by Ed S. Chicago auto insurance specialist

Commercial Auto Insurance Physical Damage

Personal and commercial auto insurance policies are composed of mainly two fundamental coverages: Liability Insurance  and Physical Damage. There could be other optional coverages involved such as towing & rental. One of the significant portion of personal and commercial auto insurance is physical damage coverage.

Physical Damage Insurance

Physical damages insurance refers to the comprehensive and collision coverage in both personal and commercial auto insurance. In order to properly define comprehensive coverage, definition of collision is required first.
Specified Causes of Loss vs Comprehensive Insurance

Collision Auto Insurance


Collision auto insurance pays for damages caused  to an insured vehicle which result from the vehicle colliding with another object  (vehicle, wall, etc) or from the overturn of the vehicle. The coverage pays to repair the damaged vehicle itself after the insured pays the deductible, not anything else.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

The second part of the physical damage coverage is called comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance pays for damages caused to the insured vehicle which result from any loss other than collision, after the insured pays for the deductible first.

Specified Causes of Loss Insurance

Specified causes of loss is a common coverage that is frequently used as a cheaper alternative to comprehensive coverage in commercial auto insurance policies. Specified causes of loss offer less coverage than comprehensive coverage. For example: A specified causes of loss policy may limit coverage to Fire and Theft. In other words, the policy will specify what is covered, as opposed to 'any thing other than collision'. For that reason, specified causes of loss and comprehensive coverages cannot co-exist on the same policy because of duplicate coverage.

Because of the limited coverage offered under the specified causes of loss, the cost is usually less. But the lower rate comes normally on the expense of relinquishing fundamental coverages that many commercial trucking businesses need for their aemi trucks/ vehicles.

Specified Causes of Loss Insurance Does Not Cover Falling Objects

For example, flood and falling objects may not be covered losses under certain specified causes of loss policies. If the truck is damaged by falling objects such as ice, trees, hail, or by flood or water damage the insurance company will pay if the policy contains comprehensive coverage, and will not pay for the damages if the coverage was the specified causes of loss, instead.

Specified Causes of Loss Insurance Does Not Cover Hitting Deers

Another important cause of loss is hitting animals. Hitting a deer can cause extensive damages to a semi truck when driving at high speed. Hitting a deer, or other animals, is normally covered under comprehensive coverage, and may not be covered under specified causes of loss (unless really specified in the policy).

Specified Causes of Loss Insurance Does Not Cover Parked Autos

Hit and run is normally covered under comprehensive coverage section of the policy. If covered by 'specified causes of loss' instead of comprehensive then your company may not pay if your semi truck/ automobile is hit while parked by an unknown vehicle.
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