Businesses that use commercial vehicles typically do so to transport products or equipment. If this applies to your business, you likely have commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance can help protect your business’ vehicles and, in some cases, the cargo inside.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Driving a vehicle for business usually excludes that vehicle from coverage offered by standard, personal car insurance. Even if you have a personal policy, driving your car in the regular course of business (besides commuting to and from work) might mean that policy becomes void during that time. It is only a commercial auto policy that might be able to assist you during times of business driving.
A commercial auto insurance policy will contain several types of coverage that look like regular car insurance coverage. Usually, it can include:
These coverage elements will come with specially-tailored policy limits and terms. This will help address the specific financial and operating risks that accompany business vehicles, as opposed to private cars. Furthermore, policies can also usually offer additional coverage that will apply to niche risks.
You might not worry about how your personal car insurance might apply to cargo or possessions carried within the vehicle. However, to a business, this factor is often important. Will your commercial auto policy extend to this type of loss?
By itself, a commercial auto insurance policy often will not include coverage for the van’s cargo.
If accident damages that cargo, you might have to apply for an additional type of insurance, called Inland Marine Insurance. In many cases, you must purchase this coverage separate from a commercial auto policy, though the two policies work very closely together in the event accidents occur.
Expanding Your Protection with Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine coverage offers specific insurance to items carried within your business vehicles. It gets its name because the policy was developed at a time when river transportation was the main form of shipping in the United States. However, nowadays, it covers cargo transported by road as well. It can help you in a couple of different ways.
Will I have To Pay For All Cargo Damage?
Whether you must file a claim on your own commercial auto or inland marine coverage will depend on a variety of factors.
Speak with your insurance agent before and after an accident to discuss your options when it comes to protecting your business’ cargo.