Every car owner knows they need to have car insurance when out on the road. But if you are a business owner with a fleet of company cars, commercial auto insurance is also a necessity. Trying to wrap your head around all of the different options for auto insurance can be complex enough even when just buying your own personal policy, but things can get even more complex when buying business insurance. If you've never purchased commercial auto insurance before, here are a few tips and best business practices to keep in mind.
You Need To Evaluate Your Employees' Driving Records
If giving out company cars is a new idea for your business, you have some work to do when it comes to your current employees. You likely already did a background check on them before hiring, but if that check did not include a look at their personal driving histories, you need to get this information. When auto insurance providers set the rates for commercial insurance, they will look at the drivers you have submitted for the policy in the same way they would if it was for a personal policy. By obtaining driving records in advance, you can make a decision about which employees are best suited to be behind the wheel.
If you are starting a business where driving is a key part of operations, like a transportation company, one thing your employees can do to lower your insurance rates is obtain their Commercial Driver's License, or CDL. Exact requirements will vary by state, but when interviewing candidates for a job related to your company vehicles, try to seek out applicants who already have this credential. Many insurance companies will offer a discount to drivers who have their CDL.
Don't Forget About the Cargo
Some insurance companies that offer commercial auto policies will want to know what it is that you are transporting, especially if there are official regulations regarding that cargo. If you know that certain cargo will only be transported inside certain vehicles, make sure this is clear on your policy so that you don't have to pay a premium rate for every vehicle in your company fleet.
If your business makes use of one or more company vehicles, you need to have proper commercial auto insurance to protect your financial interests. Get your employees' driving records before adding them to a policy so that you can put those with the best rates behind the wheel. Encourage your current employees to obtain their commercial driver's license if it is applicable to your business, as this can also help decrease your insurance premium. Finally, if transporting hazardous cargo, make sure it is clear on the policy which vehicles are involved.
Talk to a company like Northeast Insurance Agency for more information.