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Commercial Insurance

Do You Need Commercial Auto Insurance?

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If you can’t imagine doing business without your vehicle, chances are good your livelihood would suffer greatly if that vehicle became unavailable due to an accident or loss.

Regardless of how many commercial vehicles you own (one or several), you need to protect them as valuable business assets.

Commercial auto insurance functions similarly to personal auto insurance in that you can select the types and levels of coverage that are the best fit for your business and vehicle types.

The goal of commercial auto insurance is to ensure your business vehicles are protected on the road and while garaged, whether your trips stay local or eventually cross borders.

In this article, learn the basics of commercial auto insurance and how it can protect the vehicles you depend on to do business.

An Overview of Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage

When most people think about commercial auto insurance, they often assume it’s designed only for large fleets of big trucks.

While this is one use for commercial auto insurance, it is far from the only use. In fact, if you have any vehicle that you use for commercial (business) purposes—even if you also use that vehicle personally—it is eligible for commercial auto insurance.

Commercial or business auto insurance offers the same basic types of protection that personal auto insurance covers:

  • Comprehensive coverage. Protection if your business vehicle is damaged by something other than a collision (e.g., vandalism) or if it is stolen.

  • Collision coverage. Protection if your vehicle is damaged or totaled in an auto accident.

  • Liability coverage. Protection if your vehicle causes damage to other drivers or vehicles.

  • Accident Benefits coverage. Protection if you are injured in a vehicle accident.

  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage. Protection if the other driver has no coverage or insufficient coverage.

Commercial Versus Personal Auto Insurance

It is quite common to be confused about what separates commercial (business) auto insurance from personal auto insurance. After all, they sound identical on paper!

The difference boils down to what you are using your vehicle for. Even if you use your vehicle for personal use as well, if you use it in your business too, it needs to be insured accordingly.

This holds true even if you don’t use your personal vehicle to do business frequently. One of the “declarations” you make when you buy car insurance is the percentage it is used for business driving.

So: what if you already have personal insurance and begin to use your car for business driving after you bought the policy? You need to call your broker. There is fine print in every car insurance policy that requires you to promptly inform your broker or insurance company of any “material change.”

This means that if you don’t report the use of your car accurately, you could find yourself paying for a policy but not having coverage when you have a claim. It just isn’t worth the risk.

If you are not sure if what you do with your vehicle is considered business driving, call your broker.  

How to Save the Most on Your Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

No one really gets excited about spending money on insurance. This is because purchasing insurance is not a luxury but a necessity. One terrible day on the road has the potential to make or break a business of any size, and that is a risk businesses can’t afford to take in today’s competitive marketplace.

But there are ways to pay less for your commercial auto coverage!

Here are some of the best methods to find discounts and savings on your commercial auto insurance policy:

  • Bundle your policy with other policies you hold with the same insurer. Some insurers offer loyalty discounts for customers who purchase more than one type of policy.

  • If employees drive your vehicles, look at applicants’ driving records as part of your screening process when hiring people. It’s simple: drivers with excellent safety records and no tickets on their record are less expensive to insure.

  • Choosing to install extra safety or risk management tools. These can range from in-vehicle alarm systems to driver monitoring systems, locked garaging to VIN etching, mandatory driver safety courses for your drivers, or daily mileage limits.

  • Check auto insurance coverage rates before investing in a new work vehicle. Just as with personal vehicles, in the business world, different types of vehicles may come with lower or higher premiums.

Give Us a Call

We are so honored that our owner and CEO, Bruce Mackey, was named 2017 Business Person of the Year by Quinte Business Achievement Awards (QBAA)!

Give us a call at 888-853-5552 or contact us online, and let us know how we can help with all your insurance needs in 2018!

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How Business Liability Insurance Keeps Your Company Doors Open

business liability insurance

As of 2016, Canada is home to an estimated 1.17 million businesses. Nearly 98 percent of these are small, independently owned and operated businesses, of which half reside in Ontario and Quebec.

However, for every new Canadian business that opens its doors in a given calendar year, another one closes its doors for good. What is the reason for such a high rate of closure annually?

One reason is the lack of business liability insurance. In this article, learn more about how business liability insurance protects your company if you are found legally liable for events beyond your individual control as owner-operator.

4 Main Kinds of Business Liability Insurance

General liability

Let's say you produce a certain product. A customer uses it and gets injured. They pursue your company for damages. Here, general liability will protect your business if you have to go to court or pay out a settlement.

General liability insurance covers your company for four types of events: bodily injury, medical costs, property damage, and slander/libel.

Also, if your company runs as a sole proprietorship or a small partnership that does not afford you as the owner the protection of a legal corporate entity, general liability insurance can protect your personal assets if you need to sign for a business loan, if you have caused someone injury, or if either you or a business partner wishes to depart the company.

General liability can also include a number of specialty endorsements as may be required for your specific industry.

Umbrella liability

Now let's say you work in a high-risk industry. Court settlements, while rare, can and do bankrupt affected companies.

In this scenario, you may want to take out what is called an umbrella liability insurance policy to protect your company from damages over and above what a general liability policy will extend to cover.

An umbrella policy is especially beneficial if your company does business internationally, runs a fleet of company automobiles, or is involved in more than one type of industry.

Directors & Officers liability

Whether your company is for-profit or nonprofit, and regardless of its revenue or total number of employees, you’re probably governed by a board of directors. Here, while your directors and officers may do their utmost to protect your company from legal exposure, sometimes even their utmost may not be sufficient to protect them from personal liability.

In this situation, you may find it tough going to attract the kind of top talent you want represented in your board of directors—unless you provide each director and officer with the protection of Directors & Officers liability insurance.

With this type of policy in place, your directors and officers can continue to do their legal due diligence for your company without fear of reprisal on a personal level for actions they take on your company's behalf.

A Directors & Officers liability policy also covers your company both for financial losses and for payment of necessary legal costs incurred as a result of any action one of your directors or officers may take.

Errors & Omissions liability

Errors & Omissions liability is no longer recommended only for those companies that operate in very high-risk professions (i.e., accountants, lawyers, physicians). In today's litigious society, many businesses can benefit from having this protective policy in place.

Errors & Omissions liability insurance is designed to protect any individual acting in a professional capacity on behalf of your company. Here, a "professional" is considered someone who

  • has attended training to qualify for their role.

  • adheres to guidelines outlined by an industry professional association or organization.

  • operates under a set of provincial laws or regulations.

  • provides their services professionally on a fee basis.

A basic Errors & Omissions policy will provide coverage up to a moderate level in the case of a breach of contract, an incorrect appraisal, a delay in provision of services, a transmission of advice that was not true or complete, a design defect, and other similar situations.

Contact Mackay Insurance Brokers Today

At Mackay Insurance Brokers, we have proudly served our clients in the Belleville, ON, and surrounding areas for 35 years. When we first opened our doors, we had just a handful of clients. Today, our client list numbers well over 5,000 and is still growing!

Together, our professional staff has amassed more than 165 years of professional insurance industry expertise. As a fellow independent business, we remain committed to helping our clients obtain the most comprehensive and protective business liability insurance coverage at the most competitive rates.

To learn more and receive a FREE quote, you are warmly invited to contact us at 613-966-5740 (1-888-853-5552 long distance) or online.

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