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Who Needs to Be Listed on Your Commercial Auto Policy?

    4 minute read

    Protecting your business against the unexpected is crucial, especially when your company’s vehicles or fleet are an integral part of your operation. Whether the focus of your business is managing deliveries, or commuting from one customer to another, every journey carries the potential risk of vehicle accidents and costly liabilities. Thankfully, Commercial Auto Insurance provides financial protection for you and your company. However, navigating the complexities of who needs to be listed as a driver on your commercial auto policy can be confusing, especially if you operate on a large scale. In this guide, we’ll break it down and help you navigate the nuances of commercial auto insurance coverage.

    Consequences of Not Listing Drivers

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    Commercial auto insurance policies are carefully designed to link coverage to specific vehicles and the individuals authorized to operate them. In other words, if you do not list all authorized users on your business’s auto policy, you may find yourself facing significant gaps in coverage, leaving your company vulnerable to financial losses and legal complications in the event of an accident involving an unlisted driver. Here are some of the consequences of not listing all employees who intend to drive your business vehicles on your commercial auto insurance policy:

    • Denied Claims: In the unfortunate event of an accident involving an unlisted driver, your insurance company may deny the claim, leaving you solely responsible for covering damages and injuries. This can potentially have devasting financial consequences for your business.
    • Policy Cancellation: Neglecting to disclose all drivers to your insurer can lead to policy cancellations, jeopardizing your business’s financial security. Moreover, reinstating coverage in the future may be challenging due to the importance of maintaining continuous coverage.
    • Legal Consequences: Operating a vehicle with an unlisted driver can expose your business to legal repercussions, including fines and penalties for driving uninsured. To mitigate potential legal risks, accurately list on your commercial auto policy all employees who plan to drive company vehicles.

    Who Must Be Listed On Your Commercial Auto Policy?

    Identifying those who require listing on your commercial auto insurance policy is critical to safeguarding your business against financial hardship in the event of an accident. While specific rules vary by insurance company, here are some general guidelines:

    What If Your Employee Uses Their Vehicle?

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    Even with listed drivers on your commercial auto insurance policy, your business can still be liable for accidents involving non-owned vehicles, such as when an employee uses their car for work purposes. For example, if a salesperson regularly uses their vehicle to drive from store to store. Fortunately, a “Non-Owned Auto Liability Endorsement” (sometimes called a “Hired and Non-Owned Auto Endorsement”) offers additional coverage in these situations where your business is liable for accidents involving vehicles you don’t own.

    Adding a NOALE is essential because standard personal auto insurance typically excludes business use. As a result, your employee’s policy might not be enough to cover the full cost of damages and injuries in an accident or may not cover it at all. Not only will this endorsement help provide coverage when employees use their personal vehicles for work, but it can also cover rent or lease vehicles for your business such as vans, trucks, or cars used by employees.

    What Factors Affect Your Commercial Auto Insurance Rates?

    While the policy may be in your name, each driver allowed to drive your business’s vehicles will be considered part of your policy. So, even if your driving record and credit score are squeaky clean, your employees’ records may not be. Therefore, it’s important to check your driver’s history before hiring them or designating them to drive. Factors that influence your commercial car insurance rates include:

    1. Your Drivers: As stated before, your driver’s records, experience, and number of drivers significantly impact cost. Accidents, tickets, and young drivers can push rates up.
    2. Vehicles: Certain types of vehicles, such as box trucks, delivery vans, and specialized vehicles, typically incur higher insurance premiums compared to standard cars.
    3. Business Use: Frequency of vehicle use, driving distances, and operating radius heavily influence cost. Delivery services with high mileage will pay more than office-based businesses with limited driving.
    4. Claims History: A history of past claims can negatively affect insurance rates, as it indicates a higher likelihood of future claims.
    5. Industry and Location: Certain industries face higher risks (e.g., construction), leading to increased costs. Location also plays a role, with high-accident areas typically seeing higher premiums.
    6. Coverage Selection: The more comprehensive your coverage the higher your premium. Carefully assess your needs to find a balance between protection and affordability.
    7. Discounts: Seeking discounts for safety features, driver training programs, and bundling policies with other insurances can significantly lower your rates.

    Best Practices For Managing Your Commercial Auto Policy

    Once you’ve obtained a commercial auto insurance policy, be proactive about managing your policy. Some best practices to consider include:

    • Hire Qualified Drivers: Selecting responsible employees with good driving records can help mitigate the risk of accidents and claims.
    • Regularly Review Driver Records: Monitor for any new accidents, tickets, or violations that could impact your rates.
    • Implement Driver Safety Training: Invest in programs that improve driving skills and reduce accident risks.
    • Enforce Clear Driving Policies: Establish and communicate guidelines for responsible vehicle use like speed limits, cell phone restrictions, and accident reporting procedures.
    • Maintain Vehicles Properly: Regular maintenance reduces breakdowns and accidents, potentially lowering premiums.
    • Review Your Policy Annually: Ensure your coverage aligns with your evolving business needs.

    Get a Business Auto Insurance Quote with AIS

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    Our team of Commercial Insurance Specialists are committed to assisting you in comparing Commercial Auto Insurance quotes and finding the right protection for your business. Contact us today at (855) 919-4247 for a quick and easy free quote.

    The information in this article is obtained from various sources and offered for educational purposes only. Furthermore, it should not replace the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may differ from those suggested here. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.