As you drive, you will likely share the road with other drivers. Their vehicles are as important to them as yours is to you. Therefore, you must do what you can to protect them from you and your own driving risks. Various steps can go into this process. One of the most important is to carry auto liability insurance. If you operate a commercial vehicle, this coverage becomes doubly important. Why is this coverage critical? How can it help you and your business?
Why Business Vehicles Need Insurance
You might not think you need to insure your vehicle if you already carry commercial insurance in general. But this is incorrect. Commercial vehicles need commercial auto insurance, and liability coverage specifically.
All businesses need insurance. The most critical and expensive facets of your company need the most specific coverage. Among these is a business vehicle, if you have one in your possession.
You cannot insure business vehicles with a standard business owners policy or general liability insurance. Nor can you use a standard car insurance policy. Rather, you must turn to a specific commercial auto insurance policy. Whether your business owns a vehicle, or you use a personal vehicle significantly for work, you might need this coverage.
The importance of commercial auto insurance cannot be understated. It helps you as an individual, as well as the business itself, recover from unexpected accidents. You can use your policy for a financial settlement following a problem you cannot expect.
Beyond the personal benefits, auto insurance protects others from the harm you might accidentally cause them. However, you need a particular type of coverage — liability protection — to safeguard these risks. Getting this coverage often is not optional. Rather, your state will probably require you to carry it. Why is it so important to carry coverage?
What's Liability Coverage?
The requirement to carry liability insurance exists in many states. Particularly, it is present in those that permit insurers to assign fault in wrecks. Liability coverage comes into play when a wreck is your fault. It covers the damage you cause to other parties.
Let's say you hit another vehicle because you ran a stoplight. You cause damage to the vehicle, and you injure the other driver. Because you ran the light (and broke the law) the authorities and insurers will likely blame you for the accident. As a result, the party to whom you caused harm will likely be able to make a claim on your liability policy. Most policies will contain two elements of coverage:
- Bodily Injury Protection pays for physical injuries sustained by those injured in the other vehicle.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage insures the property damage you cause to the other party. For example, the other driver might be able to make repairs to their vehicle using this coverage.
In Missouri, you must carry at least the following levels of liability insurance.
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 total property damage coverage per accident
The minimum limits often do not prove enough protection for all drivers. Legal penalties, injuries and property damage could easily the minimum limits of your policy. Therefore, you might face substantial out-of-pocket costs — even with insurance.
You should therefore work with your Auto Insurance Discounters agent to determine the appropriate levels of liability coverage for you. In most cases, you can choose several hundred-thousand dollars of coverage. That will provide a lot more protection in the event you need it.
Why Do You Need Liability Insurance?
Vehicle liability insurance is extremely important for all drivers. It's even more critical for business operators. With coverage, you'll be able to put your business in a better spot to respond to harm caused other people.
- The financial components of your liability policy will pay for the impacted parties' damages. Therefore, you might not have to spend anything out of the company coffers to pay for the damage. What residual costs you do pay will likely prove minimal. Of course, to cut the losses to the business, you'll need to carry the highest limits of coverage.
- When insuring the business' vehicles, you'll also insure drivers who use those vehicles. Therefore, you'll be able to ensure that personal drivers have protection in case they are the person who caused the wreck.
- Liability coverage will include a degree of legal protection for involved parties. Should someone sue the business for their losses, you'll likely be able to use coverage to pay your own legal fees.
- By carrying coverage, you'll follow the law of your state. Therefore, you'll safeguard yourself against penalties that might arise from diving uninsured. Thus, the business might avoid penalties like SR-22s and driving fines.
Commercial auto liability insurance is among the most critical protection for a business. Use it in conjunction with other forms of liability coverage to protect your duty to others. Of course, alongside liability coverage, you'll also likely need collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured coverage. Talk to one of our agents to determine which coverage is appropriate for you.