What It Is Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

What It Is

It’s insurance for you, your business, and your vehicles.

A Business Auto Policy offers the flexibility to provide coverage for you (the business owner) for business autos you own, as well as personal , non-owned, or hired autos used for your business. For example, it would protect you and your business, should an employee drive a personally owned vehicle for company business.

Did you know?

Business Auto coverage also covers vehicles that you rent occasionally for use in your business.

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Protect your business when someone gets hurt

If you or an employee causes an accident while driving a vehicle owned or used by your business, your company will be responsible for any personal injury or property damages caused to others. That’s where a business auto policy comes in.

Protection for your vehicles

Collision coverage helps to protect your business from financial loss if a vehicle you own or rent is damaged in an accident.

Comprehensive coverage provides insurance for your business when damage to your vehicles is caused by a variety of risks including fire, lightning, theft, hail and flood — helping you get back on the road faster.

Having the right insurance can make all the difference. Watch as small business owner John Schad talks about how he was covered when seven of his vehicles were damaged in a hailstorm.

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Why You Need It Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Why You Need It

Don’t let “what could happen on the road” affect how you make your living.

Simply put, if you don’t have a Business Auto insurance policy, and your company uses a vehicle, you’re taking a gamble. In the event of an accident you could be sued for everything from medical expenses to property damage — Having the right policy in place can help protect your business from financial loss.

Did you know?

Insurance limits offered under a Business Auto policy are typically higher than on a Personal Auto Policy – to help you adequately protect your business from financial loss.

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Employees who use personal vehicles

Business Auto policies can also cover situations where your employees are using their own vehicles for business. This is commonly referred to as “Non-Owned Auto” coverage.

Business Auto Insurance is the answer

There’s no question that having the right Business Auto policy in place will give you peace of mind and help cover unforeseen expenses that come with an auto accident. In extreme cases, you may even avoid financial devastation of your business.

And there’s your reputation to think about...

Focusing on driver safety can also help you maintain a good reputation with your employees and customers. It shows that you care about the public and the people who work for you, and helps you stay focused on running your business.

Check out the below graph to see how accidents affect people nationwide year after year.

 
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Who It Covers Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Who It Covers

It covers you, your business, employees, and vehicles.

If you or one of your employees is responsible for someone else’s injury or property damage as a result of an accident, many Business Auto policies will help to protect your business from financial loss.

Did you know?

Many business auto policies offer coverage to reimburse you for a rental vehicle if your own vehicles are damaged in an accident.

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What types of vehicles need to be covered?

Essentially, any vehicle used for your business should be covered under a Business Auto policy.

What are some of the main coverages?

Liability
Liability coverage covers you for injuries to the “other guy” as well as damage to their vehicle from an accident where you were at fault.
Physical Damage
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle from an accident. Comprehensive coverage covers damage from things like floods and hitting animals.
Medical Payments
Some states provide for a small amount of coverage for you or your employees’ medical bills in the event of a vehicle accident.
Uninsured Motorist
Uninsured motorist insurance pays for your injuries and damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Hired Auto
Hired Auto covers you for accidents you cause while driving rented vehicles for your business.
Non-Owned Auto
Non-Owned Auto covers your business for accidents caused by your employees while driving their own vehicle for your business.

Talking on your cell phone or texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of accidents nationwide. So reduce the risks to your business by staying off your phone and following your state laws.

Use your cursor to roll over the below text, and find out about the laws where you live.

Most states, including D.C. ban texting while driving and cite a driver for texting when it's their only offense.

A number of states prohibit cell phone use while driving. A driver can be cited for using their cell when it's their only offense.

Over half of the states ban cell phone use by novice drivers (16 or 17 year olds with an intermediate license).

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What It Costs Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

What It Costs

The lowdown on insurance premiums.

Business Auto premiums are based on several factors, which typically include the kind of business you operate, type of vehicles you own, where you travel to and park, overall vehicle value, your business accident history, employee driving records, and the amount of coverage you are purchasing.

Did you know?

Make sure your agent compares both rates and coverage with multiple insurance companies so you get the best value.

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Buy basic vehicles now, save more later

Simply put, if you own more expensive vehicles, you’re going to have to pay higher premiums. Save the expensive, exotic, and luxury vehicles for your personal time, and buy or lease dependable cost saving vehicles for you and your employees to use for business.

Don’t forget the deductible

When you apply for your policy you also choose how much you’ll pay out of pocket for an accident claim through your choice of a deductible. Keep in mind that higher deductibles mean you’ll pay less for your insurance but you’ll also be on the hook to pay more of the claim. Your insurance company will pay the amount of the claim above the deductible, up to the policy limits.

6 Simple Driving Habits For a Safer Trip

Within a matter of seconds, not paying attention can lead to a vehicle accident. Sadly, accidents from distracted driving are often more than mere fender-benders. In recent years, distracted driving has led to more than 5,400 highway deaths and 448,000 accidents, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Talking or texting behind the wheel is perhaps the most important driving habit to break. Of all highway deaths, 18 percent involved drivers using a cell phone before the crash, according to NHTSA.

High-tech GPS gadgets are supposed to help you navigate unknown streets, but if you fiddle with the controls or pay more attention to the screen than the road, you jeopardize your safety or the safety of others. So program your destination before you start driving.

Before you leave for an unfamiliar destination, review maps and directions. One tool you might find useful is Google Map's Street View. These 3-D views give you visual clues so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to look for street signs and house addresses.

Don't fiddle with gadgets like the radio, iPod, or climate controls while driving. Set up your playlist before you turn on the ignition.

Talking with others in the vehicle or on the phone, when driving may pull your attention away from traffic signals and pedestrians. As an employer, you may be tempted to call or text your employees while they are on the road. If this can't be avoided, make sure you provide them with a hands free device (if allowed in the state you live in).

Daydreaming in a vehicle can end up as a nightmare. If your mind is wandering to a problem at work or home, pull over to jot it down or make a phone call. Don't let it keep running through your head. Also, take regular breaks — one at least every two hours (or about every 100 miles) on longer road trips.

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About Claims

You were in an accident. Now report it.

The best way to get back to business as usual is to report an accident as soon as it happens. That way you can help get bills paid, repairs complete, and your vehicle back on the road fast. Many claims handlers are available anytime, day or night, to be there when something unexpected happens.

Did you know?

Having the right amount of rental reimbursement coverage when an accident happens can help minimize expenses.

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Help when you’re mobile

After an accident it’s hard to think straight, much less remember how to report a claim. Many insurance companies now offer mobile friendly capabilities that can come in handy. They can give you a checklist of what to do after an accident, the ability to easily collect driver and accident information, help with taking photos of the scene, and easy ways to contact your insurance company quickly.

Roll over the timeline to learn all about what you’ll need to do when an accident occurs, from making the right calls, to getting back on the road.

After an accident happens, the first thing you'll need to do is call the police. Make sure you report any injuries. After they come to the scene and take a report, make sure you get a copy for your claim.

Next, you'll need to contact your insurance representative and let them know about the accident. Your insurance company may require a "proof of claim" form and a copy of the police report.

Then you'll need to get the damage assessed and work with a claims handler who'll take you through the completion of the claims process.

Once damage has been assessed and the claims process completed, you can have the vehicle repaired, and get back on the road and back to business as usual.

The best insurance is the one you never have to use. And by following some of these invaluable tips for winter driving safety, from cleaning snow off your headlights for increased visibility, to applying the “Three Second Plus” rule, your business vehicles should be safe for driving all winter long.

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Personal vs. Business

Personal Auto Insurance vs. Business Auto Insurance.

Most business owners have a Personal Auto policy that covers vehicles they use for personal, family, or household purposes, but only Business Auto insurance protects the business. So make sure you have a Business Auto policy, and you’ll be confident that you, your business, and your employees are covered in almost every situation.

Did you know?

Many Business Auto policies may even cover incidents during the loading and unloading of cargo.

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Business Auto policies cover you...

Business Auto policies cover you whether you use your own vehicle for business or rent a vehicle for business. Even though some personal policies might offer one or both of these, there’s a good chance they won’t — leaving you without the coverage you need in the event of an accident.

and cover your employees...

Most Business Auto policies even cover your employees’ own vehicles when used for business in the event that the claim expenses exceed their personal auto policy limits. And they cover your employees — when they use your vehicle and when they rent a vehicle for business.

with the right amount of coverage

Business Auto policies typically provide for higher policy limits than Personal Auto policies, which may be necessary to protect not only yourself, but the assets of your business as well.

Roll over the timeline to find out how business auto insurance helped when Jane's gardening business was affected by a major accident.

Jane owns a gardening business that requires a lot of travelling, so she financed a truck.

A year after purchase, her employee totaled the truck when they were on the highway between customer sites.

Due to the truck's steep depreciation in value, she owed more to the bank than her vehicle was worth.

But Jane was in luck, because she chose a Business Auto policy with Lease and Loan Gap Insurance coverage – which made sure that the difference between the actual cash value of her truck and the outstanding loan balance was covered.

So in the end, Jane's insurance took care of her needs, and she could get back to running her business.

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How to Buy It

Decisions, decisions.

When you’re buying insurance for your business, make sure you understand the value of the coverages you’re getting for the price you are being asked to pay. Choosing an insurance company that addresses the unique and evolving needs of your business will likely be the beginning of a long and valued relationship.

Did you know?

A knowledgeable insurance representative is a good place to start when looking for Business Auto insurance.

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Professional assistance

If you find an insurance representative willing to develop an insurance plan that meets your needs, then you’re one step closer to finding the perfect coverage for you, your business, and your employees.

Contact trade associations

Business trade associations can also be helpful, since many of them sponsor insurance programs that might be suitable for your business. And they can often give you a list of insurance companies who specialize in your field.

Roll over the vehicle to see just a few of the benefits The Hartford’s Broad Form Endorsement adds to every policy at no additional cost.

If there's a total loss to a leased auto, Lease and Loan Gap coverage pays the outstanding balance of a lease as long as it exceeds the actual cash value.

Electronic Equipment Coverage covers loss to equipment that transmits or receives audio, visual, or data signals and is permanently installed in a covered auto and designed to be operated by its electrical system.

Transportation Expense increases the daily limit of insurance provided for temporary transportation in the event of total theft. It also increases the maximum limits as well.

Hybrid Payment Coverage provides payment of an additional 10% of actual cash value, up to a maximum of $2,500, if a non-hybrid auto is involved in a total loss and is replaced by a hybrid auto within 60 days. The maximum payment is $10,000, regardless of the number of vehicles involved.

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10 good things to ask about Business Auto Insurance

Talk to your agent or The Hartford

1.Is coverage mandatory for a business that uses vehicles?
Yes. Just like with personal auto insurance, it’s against the law to drive a vehicle without insurance to cover injuries or damage to others that an employee causes as a result of a car accident.
2.Is Business Auto Insurance better than Personal Insurance?
Business Auto coverage is similar to the coverage you may carry on your personal auto policy; however, business auto exposures can be more complex requiring specialty coverages to be considered based on individual business needs.
3.How do I find out about what’s out there?
The most effective way to compare rates and coverage available to you is through an agent. They should be able to point you to the right type of policy based on the type of business you have and how you use your vehicles.
4.What can I do to influence the premium I pay?
The best ways to keep rates down is to make sure that you’re a safe driver, hire and employ safe drivers and use less expensive vehicles for your business.
5.What factors impact the premium I pay for Business Auto Insurance?
Insurance premiums can be affected by everything from the type of business you operate, to the type of vehicles you own; to the radius you operate your business in, and the driving records of yourself and your employees.
6.What is the reputation of the insurance company?
Make sure you do the research before moving forward with a Business Auto policy. Ask your insurance representative or go online to answer questions like — Do they have a long history? Are they reputable? Do they know your business?
7.What extra benefits are added onto the policy without additional cost?
Every insurance company is different. So make sure to ask about extra benefits when shopping around, because they could prove useful when an accident happens and save you money in the long run.
8.Does coverage vary state to state?
It definitely can. Each state has its own rules and regulations that can affect rates and types of coverage that an insurance carrier can make available to your business.
9.Are all my employees covered by my Business Insurance policy?
They should be, but there are exceptions. This is a very important question to ask when you’re shopping around for the perfect Business Auto policy.
10.How does the claims process work?
The process usually includes reporting an accident to both the police and your insurance company, assessing the damage, and working with a claims handler. When selecting an insurance carrier, be sure to ask about any benefits they offer in the event of an accident, like a network of repair shops where the work is guaranteed as long as the vehicle is leased or owned.
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