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5 Best Commercial Auto Insurance in North Carolina for 2022

Commercial auto insurance is an insurance product similar to personal auto insurance that is designed to protect your commercial vehicles, you, and your business in the event of an accident while driving the car for business purposes. Your personal auto coverage won’t cover your commercial vehicle if you or anyone in your company get into an accident when you are on a business run. 

5 best commercial auto insurance companies in North Carolina

Progressive: Best Overall

One of the largest commercial auto insurers in the US, Progressive writes more than 13 million auto policies yearly. The company writes both commercial and personal policies for consumers. In fact, they are the biggest commercial auto insurance provider in the country, having more than 12% market share. You can purchase insurance directly from Progressive or purchase through one of the 30,000 or more independent agencies across the country. 

The commercial auto policies offered by Progressive include 24/7 service either online or on the phone. You can easily get a quote on Progressive website. It should take you 10 minutes or less. Their quotes are known to be the most comprehensive for all commercial auto coverages and high limits. If you are happy with the quote, you can buy the policy online within minutes as well.

Flexible billing and payments and the ability to adjust your coverages at any time are desirable selling points for Progressive. 

Last but not least, Progressive offers several discounts to help make their rates more affordable than others. With the highest market share and operational efficiencies in managing their claims and repair costs, they rates are definitely competitive in the market. You should definitely get a quote from Progressive to start the process.

Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes

Simply Business is an online insurance broker specializing in small businesses. The company is owned by Travelers insurance, the second biggest commercial auto insurance company in the US. Since Simply Business is a brokerage, don’t be surprised when you get multiple quotes from them for the same policy parameters. It is very likely that one of these quotes is by Travelers. If your main goal is to compare several quotes in one place to find the cheapest one for your business, you definitely want to start with Simply Business. Within 10 minutes, you will have several quotes to compare in one place, either online or on the phone with their agent.

Typically with Simply Business, you complete an online form and receive several quotes from various companies. Sometimes, you will only receive one quote, or they will need more information before proceeding. 

It is also reassuring to know that Simply Business is doing right by their customers. They receive a wonderful rating of 4.1 out of 5 from their customers on Trustpilot.

The Hartford: Best for fleets

The Hartford is well-known in the insurance industry. It started as a fire insurance company and have since expanded to include other insurance coverages. They are one of the leading insurance companies specializing in small businesses. They have insured more than 1 millions small businesses and earn a stellar reputation as one of the most ethical insurance companies in the world.

They admit that they prefer to work with companies with fleets of vehicles, but they do offer insurance solutions for small companies as well. Their commercial auto insurance policy is unique since it is completely customizable to your business needs. If your company has several vehicles, you definitely want to get a quote for a fleet from them.

THREE: Best for a complete and comprehensive policy

THREE insurance is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaways, the owner of Geico. They believe that small business insurance should be simple and easy to understand. That’s the reason why their commitment to you is that their policy document is always 3-page long and always includes all coverages that your small business may need. So even if you only apply for commercial auto insurance, THREE will provide you with a quote including not only commercial auto insurance, but also general liability and commercial property coverages, which are the two most popular insurance coverages for small businesses.

Even with a complete and comprehensive policy, THREE insurance is still affordable because they sell directly to small businesses, bypassing agents and brokers and are able to cut costs.

If you want to get one single and comprehensive policy protecting your small business at a reasonable price, you may want to get a quote from THREE.

InsurePro: Best for flexible on-demand commercial auto coverage

InsurePro is an online insurance broker that provides quick quotes. The entire process for obtaining a quote from start to finish (questionnaire to purchase) takes approximately 10 minutes. The company compares quotes from several providers such as Chubb, Hiscox, and Progressive, etc. to return the best quote possible for your business. 

We obtained the following quote for a small business cleaning firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Part of the process with this company which was unusual was they ask if you need the insurance for your business or for a specific job, then they customize your quote to fit your coverage needs. 

That’s actually one of their unique differentiator. While they can provide traditional insurance policy of annual coverage, their main strength is to be able to provide small businesses with coverage for a just a few days or just to cover one project. They call it on-demand insurance.

If you don’t need traditional coverage and only need the coverage for a few days, you should definitely work with InsurePro. That would save you a lot of money.

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Commercial auto insurance requirements in North Carolina

If you drive a vehicle for business purpose or your business has a vehicle, you must have commercial auto insurance. It is legally required in North Carolina by law. Learn more at why you need to have commercial auto insurance

North Carolina requires minimum liability coverages that include $30,000 per person hurt in an accident, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. All commercial drivers are also required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that equals at least the top liability limit for any automobile covered under your commercial policy. 

Specific coverage needs are decided by you based on how many vehicles you have, how you handle the risks of operating your business, and what you can spend on insurance coverage. Collision and comprehensive coverages and towing coverages are options to consider when purchasing your commercial auto coverage in North Carolina. 

Additionally, in North Carolina, you can purchase a surety bond that meets the state minimum requirements. This uses your own cash to cover your vehicles and eliminates the need for dealing with an insurance agent. However, most startups don’t have the financial stability to go this route. 

What does commercial auto insurance cover in North Carolina?

Most commercial vehicle insurance policies include the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury: This is required in Texas and covers any medical costs for anyone else involved in an accident that is caused by you or someone working for you. 
  • Property damage liability: This is similar to bodily injury coverage, except that it pays for property damage that you cause in an accident.
  • Collision coverage: This covers your damages if you are in an accident, whether you caused it or not.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This covers damages that aren’t related to an accident, such as ones from theft or vandalism.
  • Medical coverage: Medical coverage is a separate insurance policy that will pay your medical bills if they aren’t taken care of by another policy.
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage: This insurance covers your bills if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance.

What doesn’t commercial auto insurance cover in North Carolina?

Commercial auto insurance often have several misconceptions about what is and what is not covered. The following are some instances where your commercial auto insurance alone might not be sufficient:

  • Damage to or caused by leased/employee-owned vehicles. To cover such incidents, you need the Hired and Non-Owned policy added to your commercial auto insurance.
  • Expensive claims or lawsuits that exceed the policy’s limits. To cover for such, you might need to carry an additional business umbrella coverage.
  • Mechanical breakdowns that happen during work  
  • Damages caused by equipment attached to a covered vehicle, such as a new snowplow attached to your company truck. If you add any equipment to your insured vehicle, you need to discuss that with your insurer before signing an agreement.
  • Finally, any vehicle not included in the policy is naturally not covered. However, you can review and update the list of vehicles when you upgrade your fleet.  

Who needs commercial auto insurance in North Carolina?

Anyone who uses their vehicle for business purposes must have commercial auto insurance. Your personal auto insurance doesn’t cover you and your vehicle if you get involved in an accident while driving for business purposes. In fact, if your personal auto insurance carrier finds out that you have been driving for business purposes, they may drop you off and you may have difficulties finding coverage from other carriers.

Your personal auto insurance policy only covers you when you drive to and from work. If you are making deliveries, picking up supplies, or doing any other business activity, you will need a commercial auto policy. Your commercial auto policy should cover you if you’re at fault for accidents while on business outings.

Even if you own a sedan that you use only for business, you need a commercial auto policy. This includes people who use their personal automobiles to deliver food or provide ride-share services. Those services aren’t covered by individual auto policies either. 

Learn more at why small businesses need to have commercial auto insurance

How much does commercial auto insurance cost in North Carolina? 

The average cost of commercial auto insurance in North Carolina is $128 per month. Some businesses may pay less, as low as $79 per month. Other businesses may pay more, up to $525 per month.

The costs for commercial auto insurance in North Carolina differ depending on your business model. For example, a small company with only one vehicle will pay less for insurance than a larger company with an entire fleet. Additionally, your costs will be higher if your drivers are constantly on the road. 

Driving records for anyone who uses the vehicles also factor into your cost. As with your private auto insurance, moving violations and accidents will increase your insurance rates, whereas good records will help keep them more affordable. You can also expect adjustments to your cost for things like the type of vehicle, your business location, and how many miles are routinely driven. 

This is just the average. Your rate will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes before making your final decision.

  • Get quotes online from Progressive and THREE to start the process. They are the only two carriers offering commercial auto insurance quotes. Within 10 minutes, you’ll have two quotes from the two reputable companies to have an idea of how much your commercial auto insurance costs
  • If you are not happy with these two quotes, get another online quote from InsurePro. They are a broker so they can find the cheapest quote from their partners for you.
  • If you still want to have more quotes, definitely work with Simply Business. They will provide you with several quotes to choose from.

Factors affecting the cost of commercial auto insurance in North Carolina

Multiple factors affect the cost of commercial auto insurance in North Carolina or any other state. Here are a few of them. 

  • Type of business. The kind of industry you work in is a definite factor for commercial auto insurance costs. If you are on the road all the time, your rates will cost more than those of someone who is primarily in the office and only on the road at times.
  • Vehicle. The size and type of the vehicle you’re insuring affects your rates.
  • Driving record. If everyone driving your vehicle has a good driving record, your premiums will be less than if your driving record is less than pristine.
  • Location. Where your business operates affects your premiums. A small-town company will typically have lower rates than a business in a larger city. Fewer accidents and car thefts in your area will reduce your premiums.
  • Mileage. How far do you typically drive? If you drive a greater distance, your risk is greater, and your cost will be too. 
  • Coverages. The number of coverages you choose and the limits for those coverages significantly impact your premiums. 

How to save money on commercial auto insurance in North Carolina

There are a few ways to help save money on your commercial auto insurance policy in North Carolina. 

  1. Discuss policy options with your insurer. Many companies offer unadvertised discounts, like safe driver and bundling discounts. 
  2. Stay safe. If you haven’t filed claims against your insurance, you are better positioned to have lower premiums than someone who has filed multiple claims. 
  3. Only allow people with good driving records to drive your vehicles. People with good driving records tend to keep premiums lower. 
  4. Consider telematics. This is an electronic device (like Progressive’s snapshot, for example) that monitors the actions of your drivers while on the road. Safe drivers get lower rates, typically. 
  5. Compare coverages and premium costs. The only real caveat here is to ensure you are comparing like coverages to get a clear picture of the insurance costs you are facing. 

Final thoughts

Commercial auto insurance is a requirement in North Carolina if you use a car for more than commuting to work. Your costs will vary based on several factors like your industry, your location, and the kinds of vehicles you need to insure. Comparing coverages is probably the best way to save money on your insurance costs.

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