Source: Trusted Choice | June 21, 2022 (https://www.trustedchoice.com/l/florida/commercial-vehicle-insurance/)
Florida’s I-95 is ranked as one of America’s most deadly roads due to the high number of commercial truck accidents. From fender benders to major collisions, commercial vehicle accidents can be particularly expensive. Florida business owners who have company-owned vehicles can protect their business finances with a commercial vehicle policy.
An independent agent in Florida can help you find competitively priced commercial auto insurance that is compliant with state and federal laws. Find an independent insurance agent near you to start comparing customized quotes.
Florida Commercial Vehicle Crash Statistics
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tracks vehicle accidents in the state. According to their reports:
There are approximately 400,000 vehicle accidents in Florida every year.
Approximately 1 out of 10 accidents in this state involve a commercial vehicle.
Commercial vehicle accidents are responsible for more than 10,000 cases of significant bodily injuries in FL per year.
What Is Commercial Vehicle Insurance?
If your business owns a vehicle or vehicles, Florida law requires that these cars, trucks, vans, or buses be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. When a commercial motor vehicle is involved in an accident, the company that owns it has a high chance of being named in an expensive liability lawsuit.
Commercial vehicle insurance is designed to protect your business from the large financial losses that may arise due to liability lawsuits, property damage, and the potential loss of income that may occur if your business is left without its necessary mode of transportation.
How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost in Florida?
There is a wide range of commercial vehicle types, from pick-up trucks to excavators. Therefore, the cost to cover these business-owned vehicles can vary significantly from one company to the next. Rates are calculated according to a number of factors, including:
The number of vehicles you are insuring
The types of vehicles you are insuring (e.g., car, bus, cargo van, semi-truck, dump truck, etc.)
The estimated number of miles your vehicles are driven per year
Whether the vehicles are used locally or for interstate commerce
The driving records of the employees who will be operating the vehicles
How much coverage you wish to purchase and the amount of your deductible
Your company’s claims history and safety rating
Every business is different, so the only way to get a good idea of what a policy will cost you is to request prices from a variety of commercial vehicle insurance providers. A local independent insurance agent can obtain these customized quotes on your behalf.
What Are Commercial Vehicle Coverage Requirements in Florida?
All commercial vehicle insurance policies in Florida must include the following:
Personal injury protection (PIP): This is designed to cover medical bills for your drivers and passengers if they are injured in a collision. Florida is a no-fault state, so only after the PIP coverage is exhausted can the injured party sue the at-fault driver for additional costs. All commercial vehicle policies must include a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
Property damage liability insurance: This is designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing third-party personal property if it is damaged in a collision for which your driver is at fault. All commercial vehicle policies in Florida must include a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Additionally, vehicles that weigh in excess of 26,000 pounds must carry additional liability insurance to cover both bodily injury and property damage. The minimum amount of liability insurance required is dependent on the vehicle's weight:
Between 26,000 and 34,999 lbs: Must have at least $50,000 in liability insurance per occurrence.
Between 35,000 and 43,999 lbs: Must have at least $100,000 in liability insurance per occurrence.
44,000 lbs or more: Must have at least $300,000 in liability insurance per occurrence.
Additionally, commercial vehicles that engage in interstate commerce are subject to US Department of Transportation regulations, which require them to be covered by a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance per occurrence. If your commercial trucks will be driven out-of-state, be certain that you meet all federal guidelines as well as the Florida state requirements.
Your local independent insurance agent can be very helpful when you are searching for a policy that is in full compliance with the law.
What Else Can Florida Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover?
While personal injury protection and liability coverage is a required part of your commercial vehicle policy, there are a number of other coverage options that can protect your business finances if one of your drivers is involved in a collision. You can expect your commercial auto insurer to offer the following coverage options:
Collision insurance: This can compensate your business for damage to your company vehicle if it is caused by a collision, regardless of fault.
Comprehensive insurance: This can compensate your business for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is lost or damaged due to non-collision hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, falling objects, floods, non-collision fires, and theft.
Uninsured motorist insurance: This can provide coverage for property damage and medical costs if your commercial vehicle is in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Towing and roadside assistance insurance: This can provide coverage for assistance if your company vehicle becomes disabled while out on the road. This may be particularly beneficial if your business owns larger vehicles that require specialized towing.
Rental car insurance: This can cover the cost of renting a comparable loaner vehicle while your company-owned vehicle is being repaired.
Non-owned auto insurance: This is designed to cover your company’s additional liability exposures if an employee or contractor uses a non-company-owned vehicle to do jobs for your business. Though these vehicles may already have liability coverage, because your company can be named in a lawsuit following an accident, it will need this added coverage.
A local independent Florida insurance agent can help you determine which coverage types are right for your Florida business. Your agent can also help you secure an affordable umbrella insurance policy if you wish to have more liability coverage than your commercial vehicle policy will offer.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Florida?
Because businesses can own anything from economy-sized cars to 18-wheeler trucks, commercial vehicle insurance needs can vary. Obviously, a business that relies on one or two cars for making local deliveries will have vastly different coverage needs than one that uses large trucks for interstate commerce.
A local independent agent can help you find a competitively priced policy that meets all of your coverage requirements. Contact a Florida commercial insurance agent in Florida to learn more and to start comparing commercial vehicle insurance quotes.