How to Know If You Need Commercial Auto Insurance in Oregon

Commercial Insurance
June 06, 2021
delivery man in commercial auto with boxes and insurance

Oregon is a great state to own a business. The land has a palpable sense of history, and there is enough cultural and economic diversity for many entrepreneurs to make their mark.

However, running a business means you need to protect that business, and that means getting the right level of insurance. But what if you’re getting either too much or too little coverage?

The best example of this is commercial automobile insurance. Some businesses need it, and some don’t, so where does your business fall? Keep reading to discover the answer!

What Is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Our guide is designed to help you discover whether you need commercial auto insurance for your Oregon business. But first, we need to answer a basic question: what is commercial auto insurance?

Basically, commercial auto insurance is designed to cover vehicles that are used for business purposes. Such a policy is important because you (or your employees) may be driving for work and get in an accident that causes injuries, property damage, and even death.

This opens you and your business up to major liability issues and major expenses. A commercial auto insurance policy will cover damages from any accidents up to the limits of your policy.

What Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover?

Now that you know what commercial auto insurance is, you probably have a simple question: What does this kind of insurance actually cover?

Compared to personal car insurance (in which you decide how much or how little coverage you need), commercial auto insurance is pretty straightforward. First, it includes liability coverage to pay for damages and legal fees for accidents that you or your employees may be liable for.

Second, it includes comprehensive and collision coverage. The collision coverage helps protect the company vehicle even if the driver was at fault, and comprehensive coverage helps protect the vehicle from theft, vandalism, and even natural disasters like floods or fires.

Third, such coverage includes uninsured motorist coverage. This is important because damages from accidents caused by others may exceed the limits of their own liability coverage.

Finally, commercial auto insurance includes medical payments coverage. This helps to cover the medical expenses of the driver and any passengers regardless of who was at fault. This kind of coverage will help you and your employees drive with additional peace of mind.

Who Actually Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?

Now you know more about what commercial auto insurance is and what it covers. But that still leaves us with the big question: Who needs commercial auto insurance?

The short answer to that question is this: anyone who extensively uses their vehicle for work purposes beyond simply driving to work needs the protection of commercial auto insurance.

If you simply commute to work each day, you don’t need commercial auto insurance. Your personal policy should be more than enough to protect you (more on this later).

However, what if you use your car to drive clients to a work-related event? Or if your job requires extensive travel to different locations? Or maybe you regularly transport work equipment in your vehicle?

In all of these cases, commercial auto insurance is very important because you are spending extra time on the road, which is more likely to lead to property damage, injuries, and even death.

But if you have commercial auto insurance, those clients will be protected in the event of an accident. Plus, you’ll be protected during those marathon travels. Even your company’s expensive property in your car will be protected as you travel.

On top of all this, some level of business insurance is typically required by law.

Key Differences Between Commercial Auto Insurance and Personal Auto Insurance

The types of coverage that commercial auto insurance provides (such as liability, collision, comprehensive, and so on) should sound pretty familiar to anyone with personal automobile insurance. What, then, are the key differences between personal auto insurance and commercial auto insurance?

We’ve already covered the big difference: With commercial auto insurance, you automatically get all of those different coverages as part of your policy. With personal insurance, most states only require liability insurance. It is up to you whether you add additional coverage on top of that.

Additionally, commercial auto insurance typically has higher limits than most personal policies. This is because company vehicles typically need added protection and business travel situations typically have higher liability risks.

As a nice bonus, commercial auto insurance policies are usually tax-deductible. This helps remove some of the sting of buying a new policy.

Covering Your Employees

commercial delivery vans in row at parking

We have mentioned your employees a few times throughout this guide. And the ability to insure your employees is one of the best things about commercial auto insurance!

Even if you’re the only member of a business, commercial policies are important because of some of the scenarios we have described. But this coverage becomes even more important if you have employees who often travel for business purposes.

With commercial auto insurance, your employees are covered even if they are using their vehicles. For example, if you have employees who make deliveries for you, this insurance will protect them whether or not they are using a company vehicle.

The Bottom Line

Still stuck on whether or not you need commercial auto insurance? As we noted above, it’s pretty simple: if you or your employees regularly use vehicles for company business, then commercial auto insurance is a necessity.

Otherwise, you’re opening your business up to serious liability issues. To put it bluntly, a single-car accident where you or your employees are liable might be enough to end your business unless you have the protection of commercial automobile insurance.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your business and want it to be successful for many years. With commercial auto insurance, you can be assured your business dreams won’t die due to a single negligent moment behind the wheel.

Get the Best Commercial Auto Insurance Today

By now, you should know whether your Oregon business needs commercial auto insurance. But do you know where you can find great commercial car insurance today?

Vern Fonk has the policies to help you protect your business and your employees. To discover the difference Vern Fonk can make, get an online quote today. Or you can find the nearest office and visit us! Alternatively, you can pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-800-455-8276.