In some cases, ordinary vehicles can be considered commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles simply refer to vehicles that are used primarily for work purposes. This usually includes big-rig trucks and semi-trucks but can extend to passenger vehicles and more.
A basic pickup truck won't automatically be considered a commercial vehicle, despite the fact that they are frequently used by businessowners and workers, especially in construction. A pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle in some cases, such as if the vehicle is:
- Owned by the business
- Leased for the business
- A personal vehicle used for work purposes
When a pickup truck is considered a commercial vehicle, it is considered a light commercial vehicle (LCV) because of its weight.
What Is A Commercial Vehicle?
Commercial vehicles are vehicles that transport goods or passengers for profit. Examples of commercial vehicles include semi-trucks, box trucks, vans, buses, taxicabs and trailers. Vehicles over a certain weight are also considered commercial vehicles. Vehicles that will be considered commercial vehicles:
- Have a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more (11,794 kilograms), including towed units with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more (4,536 kilograms)
- Transport people for profit
- Designed to carry 16 passengers or more
- Transport hazardous materials
Obviously, a pickup truck is generally used to carry equipment or goods for a business. If the vehicle is owned by the business, it is a commercial vehicle. If the pickup is an employee's personal vehicle, things grow a little more complicated.
A personal pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle if it is frequently used for work purposes. This doesn't include commuting to and from work. Work purposes relate to frequently transporting goods or equipment for a business. If your personal vehicle is often used for work purposes, you will need to insure it with commercial auto insurance. Personal auto insurance won't cover accidents that occurred while the vehicle was being used for profit.
Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover Personal Use?
Thankfully, you can add an endorsement onto your commercial auto insurance policy to cover personal use so that you won't have to carry two auto insurance policies for the same vehicle. Be careful when insuring your vehicle, however. If you insure a personal vehicle with commercial auto insurance when it's not truly used for work purposes, not only will you not have coverage, but your insurance agency may also drop you.
How Much is Commercial Auto Insurance for a Pickup Truck?
The cost of insurance for a pickup truck depends on many factors, including:
- Make, Model and Value
- Credit Score
- Driving Record
- Claims History
- Distance Being Traveled
On average, commercial auto insurance can cost anywhere between $600 and $2,400 a year. For pickup trucks in low-risk industries, this rate tends to be toward the lower end. It also depends on the driver's driving record, however. If a businessowner employs drivers, each driver's driving record is considered on an insurance policy. It's important to vet employees carefully during the hiring process to avoid high rates and more risk of accidents.
A businessowner with a commercial auto insurance policy may purchase additional coverage, called Hired and Non-Owned Auto. This insurance covers vehicles borrowed or leased by the business, including employee's personal vehicles. This coverage only covers liability, however, and won't cover damages to the actual vehicle. The liability offered by Hired and Non-Owned Auto protects the business, not the driver. Each driver should still carry their own auto insurance policy to protect themselves against liability claims in case of an accident.
If you're in doubt, speak with Auto Insurance Discounters agent about whether your pickup qualifies as a commercial vehicle.
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