Choosing Commercial Auto Insurance

If you run a business that relies on delivery or transport, vehicles and the employees that drive them are the lifeblood of your business and need to be protected. Business Automobile Liability Insurance, or commercial auto insurance, will help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing company vehicles and will help protect the driver in the event of an accident. What’s covered, though, depends on the boundaries of the insurance policy. 
If vehicles are the driving force behind your business, we’ve laid out some things you should know and some factors you should consider when choosing commercial auto insurance.

Do You Need It?

First, you should decide whether or not you need commercial auto insurance. You can determine that by answering a few questions. 
Does your business…

  • Deliver goods using a vehicle?
  • Offer transportation service to people?
  • Transport items?
  • Transport hazardous items?
  • Tow or plow?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need commercial auto insurance. But, keep in mind that the type of business you own will also determine whether you need commercial insurance. If you’re a sole proprietor, you might only need personal auto insurance. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to talk to an agent. Better to ask than to go without and put yourself at risk. 

Identify the blind spots in your business and make sure you’re covered with our Business Coverage Assessment

Policy Coverage

If you do determine that you need commercial auto insurance, you need to make sure the policy you choose will do what you need it to do. 
The right commercial auto insurance policy should cover:

  • Bodily injury
  • Medical coverage
  • Collisions
  • Damage not from collisions
  • Towing and labor costs
  • Loading and unloading liabilities 
  • Property Damage 

The coverage for your business will vary and should be discussed with an agent. 

How Much Will It Cost

The price of your policy will vary based on your needs. An agent will be able to help you determine what coverage you should have and what you don’t need but there are outside factors that will determine the cost of your coverage no matter what you choose to cover. 
Some of those factors include:

  • The value of vehicles
  • The types of vehicles
  • Employee driving records
  • Amount of coverage
  • Items being transported

Your potential for risk is what will inevitably determine the cost of your coverage so it’s in your best interest to make sure your hiring drivers and employees with good records, who can be trusted with your vehicles and cargo. 

Fleet Insurance

If you have multiple vehicles, you should look into Fleet Insurance. This will provide liability coverage for all the vehicles owned by your company no matter who is driving them. Your employees can drive any vehicle in your fleet and still be insured if they cause an accident. 
The most important part of choosing commercial auto insurance is making sure you have the right coverage for your business. 
Don’t’ put your vehicles and drivers at risk. Talk to an agent today or use our coverage calculator to make sure you’re covered! 

Professional Liability Insurance for Local Professionals

Professional Liability Insurance for Local Professionals

Professional liability insurance, also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage, is a type of insurance policy designed specifically to cover professional service providers such as consultants, doctors, lawyers, and CPAs. It’s designed to cover these professionals in the event of mistakes, omissions (made by accident or error), or false claims.   

For example, if a CPA is providing tax services and gets something wrong on the client’s tax form, it might later come to the client’s attention that this mistake could have saved them $5,000. If they choose to sue for that money, the CPA would have to pay it directly. With E&O coverage, they would simply pay their deductible.  

How is it determined what risks fall under E&O?

Whether something is considered an error, an omission, or whether it falls under another category (and is better covered by another insurance policy, like general liability) differs from profession to profession. In the legal and medical professionals, the definitions are very clear, while others are more nebulous.

For those professions without clear E&O definitions, it falls to the legal system whether or not E&O occurred and it’s up to the individuals trying to get the settlement to prove that it was justified.

They don’t have to prove that their claim is absolutely true in order to benefit from professional liability insurance.

The insurance protects against the claim, not the settlement.

From here, it’s up to the policyholder to decide whether to use their E&O policy or to pay out of pocket and keep their insurance rates down.

What if the client makes a false claim?

Spurious claims can and do happen. To prepare, service providers such as doctors, create standard letters with their lawyers which they use to respond and help clear them up. These responses are sent to the E&O policy provider. As soon as the E&O provider is involved, however, your premiums will go up, regardless of the outcome of the claim. As such, taking steps to protect against false claims is recommended.

That said, the burden of proof is ultimately on the professional because they have the expertise needed in order to disprove an error or omission. As such, many minimize risk by closely documenting their services, timestamping emails, and recording and recapping all conversations.

Written confirmations outlining and documenting as much as possible can stop false claims before they have the chance to get to court.

Furthermore, well-written contracts that identify how services are provided in different circumstances can help professionals cover themselves against false claims that may otherwise raise their insurance premiums (even if the professional successfully defends themselves against a claim).

Should you protect yourself with professional liability insurance?

If you’re in one of the professions named here, you are not immune to risk or mistakes and professional liability insurance is the best way to protect yourself in the event of a claim. It’s almost important to keep accurate documentation, create well-written contracts, and talk openly with your clients or patients about any concerns. Failure to do so could expose you to risk that could be financially ruinous.

Not sure what coverage you need for your business? Take our 2-minute Commercial Business Assessment and find out!