5 Best Commercial Auto Insurance in New York

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

PLUS answers to common questions about commercial vehicle coverage in the state

New York state is home to 2.2 million small businesses. Most of those businesses are required by the state to have commercial auto insurance to protect against accidents, injuries, and other incidents that happen while handling job-related duties. Personal auto policies typically do not cover business-related incidents.

Many insurers offer commercial auto insurance in New York. That makes finding the right provider challenging. Here are our top three companies providing commercial auto insurance in New York, along with everything you need to know to get the right coverage for your business at the best possible price.

The 5 best commercial auto insurance companies in New York

We research several companies offering commercial auto insurance in New York and here are our recommendations of the top 5 providers.

  • Progressive: Best overall provider of commercial auto insurance in New York
  • Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes
  • Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that use specialized vehicles
  • Nationwide: Best for businesses in certain industries looking for enhanced coverage
  • Smart Financial: Best for working with knowledgeable agents

Progressive: Best overall provider of commercial auto insurance in New York

Many people think of Progressive as a silly company because of its commercials featuring Flo and her gang.

The reality is that it’s a serious company that’s offered car insurance for 80 plus years and business coverage for fifty. Progressive not only has a complete range of commercial auto insurance products, it can also cover all aspects of your business. The company is known for its customized coverage, low rates, discounts, and top-tier service.

Progressive offers the following types of commercial vehicle coverage:

Two types of Progressive insurance covers specialized vehicles:

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

Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could save you a lot on your commercial auto and other business insurance.

Tip: Progressive is a leading insurer of delivery drivers and people who offer ride share services. The coverage can fill any 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. 

Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes

If your main work is to compare several quotes to find the best and the cheapest one for you, you may want to start with Simply Business. They are a digital broker. They work with several leading commercial auto insurance companies and are able to pull quotes from these companies for you to compare in one place.

Simply Business also allows you to compare online quotes of other business insurance polices such as general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, workers comp insurance, commercial property insurance, and cyber security insurance, etc. If you want to compare several quotes online of different business insurance policies, Simply Business is the best place to start with.

In some cases, they may not be able to provide quote comparison online, that is usually due to some complications of the industry or the coverages. In these cases, you may need to discuss your quote options with them on the phone. The phone call is worth it since you can still compare several quotes in one place without going to several insurance companies to gather quotes.

Simply Business earns an excellent consumer satisfaction rating on BBB (A) and gets a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

Liberty Mutual: Best for businesses that use specialized vehicles

Liberty Mutual is a highly reputable commercial auto insurance provider for New York businesses. The company can cover everything from a single vehicle to a complete fleet, including specialized equipment.

Liberty Mutual has a dedicated team that looks out for risks that are unique to commercial vehicle drivers and helps businesses avoid and protect against them. It also has a team that only handles commercial auto claims, which helps get vehicles back out on the road quickly after an incident occurs, which can minimize costly business interruptions. The claims team uses proprietary tools and equipment that helps them quickly evaluate vehicle damage and medical claims. They also have an extensive team to manage legal issues and claims. 

Liberty Mutual prides itself on being able to customize commercial vehicle coverage to specific industries, fleet types, usage, and location in New York state. The company also has a network of repair centers located all over the state, which speeds repairs and ensures they are done right.

If safety is important to you, Liberty Mutual could be your ideal commercial vehicle insurance provider. They offer unique programs that can help you:

  • Launch a fleet safety program
  • Hire qualified and safe drivers
  • Establish policies to prevent unsafe driving practices
  • Use telematics to monitor unsafe driving behaviors.

Taking advantage of Liberty Mutual’s safety programs could help reduce your business’s exposure to risk, encourage better driving practices and lower the possibility of accidents. These things will enhance the well being of your employees and reduce your commercial auto insurance costs over the long term. 

Like the other providers on this list, Liberty Mutual offers a complete array of business insurance in addition to its commercial auto coverage. This allows you to consolidate coverage under a single provider.

Nationwide: Best for businesses in certain industries looking for enhanced coverage

Nationwide offers business-related coverage for businesses in certain industries, including retail stores, professional offices, contractors, auto repair services, wholesalers and distributors, food and beverage businesses, medical clinics and self storage facilities.

While Nationwide doesn’t offer coverage for all industries, it does have an extraordinary array of options and add ons including:

  • Roadside assistance. Provides support when you or a covered employee is locked out of a car, has a dead battery or flat tire.
  • New vehicle replacement cost coverage. Replaces a new vehicle when it is declared a total loss with a new or comparable vehicle. 
  • Hired auto physical damage with loss of use coverage. Covers comprehensive and collision damage for vehicles leased or rented by you or your employees for business purposes, including all contractual obligations to the rental company.
  • Auto loan or lease coverage. Covers the difference between the total amount due on a loan or lease and the actual cash value of the vehicle, if it’s a total loss because of an accident
  • Expanded towing. Provides towing benefits beyond what’s covered by a standard business auto policy, including things like jump starts and minor roadside repairs.
  • Rental reimbursement. Pays for a rental vehicle up to the limits of your policy so you and your employees have access to transportation after an accident
  • Medical payments or personal injury protection coverage. Pays for medical expenses if regular health care insurance doesn’t cover the costs.

Beyond offering all these specialized coverages, Nationwide is known for its reasonable rates and high level of service in New York.

Smart Financial: Best for knowledgeable agents

If you prefer working with agents who specialize in your business niche and are very experienced in providing commercial auto insurance to a variety of businesses in different industries, you may want to work with Smart Financial. They are a national broker specializing in small business insurance. They partner with an intensive network of hundreds of agents across the country who are very knowledgeable and experienced in providing commercial auto insurance to small businesses in all industries.

However unique and niche your industry is, you can count on Smart Financial to connect you with an agent who is the most knowledgeable about the specifics of your business so that they can find you the best coverages at the most affordable prices.

Smart Financial doesn’t offer online quotes. So you have to work with an agent, but the agent will be able to pull several quotes from their partners and help you compare them to find the best and the cheapest one for your business.

>>MORE: The 10 Best Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

Everything you need to know about commercial auto insurance in New York.

Use this information from our experts to get the commercial vehicle insurance you need in New York at a fair price.

What is New York commercial vehicle insurance?

Commercial auto policies cover damage to vehicles used for business purposes if they’re involved in an accident or theft related incident. Commercial auto insurance covers the following types of things:

  • You hit a vehicle or someone crossing the street while making a delivery
  • An employee drives off the road and damages a mail box while picking up a client for a meeting
  • Your employee is in an accident while heading to a work site and someone is badly injured, which results in large medical bills.

These are just a few examples to help illustrate why you need commercial vehicle insurance. 

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

Business auto coverage requirements in New York

New York has a lot of separate requirements for all vehicles in the state. These minimum coverage requirements apply for commercial vehicles and private passenger vehicles:

  • $25,000 bodily injury 
  • $50,000 per accident 
  • $10,000 for property damage 
  • $50,000 in basic personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage per accident

Insurance coverage requirements for rideshare drivers are the same as above in the state of New York with a few additions:

  • $50,000 per person killed in an accident
  • $100,000 for all persons killed in an accident

In New York City proper all passenger transportation providers are subject to a separate set of insurance requirements set down by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (PDF). These coverage amounts vary a lot but range from:

  • $100K to $500K per person
  • $300K to $1.5M per accident
  • $200K PIP

Property transport carrier coverage in New York State

In New York State, household goods carrier coverage requirements are a little bit lower at:

  • Auto Liability Insurance: $300K
  • Cargo Household Goods: $5,000 per vehicle and $10,000 per event

New York State also has high property transport carrier coverage requirements for intrastate transport:

  • Hazmat Auto Liability Insurance: $5M
  • General Freight Liability Insurance: $750K
  • Oil Transport Liability Insurance: $1M

The minute your company transports cargo out of state you’ll be required to carry the higher coverage required by the FMCSA which can range between $300,000 to $5,000,000 liability.

What does commercial auto insurance cover in New York?

Most commercial vehicle insurance policies in New York include the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury: You are required to have this coverage in New York. It pays medical costs for anyone else involved in an accident caused by you or one of your employees. 
  • Property damage liability: This is another coverage required in New York. It pays for accident-related damage to other people’s property caused by you or someone who works for you while conducting business.
  • Collision coverage: While not required in New York, it’s valuable coverage which pays for damages if you or an employee is involved in an accident while working, no matter who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This pays costs for damages not related to accidents, such as ones from theft or vandalism.
  • Medical coverage: This is separate insurance coverage that pays accident-related medical bills for you or an employee if they aren’t covered by another policy.
  • Uninsured or underinsured coverage: This insurance pays accident-related costs if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.

Bodily injury and property damage liability are the only coverages required by the state of New York. However, it’s worthwhile to consult with a business insurance expert to find out which commercial auto and other business-related coverages you should have. It could prevent you from being forced to pay costly accident-related expenses out of pocket.

Who needs commercial vehicle coverage in New York?

If you’re a New York resident and drive a vehicle for work-related reasons, you will likely need to secure commercial auto insurance. It’s unlikely your personal car policy will cover you. 

Commercial vehicle insurance is usually required if:

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

An insurance agent or company representative will let you know for sure if New York requires your business to have commercial auto coverage.

How much does New York commercial vehicle insurance cost?

Prices vary. On average, the commercial auto insurance costs around 2,100 – $3,500 a year in New York, which is higher than the national average. That is because New York is a high-risk state for commercial auto, premiums can be as high as $10,000 a year.

Your premium is 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 in New York the business is located (Buffalo versus New York City) and where its vehicles are used and parked (risky areas versus safer ones).

Commercial vehicles are typically more expensive to repair or replace, which is why insuring commercial autos is more expensive than personal ones. In addition, commercial policies usually cover multiple drivers.

Make sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like Simply Business, commercialinsurance.net, or Smart Financial to compare several quotes to select the best and the cheapest one for you.

How to find cheap commercial auto insurance in New York?

Commercial auto insurance is required legally in New York. While it might be more expensive than personal auto insurance, you can still find cheap commercial auto insurance that you can afford 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
  • If the carrier offers telematics monitoring to reduce the premium as a result of your good driving practice, you might want to opt in that program
  • Lastly, if you also need another business insurance policies such as general liability or professional liability or workers compensation insurance, bundling these policies with the commercial auto insurance policy will earn discounts on the policies.

Following these tips will help you reduce your commercial auto insurance premiums.

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

Should delivery drivers carry commercial auto insurance in New York?

It’s definitely a good idea to look into commercial auto insurance if you work as an independent delivery driver. Many people are delivering orders for companies, like DoorDash, uberEat, or GrubHub, full-time these days. If you are using your personal vehicle for this kind of work, you’ll likely also be expected to provide your own auto insurance. 

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.

Other delivery services, like GrubHub and Instacart, don’t provide commercial auto insurance for their drivers. So, make sure you get some additional auto insurance to protect yourself. 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.

>>MORE: Best Delivery Driver Insurance Companies

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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