Business owners should be aware that if you use your car or truck for business purposes, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. The only exception is commuting back and forth to your job. Any other use usually requires commercial auto insurance. Here are our top picks for commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, OH.
- 5 best commercial auto insurance companies in Cleveland, Ohio
- What is commercial auto insurance?
- Commercial auto requirements in Cleveland, OH
- Who needs commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, OH?
- What does commercial auto insurance cover in Cleveland, OH?
- How much does commercial auto insurance cost in Cleveland, OH?
- What affects my rates for commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, OH?
- How to find cheap commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, Ohio?
- Do Uber/Lyft drivers need commercial insurance in Cleveland, OH?
5 best commercial auto insurance companies in Cleveland, Ohio
Hundreds of insurance companies offer commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, Ohio. We have done the research and here are our recommendations of the top 6 providers.
- Progressive: Best Overall
- Smart Financial: Best for connecting you with agents knowledgeable about your business
- biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage
- Auto Owners: Best for several discounts
- Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes
Progressive: Best Overall
Progressive is the number one commercial auto insurer in the United States. It’s easy to get an online quote for a commercial auto policy, which is not the case for most insurers. Another great thing is that you can get seasonal coverage, if you only use your vehicle for business during certain months of the year, such as snowplows. There are also numerous discounts available.
While you can get a quote online, to actually buy insurance you’ll have to go through an agent.
Smart Financial: Best for connecting you with agents knowledgeable about your business
Smart Financial is an online insurance broker. They offer policies in all 50 states. They partner with some of the top insurance companies, like Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and The Hartford to bring you multiple quotes. This makes it easy to comparison shop and potentially saves you a lot of time. You can add on things like roadside assistance and rental reimbursement. You can get a quote online, but you’ll have to call to buy insurance.
Another great thing about Smart Financial is that if your business is unique and highly specialized and you are new to buying commercial auto insurance, you can count on them connecting you with agents who are highly knowledgeable about your business and help you find suitable coverages at the best rates.
biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage
biBerk provides affordable insurance to small businesses to help them save money. biBERK offers an easy-to-use enrollment process, but its experts can help you figure out policies and coverage. biBERK offers competitive rates for its commercial truck insurance policies. In fact, they claim that they save trucking businesses at least 20% on truck insurance. They also offer other business policies.
biBERK is one of a few companies offer trucking insurance quotes online. Within less than 10 minutes, you can get a quote on their website and if you are happy with the quote, you can buy the policy online as well.
The following is a sample quote from biBerk for a box truck in Chicago.
- You can get quotes and buy insurance online
- You can file claims online
- Most of their policies are low-cost
- They have a strong financial backing. It is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaways, ie. the same owner of Geico.
- The policy’s coverage limits may be lower than usual, but they can adjust the coverage limits that work best for you.
Auto Owners: Best for several discounts
Auto-Owners was established in 1916, so they have a good deal of experience. They serve 26 states, with Ohio being one of them. As the name would imply, they started off with auto insurance, moving to business insurance in the 1940s. They have many discounts available, such as paid-in-full discounts, hired and non-owned vehicle discounts, multi-policy discounts, and others. If you own a farm, you can a discount because you only use your farm equipment in certain months of the year.
Auto-Owners only works through agents, so it’s difficult to know what kind of rates they have. They won’t even give you an estimated quote online: you have to contact an agent to get any information. Also, they have only five reviews on Trustpilot, and four of them rate them as “bad.” Five reviews isn’t a good sample size, but you should be aware of the poor experiences.
Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes
Simply Business is another online insurance broker. They cover many different types of businesses and partner with several leading business insurance companies such as Travelers, CNA, Hiscox, biBERK, Markel, etc. Whichever industries your business is in, Simply Business will be able to help you get several quotes from their partners so that you can compare to choose the best one and the cheapest one.
Simply Business is known for its excellent customer service. While they are not included in the JD Power ranking since they are not an insurer, they earn an average rating of 4.1 from 1,811 reviews and ratings on Trustpilot. 71% of their customers rated their service quality as “excellent”.
What is commercial auto insurance?
Commercial auto insurance covers your vehicles if you use them for work purposes, such as driving to work sites, meeting clients, making sales presentations, and delivering goods or supplies. Most people drive their cars for both work purposes and personal reasons. You may need a personal auto insurance policy and a commercial auto policy, but you can save money by bundling them together. Also, you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance on your taxes as a business expense.
Commercial auto requirements in Cleveland, OH
Ohio requires every commercial vehicle to have a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 in property damage insurance (usually written as 25/50/25). This is the same amount of insurance that Ohio requires for personal autos as well. These are the bare minimums. One crash can easily cost many times these amounts.
As a business owner, you have assets that someone could sue you for if you were in a serious at-fault accident. If you have only the minimum amount of coverage, Ohio allows the victim to take as many assets as they need to cover the costs of the damages. With health care costs sky-high, you can see how easily a serious accident can bankrupt your entire business.
If you drive a freight truck, limits are much higher. You’ll need $750,000 to $5 million in insurance, depending on what type of freight you carry. Non-hazardous freight delivered in vehicles weighing under 10,000 pounds can get by with $300,000 in insurance.
Who needs commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, OH?
The simple answer is anyone who uses a vehicle for business purposes. However, there may be some controversy about who insures a commercial vehicle.
First of all, if you merely drive back and forth to your job, you don’t need commercial auto insurance—your personal auto insurance policy will cover you.
Salespeople spend a great deal of time in their cars. Do they need commercial auto insurance? You probably do, but if your company supplies you with a company car and owns the vehicle, they should pay for your commercial insurance as well. If you own the vehicle and use it mainly for work, you’ll need a commercial auto policy. Independent contractors also need commercial auto insurance.
If you have a side hustle driving for Lyft or Uber, there are a few ways you can obtain insurance. First, ask your company what they provide: Uber and Lyft both provide insurance which only applies when the app is on. Your personal auto coverage applies at every other time. If you are driving with passengers in the car, coverage is up to $1 million in third-party liability. If the app is on but you are on the way to pick up people, or if you have not yet accepted a ride request, coverage is the minimum amount required by the state: 25/50/25.
What does commercial auto insurance cover in Cleveland, OH?
Commercial auto insurance covers the following:
Property damage liability: covers damages to another person’s property (like their car and the contents of the car) when you’re in an at-fault accident
Bodily injury liability: pays for third-party injuries if you are in at-fault accident
Collision: covers damages to your own vehicle. If you have a loan, you’ll be required to get collision and comprehensive.
Comprehensive: covers damages to your vehicle caused by weather, vandalism, theft, fire, and other types of damage.
Medical payments and Personal injury protection (PIP): cover medical costs for you and your passengers regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage: if you are hit by someone with either no insurance or not enough insurance to pay for all the damages, this coverage will pay for whatever is left.
How much does commercial auto insurance cost in Cleveland, OH?
The average cost of commercial auto insurance is $142 a month or $1,704 a year. However, there is a lot of variation in the cost of commercial auto insurance policies. Someone insuring a tractor-trailer than hauls oil or gas across the country will pay about $16,000 or more. If you merely use your vehicle to run a few business errands, you’ll pay a lot less.
These are just the averages. Your quotes and rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, Commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to compare several quotes to choose the cheapest one for you.
What affects my rates for commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, OH?
Your rate will vary depending on the following:
- Type of commercial vehicle (tractor-trailers are much more expensive to insure)
- Number of vehicles you use for business
- Driving records
- Type of cargo, if you haul cargo
- How far you drive
- Coverage you choose
- Credit history
- Claims history
- Whether you own or lease your vehicles (if you have a loan, you’ll need collision and comprehensive insurance, which will increase your rates)
- Location where the vehicles are parked
Some other factors that will affect how much you pay for insurance are things like your age, your marital status, and how many years of experience you have. If you transport people, you’ll pay more than if you merely run office supplies from one location to another.
Your vehicle will also affect your rates. If your car has safety equipment such as alarms, anti-lock brakes, GPS, and airbags, you’ll pay less. More sophisticated safety features include blind-spot monitoring, brake assist, forward collision warnings, lane centering assist and pedestrian detection. The more safety features, the better.
How to find cheap commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, Ohio?
Commercial auto insurance is generally more expensive than personal auto insurance. In some cases, it can be very expensive and accounts for a significant part of your business expenses such as trucking industry. However, finding cheap commercial auto insurance in Cleveland, Ohio is still possible with the following tips:
Shop around to compare quotes
Different insurance companies offer different quotes because they have their own underwriting policies. Make sure that you shop around with a few companies or with a broker like Simply Business or commercialinsurance.net or CoverWallet to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. When you need to renew your policy, don’t renew until you shop around again. The current company might provide you with the cheapest rate last year, but their rate might not be the cheapest this year. Shop around again!
Ensure clean driving records.
We advise you to have a plan in place to address any employee who gets a violation while on the job. The cleaner record you and your drivers have, the cheaper truck insurance you can get.
Reduce the number of claims if possible
If there are small damages, you can fix it yourself, this is because most insurance companies take into consideration the frequency of claims you turn in which may result in the costs splurging.
Insurance companies offer several discount programs, make sure you utilize these programs if they are available to you. Always ask for the discount programs from your agent or broker.
When possible, bundle your policies with the same providers, almost all insurance companies offer discounts if you buy more than one policy.
Do Uber/Lyft drivers need commercial insurance in Cleveland, OH?
Ohio requires Uber, Lyft, Amazon drivers, and the like to carry commercial auto insurance. When drivers are logged in but don’t have a passenger yet, you need a minimum of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage. When you’ve picked up a passenger you need $1 million in bodily injury liability and property damage coverage.
Many companies offer rideshare insurance. Some offer it as a rider to your personal auto insurance policy, and some fold it into your personal auto policy. You can’t get your rideshare insurance from a company if you don’t have a personal auto insurance policy with them. If your personal auto insurance company doesn’t offer rideshare insurance, you can look into commercial auto insurance. Uber and Lyft do offer some protection, but the deductible is quite high.
Companies such as Amazon, Instacart, and DoorDash differ in what protection they provide their drivers. If you’re considering driving for one of them, make sure to consider what type of insurance they provide, if any.
Commercial auto insurance is more expensive than personal auto insurance, but it’s necessary if you use your vehicle for business. Your personal insurance policy won’t cover you if they find out you use your car for business purposes. Make sure you shop around and get quotes from a few companies.
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