Business owners understand the importance of making sure that their business is properly protected from all risks that can affect them. Owning a vehicle can put the business in jeopardy of a lawsuit in the event of an accident caused by that vehicle. The following are key points that business owners need to remember as they shop for vehicle insurance.

Commercial Vs Personal: Make sure to get business auto coverage anytime the vehicle is titled in the name of the business, even if the vehicle is a small or medium size car that business owner uses personally. In case of an accident the titleholder of the vehicle (in this case it is the business) may be sued as a result, bringing the entire business in a legal preceding. If the insurance policy is not under the name of the (business), then the business may encounter some problems pertaining to the validity of the coverage.

Limits of Coverage: Insurance companies offer different limits of coverage, from the very basic coverage mandated by law (in Illinois it is 20/40/15) to as much as a million dollar for each accident or more. A business that insures its commercial auto at the basic limits of ($20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 property damage per accident) is running in a huge risk of losing its business assets in case of at fault accident involving their with death or serious injury to others. To avoid losing business assets enough liability limits is required.

Proper Classification of Vehicle: Improper classification of the business auto may lead to voiding insurance coverage, hence rendering policy useless and putting business in great risk of losing business assets in the event of at fault auto accident. A truck that is used by a painting contractor has different classification than a similar truck used as a dump truck. The two trucks have different classifications and their premiums are not the same.

A vehicle that is titled in the name of a business, or one that is used to run a business are required to have commercial auto insurance coverage. The following are examples of vehicles that need commercial insurance:

Artisan and contractors ,Courier and delivery services, Ice cream venders, Farming and livestock, Landscaping, Limo and Taxi Cabs, Para-Transit transporters,  Messenger service, Religious and non-profit, Restaurant and food services, Snow plowing, Pickup truck insurance, Van insurance, Truck insurance, Tow truck insurance, Dump truck insurance, Landscaping insurance.

Mandatory Commercial Auto Insurance Includes:

(1) Auto Liability. In Illinois a minimum of $20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 property damage per accident is required from all vehicles, personal or commercial. Some commercial vehicles that require federal filing or state filing may require higher limits. For example, a local tow truck with under 16,000 GVW need to have a minimum of $750,000 in auto liability. A truck that transports hazardous materials is required to have at least one million dollars in liability coverage.

(2) Uninsured Motorist. In Illinois a minimum of $20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per accident is required for Uninsured Motorist coverage. These are the limits that your insurance company will pay people in your commercial auto in the event of them being inured by an insured motorist. Remember that this coverage may not kick if the accident is work related and the business workers compensation policy comes in the picture.

(3) Other mandatory coverage is based on the nature of the business. For certain trucking business that require MC filing a Cargo Coverage is required by law.

Main Optional Coverages for Commercial Vehicle Includes:

(1) Physical Damage- Collision- when the vehicle is physically damaged in an accident involving another vehicle or a stationary object, such as a building, telephone pole, or guardrail. Also Physical Damage- Comprehensive will pay for physical damage to the insured autos caused by a variety of risks, including fire, lightning, theft, vandalism, hail and flood.

(2) Underinsured Motorist. In Illinois a minimum of $20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per accident is required for Underinsured Motorist coverage. These are the amounts that your company will pay people in your commercial auto in the event of them being inured by an insured motorist. Remember that this coverage may not kick if the accident was work related and the business workers compensation policy comes in the picture.

(3) Medical Payments: pay medical expenses for you (if you are not covered by workers' compensation) as well as passengers in your vehicle.

(4) Hired and Non-owned Auto: Pay for damages the business is legally required to pay due to bodily injury or property damage that occurs during the use, loading or unloading of hired or non-owned vehicles used for your business.

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