PLUS answers to common questions about commercial vehicle coverage
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently released its annual market share reports for insurance companies including those that offer commercial auto insurance. We reviewed the top ten providers of commercial car coverage by market share in the United States to find out what makes them appealing to small business owners who need commercial vehicle coverage.
Here’s more information about what we found, along with answers to commonly asked questions about commercial vehicle coverage.
- Top 10 commercial auto insurance companies by market share in the U.S.: Which one is best for your company?
- What is commercial auto insurance?
- Who needs commercial vehicle coverage?
- What does commercial auto insurance cover?
- How much business auto coverage do I need?
- How much does commercial auto insurance cost?
- How can I find cheap commercial auto insurance?
Top 10 commercial auto insurance companies by market share in the U.S.: Which one is best for your company?
Here’s the list of the top 10 biggest commercial auto insurance companies in the U, along with what makes them stand out based on our assessment:
- Progressive: Best for companies with different types of vehicles they need to insure
- Travelers: Best for businesses looking for flexibility in their commercial car coverage
- Old Republic: Best for businesses looking for a solid and stable insurer
- Liberty Mutual: Best for companies that value vehicle safety
- Nationwide: Best for businesses in certain industries looking for enhanced coverage
- Zurich: Best for businesses looking for innovative solutions
- Berkshire Hathaway: Best for companies that want commercial car coverage options
- Auto-Owners Group: Best for discounts
- Chubb: Best for customized coverage
- W.R. Berkley: Best for businesses that need cutting edge coverage
Progressive: Best for companies with different types of vehicles they need to insure
Progressive has been offering auto insurance since 1937 and business-related policies for 50 years. The company offers not just a full range of commercial auto insurance products, it can also supply all the coverage your business needs. The company is known for being flexible, having great rates and providing first-class service.
Progressive offers the following kinds of commercial vehicle coverage:
- Commercial auto and truck insurance
- Tow, dump and food truck insurance.
Two types of Progressive policies cover specialized vehicles:
- Landscaper insurance
- Contractor insurance.
Progressive offers many types of discounts, which could help you save on your commercial vehicle insurance and all your business related policies.
Tip: Progressive is a top provider of insurance for delivery drivers and people who participate in ride share programs. It covers gaps between your personal policy and what your company or service offers. It’s definitely something to look into if you provide these types of services.
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.
Old Republic: Best for businesses looking for a solid and stable insurer
Old Republic offers commercial auto insurance through a number of subsidiaries. Their parent company, Old Republic International Corporation, ranks among the nation’s 50 largest publicly held insurance companies. The firm has been in business for approximately 100 years. Old Republic is primarily a commercial lines underwriter, serving many of the leading industrial and financial services companies across the United States.
Old Republic is committed to providing quality coverage of all types and providing clients with top tier client service.
Liberty Mutual: Best for companies that value vehicle safety
Liberty Mutual is another highly reputable commercial auto insurance provider for businesses across the U.S. It’s able to cover everything from a single vehicle to a complete fleet, including specialized equipment.
The company has a dedicated team that looks out for risks that are unique to commercial vehicle drivers and helping to mitigate and protect against them. It also has a group that just handles commercial auto claims, which helps get vehicles back out on the road quickly after an incident occurs. 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 evaluate legal claims.
Liberty Mutual prides itself on being able to customize commercial vehicle coverage to specific industries, fleet types, usage and location in the U.S. The company also has a network of repair centers located all over the country, which speeds the timing of repairs and ensures the quality of them.
If safety is important to you, Liberty Mutual could be the right commercial vehicle provider for you. They offer unique programs that can help you:
- Develop a fleet safety initiative
- Hire qualified and safe drivers
- Establish policies to prevent distracted driving and other unsafe practices
- Take advantage of telematics to look out for unsafe driving behaviors.
Taking advantage of Liberty Mutual’s safety programs could help reduce your company’s commercial auto exposure, encourage better driving practices and lower the risk of accidents. These things will contribute to the well being of your employees and lower 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.
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 to its commercial auto coverage 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 one.
- 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.
Zurich: Best for businesses looking for innovative solutions
For almost 150 years, Zurich has been a top provider of property and casualty insurance solutions to businesses, including commercial auto coverage. They are known for their industry leading insurance solutions and claims process. The company offers cutting edge risk management programs, which, when implemented, can help reduce business insurance premiums.
The company is known for being a leading innovator in the insurance industry.
Berkshire Hathaway: Best for companies that want commercial car coverage options
Berkshire Hathaway offers commercial auto coverage through a number of business insurance companies that are part of the organization:
biBERK offers top-rated commercial auto coverage with premiums that can be 20 percent lower than other providers. Despite the lower-priced coverage, the company offers fast claims service and unparalleled customer service. The company makes it easy to conduct business online or through an experienced customer service rep over the phone.
biBERK is able to cover many types of vehicles including:
- Pickup trucks
- Food trucks
- Truck tractors
- Emergency vehicles
- Delivery and cargo vans
- Tow trucks
- Passenger vans
- Box trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Dump trucks
- Dry van trailers
- Refrigerated trailers
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies (BHHC) was founded more than 50 years ago. Today it has a superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best, an insurance company rating agency. The company offers coverage for many classes of commercial vehicles, so if you can’t find the protection you need at other providers, you may be able to through Homestate.
Another Berkshire Hathaway business insurance provider, Guard offers commercial vehicle coverage for unique industries including artisan contractors, service and repair, delivery and distributors and more. Guard offers:
- Liability coverages of up to $1 million single combined rates
- State specific mandatory coverages
- Towing coverage for vehicles under 10,000 pounds
- Automatic physical damage coverage for newly acquired vehicles
- And much more.
Three offers complete small business insurance coverage, including commercial auto protection, in a single package. This division makes it easy for small businesses to get complete coverage in a single place.
Auto-Owners Group: 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.
Chubb: Best for customized coverage
Chubb is a leading small business insurer. It is known for being able to customize coverage for businesses in many industries and areas of specialization. It offers great service and if focused on settling claims quickly so commercial vehicles can get back on the road as soon as possible. In addition to being able to insure most types of business vehicles, Chubb specializes in covering:
- Commercial fleets
- Moving and storage vans.
If you need specialized coverage, Chubb could be the right insurer for you.
W.R. Berkley: Best for businesses that need cutting edge coverage
W.R. Berkeley was founded in 1967 as a small investment firm. In more than 50 years, it has grown into one of the largest commercial lines insurers in the United States. The well-respected Fortune 500 Company is made up of 53 businesses located across the globe. The firm is known for offering high quality business insurance solutions, including commercial car insurance, though a decentralized business model that allows it to provide flexible and cutting edge coverage.
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about commercial vehicle coverage.
What is commercial auto insurance?
It’s a specific type of coverage that pays for damage to vehicles used for business if they’re involved in an accident. It can also cover costs related to theft. Commercial auto insurance handles the following types of situations:
- An employee hits a vehicle or pedestrian while driving a company car
- You run off the road and hit a mail box while heading to a business meeting
- Your employee is in an accident while driving for work, which results in high medical bills.
These are just a few scenarios that demonstrate the value of commercial vehicle insurance. Consult with a reputable insurance provider to understand the specific risks you face in your industry and where you do business.
Who needs commercial vehicle coverage?
If you drive a vehicle for business reasons, it’s likely you need commercial insurance. If you drive a vehicle to conduct business, it’s unlikely that your personal car insurance policy will cover you. An experienced insurance professional can evaluate your situation and let you know for sure.
The situations that typically require commercial vehicle insurance:
- Your business owns, rents or leases vehicles
- You have employees who drive their own vehicles for business purposes
- You have employees who drive company cars
- You have employees who lease, rent or own company vehicles.
It’s not worth risking the future of your operation by not having the right insurance. Consult with a professional to ensure you have the correct coverage.
What does commercial auto insurance cover?
Most commercial vehicle insurance policies include the following coverages:
- Bodily injury: This is required in most states 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.
Only bodily injury and property damage liability are required in most states. However, it’s important to work with an insurance professional to find out which coverages you need. It could prevent you having to pay accident-related expenses that could have a big negative impact on your business.
How much business auto coverage do I need?
The Insurance Information Institute recommends minimum liability coverage of $500,000. However, different states have different minimum level requirements for different types of coverage. A business insurance expert can advise you on how much coverage you need.
Please note that minimum coverages typically pay for damages to other drivers. You receive no compensation if you’re involved in an accident and carry minimum coverage. It’s smart to get additional protection so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for harm that comes to you in a business related vehicle accident or incident.
How much does commercial auto insurance cost?
On average, small businesses pay $960 – $3,000 a year for commercial auto insurance policies. It is a wide range because commercial auto insurance costs vary and depends on several factors:
- How many vehicles are covered
- The type and cost of the vehicles
- The features they’re equipped with
- The type of business
- The types and levels of coverage
- Where the business is located, along with where the vehicles are used and parked.
Commercial auto insurance is typically more expensive than personal auto protection. It’s because commercial vehicles are usually more costly to repair or replace. In addition, commercial policies typically include more than one driver.
Also, different companies will offer different quotes. If you want to get cheap commercial auto insurance quote, be sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes
How can I find cheap commercial auto insurance?
Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at the lowest possible price:
- Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few different insurers.
- Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
- Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your commercial auto coverage and other business insurance.