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