What Differentiates Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance?

Understanding commercial auto insurance.company van

If your company owns vehicles or requires employees to drive on the job, then you need to protect your business with the right commercial auto insurance.  But what is this coverage, and what makes it different than personal car insurance policies?  Here’s what you need to know.

Personal vs. Commercial Auto

When you compare personal and commercial auto policies, you’ll notice that both types of insurance offer similar forms of coverage.  For instance, both personal and commercial auto policies will offer coverages such as collision, comprehensive, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments, and so on.  The main difference between these two types of insurance is the amount of coverage that they offer.  Because businesses face higher liability risks and have more assets to protect than individuals, commercial auto policies offer higher coverage limits and are designed to cover more complex legal issues than personal policies are.  Additionally, because businesses can use standard cars, vans, and even delivery trucks, commercial auto policies are designed to cover a wider array of vehicles than personal car insurance.

What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?

Commercial auto insurance is designed to cover accidents that occur when you or your employees are using a vehicle for business purposes.  While this coverage obviously encompasses company-owned vehicles, it can also extend to your employee’s personal vehicles that they are using for business-related purposes.

Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?

Any business that routinely uses vehicles to carry out operations needs commercial auto insurance.  This includes businesses that handle the following:

  • Transporting goods or equipment
  • Delivering goods or services
  • Driving around clients or employees
  • Renting out company vehicles for client use
  • Hauling work-related loads
  • Towing trailers used for business purposes

Securing the Right Commercial Auto Insurance

Because heavy vans and trucks will cause more damage than standard vehicles in an accident, these types of vehicles face higher liability risks.  If your business owns vehicles that weigh more than five tons or haul more than one-ton loads, you require special commercial insurance coverage.  Vehicles that fall into this category include minibuses, cement mixers, semi-trucks, and tow-trucks.

This is what makes commercial auto insurance different than personal policies.  Do you have additional questions about your business’s insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your commercial coverage needs today.

Can Kids Stay on Your Auto Insurance Forever?

What parents should know about insuring their kids on their auto insurance handing female driver car keyspolicies.

When your child got their driver’s license, you probably added them to your auto insurance policy because it was the easiest and most affordable way to get them covered.  However, now that they are growing up and setting off on their own, you may be wondering about your ability to keep them insured on your policy.  Here’s what you should know about parents’ keeping their kids on their auto policies.

  • Auto Insurance Residency Requirements

Where you live is the most important factor for auto insurance companies who cover multiple drivers on the same policy.  Usually, car insurers will allow parents and children to remain on the same policy as long as they all reside at the same address.  This means that many insurance companies will let children stay on their parents’ policy as long as they still live at home.

  • When Your Child Moves Out

Once your child officially moves out of your home, they are legally required to secure their own auto insurance policy.  Prior to their move, make sure they secure their own policy and inform your auto insurance provider so they can remove your child from your coverage.  Please note that attempting to keep your child on your policy by lying about their new address is an act of fraud.  Should the insurance company find out about this, then you risk being denied claims coverage and having the policy canceled altogether.  So, if you do not want to lose your coverage, be upfront about your child’s changing living situation.

  • Residency Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the residency rule.  For instance, if a child is leaving home to attend college, then they can still remain on your policy.  This is because your home is still probably your child’s primary residence.  The other exception to this rule is children of divorced parents.  If you and your spouse are divorced, then you can still list your child on your auto policy, even if they only live with you for a portion of the year.

This is what you need to know about keeping your child on your auto insurance policy.  Do you have additional questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your personal insurance needs today.

Do Drivers with Health Insurance Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Do drivers need both types of coverage to be protected?smashed car with airbags

No one wants to pay more for auto insurance than they have to.  This is why many drivers look to save money by cutting down on coverage.  For instance, many drivers don’t want to pay for uninsured motorist coverage, assuming that their health insurance will be enough.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  Here’s why drivers can’t afford to skip out on uninsured motorist protection.

  • What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If you get into an accident with an uninsured individual, they will not have coverage for your injuries or vehicle repairs.  Additionally, most uninsured motorists do not typically have assets, meaning that the driver probably won’t be able to cover your accident recovery costs out of pocket.  This is where uninsured motorist coverage kicks in.  This form of insurance will provide coverage for things like your car repairs, medical treatment, and so on.

  • Why This Coverage is Important

If you already have collision and health insurance, then you may feel like uninsured motorist coverage is unnecessary. However, it’s important to understand that this coverage extends further than your existing policies.  Specifically, uninsured motorist coverage offers more benefits that your health insurance.  For instance, your health plan will only cover the cost of your medical treatment.  However, what happens if you can’t work due to your injuries, or if you are suffering mental and emotional trauma following the accident?  With uninsured motorist coverage, you will have coverage for your medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages, and reparation for your pain and suffering.  With these extended benefits, it’s easy to see why it’s worth it to carry uninsured motorist coverage.

This is why drivers need the protection offered by uninsured motorist coverage.  Do you have more questions about your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

What to Do When Switching Auto Policies

Take these steps when switching to a new auto insurance policy.looking up auto insurance online

There are many reasons why you may want to switch to a new auto insurance policy.  For instance, you may be moving to a new state, want to set higher coverage limits, or want access to cheaper rates.  Whatever your reason, it’s important that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable during your insurance transition.  To maintain your coverage, here are some of the important steps to take.

  • Determine Your Best Time to Switch

The easiest time to change insurance carriers is when your current policy is up for renewal.  At this point, you will simply inform your carrier that you do not want to renew your policy.  Then, all you need to do it ride out your remaining coverage period, and your policy will be officially canceled.   However, you also have the option to cancel your auto policy outside of renewal periods.  All standard auto insurance policies include a provision that allows you to cancel your policy at any time, so long as you give your carrier proper notice.  Cancelation protocols are different for every insurer, but many will prorate your latest premium up to your cancelation date.  Additionally, many insurers will charge you a cancelation fee to cover administrative costs associated with canceling your coverage mid-cycle.

  • Choose and Activate Your New Policy

It’s not advised to cancel your auto insurance policy before having a replacement in mind.  When shopping for a new auto insurance provider, make sure you secure several quotes so you can compare different carriers’ coverage options, coverage limits, deductibles, discounts, and so on.  Once you have found your new auto policy, it’s important that you sign off on this coverage before taking steps to cancel your old policy.  While your coverage will overlap for a short period, taking this precaution will help you avoid any gaps in your car insurance.  Because coverage gaps equate to higher auto insurance premiums, it’s actually more cost-effective to pay for double-coverage temporarily than risk a gap in your insurance record.

These are some of the steps that you should take when switching auto insurance policies.  Do you have questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our agents are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How You Can Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates This Year

Easy ways to lower your auto insurance rates in 2020.toy car next to calculator

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to start working towards your resolutions.  If you challenged yourself to spend less money this year, then you may be looking for ways to cut costs.  One way that you can save money is by lowering your car insurance premiums.  To save on your auto coverage, try out these suggestions.

  • Pay Your Premiums All at Once

Typically, auto insurance premiums are given in six-month terms.  While you have the option to pay your premiums in monthly installments, you may be able to save by paying your premium all at once.  Many car insurance carriers offer discounts to policyholders who agree to pay the whole six-month premium upfront.

  • Bump Up Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay towards insurance claims before your coverage kicks in.  The higher the deductible you assume, the lower your premiums will be.  If you can afford to increase your deductible this year, then do it so you can save on your auto policy.

  • Cut Back on Driving

The more you drive, the higher your auto insurance premiums will be.  This is because the more you drive, the higher your risk for accidents and vehicular damage.  By cutting down on the miles you put on your car, you can actually reduce your auto insurance premiums.  As an added bonus, driving less also saves you money on gas and helps the environment.

These are some of the policy and life adjustments that you can make to save on your auto insurance this year.  Do you have more questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your auto insurance needs today.

Understanding Non-Owners Car Insurance

What does non-owners car insurance cover?exchanging car key with a driver

If you don’t own a car, then you may assume that you don’t need auto insurance.  However, if you drive other people’s cars or use car-sharing services, then you need the protection offered by a non-owner car insurance policy.  But what exactly does this type of insurance cover?  Here’s what you need to know.

Coverage Details

Non-owners car insurance offers liability coverage when you are driving a vehicle that is not yours.  Liability coverage will pay for third-party injuries and damages that you may cause during an accident.  Please note that non-owners car insurance will not cover any injuries that you or your passengers sustain during an accident.  Additionally, you will not have any coverage to pay for damages to the car you are driving.

Who Needs This Coverage?

Non-owners car insurance isn’t right for all drivers.  However, you may want to consider securing this coverage if you:

  • Need an SR-22 or FR-44– If you don’t own a car but need your license reinstated, then you can secure non-owners car insurance to meet the insurance requirements necessary to file an SR-22 or FR-44.
  • Use Car-Sharing Services– If you use a car-sharing service such as Zipcar or Car2Go, then the company will offer you limited liability coverage. To supplement this coverage, you can secure a non-owners policy to ensure that accident costs do not come out of your own pockets.
  • Want to Maintain Coverage– If you have a gap in your car insurance coverage, then this will mark you as risky to insure. If you are getting rid of your car, but don’t want to have a gap in your coverage, then you can secure a non-owners policy to tide you over.
  • Rent Cars Frequently– If you often rent cars, then having a non-owners insurance policy may be cheaper than buying liability insurance through the rental company. Remember, non-owners policies will not cover damages to your rental car, so you will still need collision and comprehensive coverage from the rental company.
  • Borrow Other’s Car Frequently– If you often borrow your friends’ or family members’ cars, then their insurance will cover you in an accident. However, the cost of a crash may exceed their liability coverage limits.  By securing a non-owners policy, your liability coverage can supplement the car owner’s insurance.

This is what you need to know about non-owners car insurance.  Do you have additional questions about this special form of auto coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

What Separates Personal and Commercial Car Insurance?

Why personal and commercial car insurance are different.line of semi-trucks

If your business requires the use of company vehicles, then you must secure the right commercial auto insurance to protect your business’s risk.  But why can’t businesses simply use personal auto policies to protect company vehicles?  Here’s what separates personal and commercial car insurance.

In actuality, personal and commercial auto insurance is not that different.  In fact, both types of insurance essentially offer the same types of coverage.  For instance, personal and commercial auto policies both offer coverage for collision, comprehensive, liability, and so on.  The main difference between these two forms of insurance is the amount of liability coverage each offers.  Because businesses have more assets and face a higher risk for liability lawsuits, commercial auto insurance policies have much higher liability coverage limits than personal policies.  Additionally, commercial policies are also equipped to cover a wider array of vehicles, such as delivery vans, shipping trucks, as well as standard cars.

There is also a special form of commercial auto insurance designed to cover heavy-duty vehicles.  Because heavy vehicles cause more damage in an accident than light vehicles, they need higher liability coverage limits.  So, if your business owns things like minibusses, cement mixers, semi-trucks, tow-trucks, and so on, then talk with your commercial insurance provider to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

This is what you need to know about the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance.  Do you need help securing coverage for your company vehicles?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your business insurance needs today.