Commercial Auto Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Massachusetts businesses that own vehicles normally need to insure their vehicles with commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto policies are similar to personal policies, but their coverages have been adapted to meet the unique needs of businesses.

Insurers offer a variety of commercial auto insurance policies, so each business can find one that meets its specific needs. Whether a business has one or many vehicles, there’s almost certainly a policy available that will provide all desired protections.

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What Businesses in Massachusetts Need a Business Auto Insurance Policy?

Massachusetts state law requires that almost all vehicles which are driven on public roads be insured with policies that at least meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements. Therefore, most businesses that own vehicles need to acquire insurance for those vehicles. Some examples of businesses that may own vehicles and need insurance include:

  • Snowblowers and landscapers
  • Plumbers, exterminators and other tradespeople
  • Taxicab and limousine companies
  • Tow truck operators
  • Businesses with multiple properties to maintain

Additionally, businesses that have employees use their personal vehicles for work-related driving (other than commuting) might need insurance coverage. Even though these businesses don’t own vehicles, businesses should provide coverage for vehicles while they’re being used for work. Restaurants that offer delivery are one example of a business that might fall into this latter category.

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Commercial Auto Insurance in Massachusetts

What Protections Do Business Auto Insurance Policies Provide?

Although business auto policies aren’t identical to personal policies, many of their coverage options are often similar to those found in personal policies. For example, some coverages that are commonly found in both personal and business auto policies include:

  • Personal Injury Coverage, which may cover injuries sustained by people in an insured vehicle
  • Collision and Comprehensive Coverage, which may cover damage that an insured vehicle sustains
  • Bodily Injury Coverage, which may cover injuries caused to pedestrians and people in other vehicles
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage, which may cover damage caused to people’s vehicles and other property
  • Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which may cover accidents caused by poorly insured drivers

Along with these coverages, there are a few protections that typically are only found in business auto policies. One such protection is hired and non-owned liability coverage, which is often how businesses that need to insure vehicles they don’t own obtain auto coverage.

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Do Ride-Sharing Drivers Need Business Auto Insurance?

Whether individuals who drive for ride-sharing services need a business auto policy depends on their personal policy and how much protection they want.

Most personal auto policies aren’t set up to provide coverage for ride-sharing driving, which is typically considered to be commercial driving. Some personal policies, however, may offer coverage options for drivers who take on the occasional ride-sharing gig.

For drivers who aren’t able to simply adjust their personal policy, ride-sharing services often offer optional coverage that drivers can purchase. This coverage might not be as robust or affordable as drives would like, though. In these situations, working with an independent insurance agent to find a business auto policy may yield a policy that offers better coverage and/or has a lower price.

Commercial Auto Insurance in Massachusetts

How Can Businesses in Massachusetts Get Commercial Auto Insurance?

Selecting an auto insurance policy for a business is a significant decision that requires taking into account what kinds of vehicles the business has, how those vehicles are used and many other factors. Furthermore, businesses also need to decide whether getting a stand-alone policy or one that’s part of a larger package policy is best.

For help making these choices, Massachusetts businesses should contact an independent insurance agent who knows commercial auto insurance. An agent who’s familiar with the details of commercial auto policies can make informed coverage recommendations, and they can check whether purchasing a stand-alone policy or one that’s part of a package policy yields lower rates.

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