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5 Best Commercial Auto Insurance Companies in California

In California, you must have commercial automobile insurance if you drive your car or truck primarily for business or if your company owns a fleet of vehicles. Finding the right provider for this coverage can be challenging. Check out our top five companies providing commercial auto insurance in California, along with the information you need to get the right coverage for your company at a fair price.

The 5 best commercial auto insurance companies in California

We research more than 20 companies offering commercial car insurance and here are our recommendations of the top 5 providers for your consideration.

  • CoverWallet: Best for comparing several online quotes
  • Progressive: The best overall provider of commercial auto insurance in California
  • Travelers: Best for businesses looking for a stable and solid insurance provider
  • Allstate: Best for businesses looking for great customer experience
  • Auto-Owners Insurance: Best for discounts

CoverWallet: Best for comparing several online quotes

If you want to compare several commercial auto insurance quotes to find the cheapest one for you and your company, you may want to start with CoverWallet. They are a digital broker and work with several commercial auto insurance companies. They are able to pull quotes from these companies so that you can compare and select the best and cheapest one in one place.

Another benefit of working with CoverWallet is that after buying a policy through them, you will have access to their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The dashboard also offers useful features such as downloading the certificate of insurance, filing a claim, and renewing a policy.

CoverWallet is owned by Aon, one of the biggest business insurance brokerages in the world, so they do have financial strength backing. In addition, they earn a good consumer rating on BBB (A).

Progressive: The best overall provider of commercial auto insurance in California

Progressive may seem like a less-than-serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo.

The truth: It’s a reputable company that’s been offering auto insurance for more than 80 years and business-related coverage for a half century. Progressive provides not just a complete range of commercial auto insurance products, it can also supply all the coverage your business needs. The company is known for its flexibility, great rates and top-tier service.

Progressive offers the following types of commercial vehicle insurance:

  • Commercial auto and truck
  • Tow, dump and food truck.

Two types of Progressive insurance covers specialized vehicles:

  • Landscaper 
  • Contractor.

It also offers business insurance policies, so you can bundle all your coverage with Progressive:

  • Business Owner Policies (BOPs)
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Professional liability insurance.

Progressive is known for its discounts, which could help you save on your commercial vehicle insurance and all your business coverage.

Tip: Progressive is a leading provider of insurance for delivery drivers and people who offer ride share services. It covers gaps between a personal auto policy and the coverage the delivery company or ride share service offers. It’s definitely something to look into if you do this kind of work. 

>>MORE: Best Commercial Truck Insurance Companies

Travelers: Best for businesses looking for a stable and solid insurance provider

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

Allstate: Best for businesses looking for great customer experience

Allstate is the third largest auto insurer in the United States, and another leading insurance provider that made our list of top commercial vehicle insurers in California. It’s a financially stable company with plenty of cash reserves available to pay out claims. Plus it has a remarkably high rating for its operations, customer service and satisfaction with the Better Business Bureau.

The only limitations that come with insuring your business vehicles with Allstate is that it does not have as many coverage options as other providers, doesn’t offer truck-specific coverage and in certain situations, is more expensive. This is balanced by their willingness to customize their coverage and they have a streamlined claims process that’s second to none.

Auto-Owners Insurance: Best for discounts

Auto-Owners Insurance is our top choice for businesses that want quality commercial auto coverage at a reasonable price. The company offers flexible coverage options and more discounts than the typical business insurance provider.

A unique service offered by Auto-Owners Insurance is their Road Trouble Service. If a covered vehicle gets a flat tire, has a mechanical malfunction or the battery conks out, the service will provide assistance.

The discounts offered by the firm include:

  • Paid-in-full discount. You earn money off if you pay your annual premium in full and on time.
  • Multi-policy discount. You’ll save money if you have other qualifying policies with Auto-Owners Insurance.
  • Life multi-policy discount. You’ll save if you have a qualifying life insurance policy with the firm.
  • Group discount. You qualify for the discount when your business is affiliated with certain organizations, including chambers of commerce, credit unions and trade associations.
  • Fleet monitoring discount. If you agree to have telematics devices installed and actively monitoring the vehicles in your fleet, you become eligible for this discount if your employees consistently demonstrate safe driving habits.
  • Farm use seasonal discount. You may qualify for this if you insure certain vehicles used for farming.
  • Deductible-related cost reduction. If you choose a higher deductible, it may lower your policy premium.
  • Favorable loss history. You may qualify for a lower premium if you haven’t made many claims on your commercial auto policy.

What you need to know about commercial auto insurance in California

Use this information from our experts to get the right commercial autoinsurance for your business.

What is California commercial auto insurance?

Commercial vehicle policies cover damage to vehicles used for business if they’re involved in an accident or theft. Commercial auto insurance handles the following types of situations:

  • You hit a vehicle or pedestrian while heading to a business meeting
  • An employee runs off the road and hits a fence while running an errand for work
  • Your employee is in an accident while making a delivery and someone is seriously injured, resulting in significant medical bills.

These are just a few scenarios that demonstrate the value of commercial vehicle insurance. 

What does commercial auto insurance cover in California?

Most commercial vehicle insurance policies include the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury: This is required coverage in California and pays medical costs for anyone else involved in an accident caused by you or someone working for you. 
  • Property damage liability: This pays for damage to other people’s property caused by you because of an accident.
  • Collision coverage: This covers your damages if you’re in an accident, whether it’s your fault or not.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This takes care of damages that aren’t related to an accident, such as ones from theft or vandalism.
  • Medical coverage: This is a separate insurance policy that pays your accident-related medical bills if they aren’t covered by another policy.
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage: This insurance pays accident-related costs if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.

Only bodily injury and property damage liability insurance is required in California. However, it’s important to speak with an insurance expert to find out which coverages you need. It could prevent you from having to pay accident-related expenses that could have a big impact on your bottom line.

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

Commercial auto insurance coverage requirements in California

All vehicles used for business in California must be covered by commercial auto insurance. California requires:

  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 bodily injury / death liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury / death liability to more than one person.

Please note that these are minimums, and only cover other drivers. You receive nothing if you or an employee is involved in an accident and only carry minimum coverage. 

How much does commercial auto insurance cost in California?

Costs vary. They’re based on:

  • The number of vehicles covered
  • The type and value of the vehicles
  • The features they come with
  • The type of business
  • The types and levels of coverage
  • Where the business is located and where its vehicles are used and parked.

Commercial vehicles are usually more costly to repair or replace, making insuring them more expensive than private ones. In addition, commercial policies usually cover more than one driver.

In our study, small business owners in California pay somewhere between $574 and $1,804 a year for commercial auto insurance. 

Be sure to compare several quotes by shopping with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to select the cheapest one for you and/or your company:

How to find cheap commercial auto insurance in California?

Commercial auto insurance is required legally in California. Not having it might be a very bad idea. When accidents happen, your company might be bankrupt and you might be jailed as a result.

The good news is that it is possible to find cheap commercial auto insurance by following the tips below:

  • Always shop around with at least 3-5 providers or a digital broker such as as CoverWallet to compare several quotes before deciding on the final carrier
  • Maintain a good driving record and credit score, that will help decrease your commercial auto premiums
  • Maintaining your commercial auto insurance coverage steadily. If you have gaps in your commercial auto insurance coverage, your premiums might increase as a result
  • Lastly, if the carrier offers telematics monitoring to reduce the premium as a result of your good driving record, you might want to opt in that program.

Who needs commercial auto coverage requirements in California?

If you live in California and drive a vehicle for business purposes, it’s likely you need to get commercial insurance. It’s unlikely your personal car insurance policy will cover you. An experienced insurance professional can let you know for sure.

Commercial vehicle insurance is typically required if:

  • Your business owns, rents or leases vehicles
  • You have employees who drive personal vehicles for business reasons
  • You have workers who drive company cars
  • You have staff members who lease, rent or own company vehicles.

It’s not worth risking your operation by not having the right insurance. Talk with an insurance expert to ensure you have the correct coverage.

Should delivery drivers carry commercial auto insurance in California?

If you use your personal vehicle for work as an independent delivery driver for companies like DoorDash, uberEat, or GrubHub, you definitely need to look into commercial auto insurance. You are expected to have your own commercial auto insurance since your personal auto insurance may not cover if you have accidents at work.

Although some companies, like DoorDash, PostMates, and UberEats, do provide a commercial auto insurance policy for drivers, these policies are typically ‘excess’ policies that only kick in when the driver’s personal auto insurance maxes out of its limits. Also, if you don’t carry personal insurance, the company’s auto insurance won’t cover you either.

More importantly, some delivery services such as GrubHub and Instacart don’t provide commercial auto insurance for their drivers. Make sure you get some additional auto insurance to protect yourself and your car as you are working. In such case, you would need to have your own commercial auto insurance or an attached rider to your personal auto insurance to cover your commercial use of your car. It is possible to find cheap commercial auto insurance by following our tips above. Not having commercial auto insurance as you are using your vehicle as the main means to work is the risk not worth taking. An accident without commercial auto insurance protection might put an end to your financial wellbeing or even in jail.

>>MORE: Best Delivery Driver Insurance Companies

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