Typical drivers in Florida are required to carry car insurance. Even if it is only used to help to pay for the bills that the driver may injure, this sort of insurance is an important safety net. Commercial drivers are not immune from such necessities, nor are the businesses for which they work. Whether you own a single truck or you are trying to take care of a large fleet of vehicles, it is important to consider the very real necessity of having commercial auto insurance in Florida.
Unlike typical consumer auto insurance, commercial coverage pays equal attention to the driver of the vehicle and the owner of the vehicle. In many cases, a business will have any number of vehicles available for employee use, and these vehicle policies will generally be in the name of the business itself. Were this sort of policy akin to a consumer contract, the policy would only cover named drivers. Commercial auto insurance in Florida, however, provides protection for both employees of the business and for the employers themselves. This makes for a far less risky driving experience for both the owners of the vehicle and for those driving. While having this sort of coverage cannot prevent accidents, it can prevent them from having a particularly negative effect on your business.
Commercial Auto Insurance Cost
Several factors affect the cost of your Florida commercial auto policy, including your:
Some industries have more risk than others. An electrician who carries tools and equipment to various job sites every day can expect to pay more than an accountant who runs occasional errands.
Your vehicle’s size and use affect your rate. A large carpet cleaning van with an expensive vacuum system will usually have a higher premium than a small delivery van without any attached equipment.
Your commercial insurance carrier will run a motor vehicle report for all drivers with access to your commercial vehicles. Drivers with accidents or violations on their driving record will usually cause your rate to increase. You can expect your insurance company to take the past three years of driving history into account.
The distance you routinely travel can influence your commercial auto rate. A vehicle with a local route within Tampa’s city limits is considered lower risk than a vehicle with a regional route that covers the entire Florida panhandle.
The amount of coverage you need affects your rate.
Florida Commercial Auto Insurance Requirements
Florida state law requires a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for the medical expenses of your drivers and passengers regardless of who is at fault for an accident. Florida’s considered a “no-fault” state, meaning that you can only sue an at-fault driver for injuries once this coverage has been exhausted.
The state’s minimum liability limits are $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 for property damage (i.e. 10/20/10). In Florida, this is referred to as residual bodily injury and property damage (RBI-PD) because it pays in excess of a third-party’s insurance if you’re at-fault. Property damage liability is required, while residual bodily injury is optional.
You might be required to carry higher limits based on the types of vehicles listed on your policy. It’s best practice to select limits that are best for your business in addition to what’s required by Florida state law.
What to Remember About Commercial Auto Plans
Commercial auto insurance is a fine product to buy, it is important that you remember to talk to an agent about the various types of policies available. You may need particular coverage if your vehicles are used for an unusual purpose, if you own a large number of vehicles or if you have a larger number of potential drivers. You should also remember that commercial insurance does not tend to cover drivers or vehicles when they drive the vehicles outside of normal commercial purchases, and that consumer coverage should be maintained for such purposes.
If your business owns a fleet or even if you simply have one company car, it is often wise to consider purchasing commercial auto insurance. This sort of policy can help you to make sure that your car stays on the road and that it can be used by employees, and it can also protect you from incidents in which the vehicle may be involved during the course of regular business activity. Even if you are only considering purchasing your first commercial vehicle, it is wise to consult with a commercial insurance professional to determine your commercial auto insurance needs.
For commercial automobile insurance and all of your business insurance needs, our agents can help you to create a plan and fill in the details. Call us at (813) 962-3082.