Auto insurance

Cost and Coverage Guide (2022)

If you have a vehicle used for your business, it is essential that you cover it with commercial auto insurance. A personal auto insurance policy isn’t enough, so you could be in legal trouble if you don’t buy a separate policy for business functions.

Home Media’s review team researched the top car insurance providers to find out which ones offer the strongest commercial car insurance policies. We’ve also dug into commercial insurance details to reveal exactly what cover you’ll need on your vehicles.

What is commercial auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is the coverage required for all vehicles that are regularly used to conduct commercial activities. It is needed for large fleets and commercial trucks, but also for personal cars and vans that are regularly used by small business owners.

Your car may require both a personal auto insurance policy and a commercial auto insurance policy. Vehicles are generally considered to be at a higher risk of damage when used for business, so your personal auto insurance probably won’t be enough.

What does commercial auto insurance cover?

Commercial auto insurance can cover a variety of things, including bodily injury, property damage, collision, medical expenses, and uninsured motorist coverage. Policies are also available with comprehensive and injury protection.

However, commercial auto insurance coverage typically covers the car, not the driver. Your policy must provide coverage for your vehicle when it is used for business purposes, regardless of which employees or family members are driving.The types of commercial auto insurance largely mirror those of personal auto insurance policies. We’ll go over the most common types below.

Many car insurance companies offer additional types of coverage, such as roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and towing services. These commercial auto insurance add-ons are optional, but they can add peace of mind in the event of a mechanical breakdown.

How much does commercial auto insurance cost?

Most business owners can expect to spend at least $2,000 per year for full-coverage commercial auto insurance, with those who cover tractor-trailers spending significantly more than those with smaller vans. However, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much your commercial auto insurance policy might cost, especially since different types of businesses receive vastly different premiums.

We asked for commercial auto insurance quotes for a 2020 Ford Transit-150 used by a paint company in Pittsburgh, for example. Here are the rate estimates we received:

Progressive’s average commercial auto insurance rate was $187 per month in 2020, which represents $2,244 annually. Premiums will vary depending on the general purpose your vehicle will be used for, so expect to receive a different rate.

You will pay more for commercial auto insurance than for a personal auto insurance policy because commercial vehicles are generally at a higher risk of damage than personal vehicles on the road.

Our rate estimates show that a 35-year-old male with a clean driving record and good credit would pay on average about $144 per monthWhere $1,732 annuallyfor a comprehensive personal auto insurance policy.

Each auto insurance company charges different rates for various policies, and that certainly applies to commercial auto insurance. The best way to find potential costs is to compare car insurance quotes from providers before making your final choice.

What affects commercial auto insurance costs?

Certain factors almost always impact your auto insurance premiums, and some apply specifically to commercial auto insurance. Below, we’ll take a look at what will affect your rates:

  • Location: City dwellers generally pay higher fares than rural dwellers.
  • Vehicle type: Higher value vehicles will likely cost more to insure.
  • Coverage limits: The amount of insurance you put on the vehicle determines the price.
  • Kind of trade: Contractors and landscapers may pay higher rates than those who primarily use cars for food delivery.
  • Employee driving records: Insurers will take into account the driving history of regular users and adjust premiums accordingly.
  • Vehicle load: If you regularly transport supplies, this will be taken into account in the rates.
  • Chosen deductible: If you choose a high deductible, you will receive lower premiums.

Again, you’ll want to consider several commercial auto insurance quotes before choosing a policy. This way, you can find extended coverage policies at affordable rates.

When do you need commercial auto insurance?

Anyone who regularly uses their vehicle for business purposes should purchase commercial auto insurance. Here are some situations in which you will need to purchase a commercial policy:

  • You drive many miles for work: Those who routinely drive to various job sites, factories, and stores at work will need commercial auto insurance.
  • You carry work tools: If you often transport machinery or work equipment in your personal car, personal automobile insurance will not suffice.
  • You drive to make money: If you transport goods or people for a living, you must obtain a commercial insurance policy for your vehicle.
  • You have a fleet of trucks or vans: Business owners with vehicles used for business purposes must cover those company cars with commercial auto insurance.

Commercial auto insurance is not the same as ride-sharing insurance, which you’ll want to buy if you drive for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Commuting to work is considered personal use, so you won’t need commercial auto insurance for this activity.

If your business uses rented or borrowed vehicles, such as rental cars or an employee’s car, you will need non-owner auto insurance. This basic coverage provides commercial vehicle insurance for short-term needs, and it typically pays general liability and defense costs.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance: Conclusion

Commercial auto insurance can cover vehicles for business use and those injured in accidents with them. Policy costs vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including location and type of vehicle. If you need commercial vehicle cover, we suggest comparing quotes and weighing your options to get the best deal possible.

Best Commercial Auto Insurance Providers

If you need to purchase commercial auto insurance, you might be wondering where to look for the best coverage. It’s usually quite easy to find affordable and excellent commercial auto insurance policies from Progressive and Geico.

Progressive: reduced rates for high-risk drivers

Progressive is known to insure almost any type of driver or vehicle, making it a good option for commercial auto insurance. From food trucks and sedans to semi-trailersProgressive will protect most commercial vehicles.

Drivers should be aware that Progressive scored below the industry average for large insurers in the 2022 JD Power US Insurance Purchases Study. Our team contacted Progressive for a comment on this score but did not receive a response. However, the company’s desire to affordably insure most types of drivers and vehicles still makes it a top choice for commercial auto insurance.

keep reading: Progressive insurance review

Geico: affordable for most drivers

Geico offers exceptional auto insurance for businesses, usually at some of the lowest rates in the market. The company has a Financial strength rating A++ of AM Best, so that it can easily cover insurance claims in the event of an accident.

Please be aware that Geico commercial auto insurance policies have exclusions that prohibit coverage for semi-trailers and semi-finals. Our team contacted Geico for comment on these exclusions but did not receive a response. Those who need protection for food trucks, vans, or van fleets, however, should contact Geico insurance agents.

keep reading: Geico Insurance Review

Commercial auto insurance: FAQs

Our Methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide unbiased and accurate information, we’ve created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best car insurance companies. We’ve collected data on dozens of car insurance providers to score companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall score for each provider, with insurers who scored the most points at the top of the list.

Here are the factors taken into account by our assessments:

  • Cost (30% of total score): Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
  • Coverage (30% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of insurance coverage choices are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Reputation (15% of total score): Our research team considered market share, industry expert ratings, and years in business to assign this score.
  • Availability (10% of total score): Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and fewer eligibility criteria scored higher in this category.
  • Customer experience (15% of total score): This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by JD Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own customer analysis.

*Data correct at time of publication.