Commercial Auto Insurance in Massachusetts

Commercial Auto Insurance in Massachusetts and Throughout New England

Why is it such a challenge to get comprehensive coverage at an affordable rate for your business’ commercial auto insurance needs?

If you and your employees use any type of vehicles to conduct your business – whether they are company-owned, rented, leased or personal vehicles – then you probably already have commercial auto insurance or are aware that this is a critical protection you should have. However, there are two things you may not completely understand about your commercial auto insurance:

1. Why do your premiums seem to remain high year after year?
2. How can you access potential cost-saving insurance options by partnering with ICNE?

One of the major culprits for today’s commercial auto insurance rates – as well as for personal car insurance premiums – is distracted driving. This issue is truly an epidemic on our roads today and causes approximately 3,500 fatalities a year. Whether it’s the temptation of making a call or checking a text on a cell phone, using GPS for directions, or selecting a new song to play, drivers across all age groups are finding it increasingly more difficult to keep their eyes where they should be while driving – on the road.

Unfortunately, it’s likely your employees are no exception to the distracted driving trend on roads today. In fact, they may be even more prone to demonstrating dangerous behaviors behind the wheel because company vehicles are typically laden with even more technology than traditional passenger cars. “Connected” commercial vehicles are wholeheartedly endorsed by ICNE because they help your employees get their jobs done more effectively and efficiently than ever before; however, the added technology may be increasing their risk of distraction as well.

Adding to the dangers, commercial vehicles, such as box trucks and vans, also tend to have worse driver visibility than traditional passenger cars and are more difficult to control and slow down when an emergency occurs. All of these factors, combined with the prevalence of distracted drivers, are contributing to a higher number of work vehicle accidents and, subsequently, affecting insurance premiums for all.

A photo a contractor and his work van, protected by commercial auto insurance

This is not to say that all accidents are caused by the commercial vehicle. In reality, according to a report released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), more times than not it’s car drivers that are at fault when cars and trucks crash with one another. However, it really doesn’t matter if it’s your employees or another driver traveling on the road alongside of them that is distracted and causes an accident, does it? At ICNE, we believe that if your company has employees out on the road conducting business activities, then this is a serious issue to address, not just for the safety of your drivers, but also to control your insurance costs.

How To Put The Brakes On Your Commercial Auto Insurance Costs

At ICNE, we have a team of experienced business insurance professionals who are here to help you with all your business insurance needs well beyond just finding you the right insurance policy. We are highly committed to helping you safeguard your business against risks, like employee distracted driving, and our dedicated staff is always here ready to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions about how best to manage these vulnerabilities. In fact, we provide our commercial clients with many additional services to support their business operations, including Risk Management and Loss Control Services.

Since accidents involving a company vehicle can be among the most costly claims for your business, ICNE’s team not only wants to ensure that you have the optimal insurance coverage, but we also want to help you develop and implement safety protocols that can potentially reduce incidents and their related expenses, including:

  • Set clear hiring standards for drivers: Pre-hiring physicals, drug testing and evaluation of driving record, are all crucial in the hiring process.
  • Define how to train and educate these select drivers to create a reliable and safe team: It’s critical to educate employees on safe driving habits and to always encourage them to drive alert, buckled, cautious and defensive. In addition, whether you’re enforcing that your employees should pull over and stop their vehicles if they need to use their phones or educating your drivers about the risks and possible consequences for driving distracted, there is no substitute for having your team practice – repeatedly – the behaviors that you want them to follow when they hit the road. Training should not just be implemented for all full-time and part-time employees who may operate company vehicles, but also for workers who sometimes use their own personal cars to run company errands.
  • Clearly identify all drivers in the company: This should be a comprehensive list of not just those who drive company-owned vehicles, but also those employees that use their personal and/or rented vehicles on behalf of the company.
  • Outline a review process for evaluating performance: One way to regularly monitor your employees’ driving practices, and encourage safe driving practices at the same time, is to take advantage of today’s smart technology to observe their behaviors in real-time. If you knew you were being watched and assessed on your driving performance and conduct behind the wheel, wouldn’t you be on your best behavior?
  • Plan for vehicle repairs, maintenance, and inspections: Having a daily, weekly, monthly and annual vehicle maintenance schedule will reduce costly breakdowns and/or help prevent accidents related to mechanical issues that could have been avoided.
  • Implement a process for investigating accidents, determining the cause, and most important, coming up with solutions for any identified problems: In the event of an accident, you can also use technology to help you determine the cause of an accident, whom may be at fault, accurate time and place data, speed, and many additional important factors. With this knowledge you will be better equipped to fix the problems you identify before they cause any future accidents.
  • Analyze your company’s driver safety records: This evaluation will also aid in identifying possible causes of accidents and help you form recommendations to prevent them from happening again.

A thorough fleet safety program establishes written policies and procedures for everything from hiring and training to maintenance and accident reporting. Your ICNE professionals will take a collaborative and consultative approach in helping you and your team develop a strategic fleet safety plan that could potentially reduce your business expenses.

With the proper Commercial Auto Insurance policy in place, you can safeguard a variety of commercial vehicles and save money.

Commercial Auto Insurance, sometimes referred to as commercial car insurance, truck insurance or fleet insurance, covers a variety of vehicles, including:

  • Company cars
  • Box trucks
  • Food trucks
  • Work vans
  • Utility trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Semi trucks
  • Tractor trailers
  • Dump trucks
  • Taxicabs and Limousines

This type of insurance not only covers the vehicles themselves, but also the employees driving them and possibly the equipment and/or products inside. Some of the basic commercial auto coverage options that you will find in your policy include:

  • Liability coverage, which provides protection for bodily injury and property damage caused by the maintenance or use of your company-owned vehicles.
  • Physical damage coverage, which provides collision and comprehensive coverage as well as coverage for losses due to theft, fire, vandalism, and more.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which provides coverage for your driver’s injuries or your property damage when the other driver – not your employee – is at-fault but doesn’t carrier enough, or any, liability insurance to cover accident-related expenses.

In addition to ensuring that you have the proper level of standard coverages in your commercial auto policy, your ICNE professional will also help you customize your insurance solution to fit your specific business needs.

For example, you may require a special endorsement if your employees drive their own cars for business purposes, like running errands or visiting customers. Let’s say a member of your staff goes to the post office to drop off priority mail packages and gets in an accident on their way back to the office. If your employee is found to be at-fault, you, as the business owner, could be held accountable. To protect yourself in case of this type of situation, it might be wise for you to consider Non-Owned Automobile Coverage which will provide liability protection and cover bodily injury or property damage caused by the employee’s car if they exceed the limits provided by the employee’s personal auto coverage.

We know that all these coverage details and additional endorsements can get complicated. But, don’t worry, ICNE’s commercial insurance team will walk you through exactly what we recommend for your specific business situation and, more important, explain to you the reasons why these options are important.

Lastly, by working with ICNE you will gain access to the top commercial auto insurance carriers who may offer credits for vehicles:

  • Proven to be safe, reliable and not too expensive to repair
  • With air bags, a backup camera, signage on company vehicles, GPS tracking, alarm systems, dashboard cameras, and anti-theft devices
  • Secured by fences, gates, and cameras

While ICNE is one of the area’s largest and privately-owned, independent insurance agencies, you can be sure that our team will take a very personal approach to working with you. Our commercial insurance specialists will get to know all about you, your business, your vehicles and your drivers, so that we can find the optimal commercial auto insurance, at the most competitive rates, for your specific needs. Contact us anytime with questions, to review your current insurance policies, or for help making an informed decision about protecting your business.

If you are ready for a more personal relationship with a trusted insurance agent who is always looking out for you and your business, then call us today at (800) 243-8134 or stop into any one of our three convenient Massachusetts offices.

Did You Know?

In addition to providing you with commercial auto insurance, the ICNE team is available to:

  • Make runs to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Instead of taking time out of your work day, or pulling an employee away from their job, let us pick up your registrations for you! We will also ensure all registry paperwork is filed correctly and handle any difficult registry issues that may arise so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
  • Take care of each of your commercial vehicles’ renewals. In Massachusetts as well as some other New England states that we serve, commercial vehicle plates need to be renewed each year. Again, with ICNE as your partner, you don’t need to stress about getting this done; our team will take care of the renewals sufficiently in advance of when they are due.

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