5 Best Commercial Auto Insurance Companies in Ohio

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Many small business owners are not aware that you can’t use personal auto insurance for a business vehicle. If you get caught using your personal vehicle for business purposes, your insurance company could deny a claim or drop you altogether. If you let your employees’ run errands for you, they need to be insured under a commercial policy as well. Commercial auto insurance is generally more expensive than personal auto insurance. However, the good news is that many insurance companies offer commercial auto insurance in Ohio. Here are our recommendations for the 5 best providers.

The 5 best commercial auto insurance companies in Ohio

We research several commercial auto insurance providers in Ohio and here are our recommendations for the top 5 providers.

  • Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes
  • Progressive: Best for a fast online quote
  • The Hartford: Best for flexible coverage
  • biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage and an excellent digital experience
  • Travelers: Best for businesses looking for flexibility in their commercial car coverage

Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes

Simply Business is not an insurance company. They are a digital broker and working with several leading business insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual, Hiscox, Nationwide, and the Hartford. The benefit of working with a digital broker is that after you fill out their quote application, they are able to pull quotes from these companies for you to compare several quotes and select the best one for you. If you want to be able to compare several quotes conveniently, you might want to start with them.

Pulling good commercial auto insurance quotes from several providers might be more complicated than you’d think because there are several nuances on how one uses his vehicle for business. You may not have several quotes to compare online. However, you may still want to give them a call to discuss your quote options and select the best and the cheapest one for your situation.

Simply Business also offers many other great digital features such as downloading the certificate online, renewing a policy, or filing a claim.

They earn an excellent consumer rating on BBB (A).

Progressive: Best for a fast online quote

Progressive is the largest provider of commercial auto insurance in the U.S. While most of their business insurance is provided through a third party, they do offer commercial auto insurance directly to customers. You can get a quote online, so it’s easy to shop and compare their quotes with others.

According to Progressive, the average monthly cost of commercial auto insurance in 2020 was $187, but it depends on how many vehicles you insure, what type of business you do, what kind of vehicles you use, your deductibles, your driving history, and even your location.

It is almost impossible to guess how much your commercial auto insurance costs, make sure to get quotes from several companies to compare and select the best one for you.

The Hartford: Best for flexible coverage

According to The Hartford’s website, they have excellent reviews from their customers. Trustpilot is less effusive: they earn only 1.8 stars. They offer many other types of business insurance as well, so you can buy all your insurance in one stop.

They can customize your commercial auto insurance to cover only what you need, depending on the way you use your vehicle for business. They also offer quotes online, so you can comparison shop without having to leave your office. 

The Hartford is one of the biggest business insurance companies in the country. They offer other business insurance coverages for small businesses as well. You can get some discount if you bundle multiple business insurance policies when you buy from the Hartford. Below are some business insurance coverage the Hartford offers:

biBERK: Best for low-cost coverage and excellent digital experience

biBERK caters to the small business crowd by making buying insurance simple and affordable. You can get a quote and buy a policy in less than ten minutes. If you need any other type of small business insurance, they can do that, too. You can get up to a 10% discount if you bundle policies. You can choose to be billed monthly, quarterly, or annually with no penalties or administrative charges. 

After buying a policy from biBERK, you can manage the policy completely digitally.

biBERK want to make it as easy for small business owners to buy a business insurance policy as to check their emails You can get quotes and buy a policy online in a few minutes. After buying a policy, you can manage the policy completely online.

They are a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of Geico, so you can rest assured that they will a great reputation to protect and strong financial strength to pay claims when they need to.

Travelers: Best for businesses looking for flexibility in their commercial car coverage

Travelers has one of the most flexible commercial auto insurance programs available. A policy can provide:

  • Liability coverage with limits of up to $1 million
  • Physical damage coverage with industry-leading protection against accidental loss or damage
  • Collision coverage including top tier protection if your covered auto strikes another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive coverage with animal or bird collision protection if this is a risk you face.

In addition to these flexible basic coverages, Travelers makes it easy and affordable to add 13 coverage additions through its Select Auto CoveragePlus® Endorsement. Highlights include:

  • Auto lease gap coverage which kicks in when there is a total loss of a vehicle. It covers the difference between the outstanding loan amount and the vehicle’s actual cash value, so you don’t have to pay off the difference out of pocket.
  • Employee hired auto coverage which provides hired liability and physical damage coverage to employees who rent vehicles under their own name while on company business.
  • Blanket additional insured coverage which eliminates the tedious requirement to list each person or company you are in contract with as an additional insured entity.

Travelers has been in business for more than 165 years and is the only insurer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It has a solid reputation as a leading property casualty insurer. Despite its long history, the company is known as an innovator in all aspects of its business.

If flexibility, strength, and stability are important to you, you should consider Travelers for your commercial auto and other business insurance needs.

>>MORE: Top 10 Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

What is Ohio commercial auto insurance?

There are roughly 950,000 small businesses in Ohio. Any business that uses a vehicle for work needs commercial auto insurance. Your personal insurance policy will not cover your claim if you use your vehicle for work purposes (except for commuting back and forth to work: your personal auto insurance policy will cover that). 

That means that if you’re a real estate agent who drives people around in your car while you look at houses, you need commercial auto insurance. Contractors, plumbers, delivery drivers, etc. all of these need commercial auto insurance. 

What does commercial auto insurance cover in Ohio?

Commercial auto insurance provides insurance in case you’re in an accident. It covers:

  • Liability: if you cause an accident, this will protect you from bodily injury to other people in the accident. It pays for medical costs and lost wages of anyone injured. 
  • Collision/Comprehensive: Much like in a personal auto insurance policy, this covers damages to a third party and your own vehicle if you’re in an accident. It also covers theft, vandalism, weather damage, and damages from animals. 
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Pays for your injuries and/or property damage if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist.
  • Underinsured motorist: the person who hits you has coverage, just not enough. If you live in a no-fault state, your auto insurance policy will cover your losses. 

>>MORE: Why do We Need Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance coverage requirements in Ohio

Basic Commercial Auto Coverage Requirements in Ohio:

Whether you have a corporate car for a business or a company truck as a general contractor, Ohio has certain minimum auto coverage requirements that you’ll need to meet:

  • $25,000 for Bodily Injury/Death of One Person
  • $50,000 for Bodily Injury/Death of Two or More People
  • $25,000 for Property Damage

Insurance Coverage Requirements for Rideshare Drivers:

Rideshare companies are required to carry $1M in total liability insurance for each of their drivers. 

In addition, rideshare drivers in Ohio need the following minimum commercial auto insurance coverages:

  • $50,000 for Bodily Injury Per Person
  • $100,000 for Bodily Injury Total
  • $25,000 for Property Damage

Passenger Carrier Insurance Requirements:

If you transport multiple passengers in a bus, limo, or other similar vehicle, you’ll likely have to carry the following increased insurance requirements:

  • Up to 15 People: $1.5M Liability
  • 16 or More People: $5M Liability

Property Transport Carrier Coverage Requirements:

Ohio intrastate trucking companies will also need specific commercial insurance coverages, such as:

  • General Freight: $750,000 Liability Insurance
  • Oil Transport: $1,000,000 Liability Insurance
  • Hazardous Materials: $5,000,000 Liability Insurance
  • Household Goods: $300,000 Liability Insurance 

Household goods movers also need to carry $10,000 per vehicle and $10,000 per incident in cargo insurance.

How much does commercial auto insurance cost in Ohio?

Commercial auto insurance tends to cost more than personal auto insurance. The average cost that small business owners in Ohio pay for commercial auto insurance is about $1,364 a year. But it’s highly dependent on what you do, how many vehicles you insure and what kind of driving record you have. 

Different insurance companies will have different quotes. Make sure you shop with a few companies or a digital broker such as CoverWallet to compare several quotes to select the cheapest quote for you.

>>MORE: How Much does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

How to find cheap commercial auto insurance in Ohio?

To save yourself money, here are some things you can do to reduce the cost of commercial auto insurance:

  • Maintain a clean driving record.
  • Hire drivers with clean driving records
  • Increase your deductible (just make sure you can cover it if you get into an accident)
  • Find discounts

Many insurance companies have discounts for commercial auto insurance policies. Some include:

  • Continuous coverage
  • Commercial driver’s license discount
  • Pay-in-full discount
  • Business insurance discount
  • Paperless discount
  • Homeowner
  • Multiple vehicles

You probably qualify for at least a few discounts. If you don’t, shop for a different insurance company.

>>MORE: How to Find Cheap Commercial Auto Insurance?

Who needs commercial auto insurance in Ohio?

It is legally required to have commercial auto insurance in Ohio. If you use a vehicle for business, you will need to have commercial auto insurance

  • Anyone who uses their vehicle for work, other than commuting, needs commercial auto insurance in Ohio. For example, if you own a small family restaurant and use your minivan on daily basis to delivery grocery for your restaurant and delivery your customer orders, you will need a commercial auto insurance policy. Your personal auto policy doesn’t cover you and your vehicle in these situations.
  • If you transport goods, services, or people for a fee, you probably need commercial auto insurance.

Business use for personal vehicles is not covered. If you lie and your insurance company finds out, they may drop you as a customer. 

Should delivery drivers carry commercial auto insurance in Ohio?

If you drive for Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash in Ohio, these companies offer some protection and coverage when there is a guest in your car or when you carry food from a restaurant to the delivery address. However, things start getting murky when you are in between rides or deliveries. Different companies might have different rules and benefits. You may find yourself in situations when your personal auto insurance providers refuse your claim since you are using your car for business reasons and these delivery companies’ policies do not cover you either.

There is rideshare insurance available in Ohio, so make sure you have it if you drive for Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash.

Last Thoughts

There are many aspects to running a business. Getting your goods or services to your clients on time is absolutely necessary if you want to stay in business. You’ll need to have commercial auto insurance coverage to protect you and your business if you use vehicles for the business in Ohio.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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