Auto Insurance in Calgary
The world of commercial auto insurance can be complex, but it’s very important not to give in to guesswork and ensure you are properly protected. If you have any questions about Calgary commercial auto insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact a Lane’s Insurance representative for further information.
Lane’s Insurance is a full-service brokerage, offering a comprehensive range of insurance products at highly competitive prices, with extensive customer resources and claims support that’s second to none. Get a fast, free, no-obligation quote by clicking here.