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Commercial Auto Insurance for Building Design Professionals

Commercial Auto Insurance for Building Design Professionals

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As a building design business, your employees may be on the road quite often: driving to building sites, client offices, and even transporting materials if your firm also supervises construction. Are you prepared for the risks on the road that could result in significant medical expenses, claims, and lawsuits? That’s where Commercial Auto Insurance comes in.

What is Commercial Auto Insurance for building design professionals?

Commercial Auto Insurance provides coverage for vehicles owned or leased by your building design business and the passengers inside a vehicle in the event of an accident. Commercial Auto Insurance will cover you if your business is found to be at fault for any bodily injury or property damage. The policy will also step in to cover any medical payments if any of the passengers in your vehicle are injured, regardless of fault.

Commercial Auto Insurance also comes in handy if your company-owned or leased vehicles are damaged in any events outside of an auto accident. From theft to vandalism to fire, a number of perils are covered by Commercial Auto Insurance.

Do building design professionals need Commercial Auto Insurance?

If your building design business owns or leases vehicles titled in the name of the business, you will need Commercial Auto Insurance. Most states require a minimum level of liability insurance for every vehicle registered in the state. Uninsured and underinsured motorists also must be covered according to some states’ laws. Do note, however, that purchasing collision and comprehensive coverages are not required by law.

For vehicles that are not titled in the name of the business and instead are owned, leased, or titled in your personal name, you may still need to purchase Commercial Auto Insurance. Often times in small businesses, company vehicles end up being registered in the business owner’s name. Commercial Auto Insurance would be necessary in this case if the vehicles are used primarily for the business. You may need Commercial Auto Insurance if any of your vehicles are:

What types of vehicles are eligible?

Commercial Auto Insurance can insure the following types of vehicles used for business purposes:

Whether your business uses a single vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, Commercial Auto Insurance is available to cover them.

What does Commercial Auto Insurance cover for building design professionals?

Commercial Auto Insurance provides coverage for both liability and property. For vehicles that your business owns or leases, a minimum amount of liability coverage is required by most states. Property coverage protects the value of the vehicle your business owns or leases. If you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, the leasing company or bank may require you to have property coverage.

Commercial Auto Liability

What happens if your vehicle causes bodily injury or property damage? The liability component of Commercial Auto Insurance will cover these instances, and most states require every vehicle that your business owns or leases to have a minimum amount of this coverage. If you or one of your employees causes injury or damage while driving and has been found at fault for the accident, liability coverage will cover it. The insurance company will also pay for some of the costs of your legal defense.

Commercial Auto Property

Commercial Auto Insurance also has a property component that protects the value of your vehicle.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Required in some states, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects your business if a driver with no insurance or not enough insurance causes an accident involving your work vehicle.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments is a no-fault coverage. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, the coverage will provide payments for medical and funeral expenses for the driver and passengers in your vehicle. Medical payments coverage usually has a lower limit of liability, which is around $10,000-$30,000. This coverage can be added to a Commercial Auto Insurance policy through an endorsement.

What doesn’t Commercial Auto Insurance cover for building design professionals?

Building design professionals who drive their personal cars or who hire, rent, or borrow cars for business purposes are not covered by Commercial Auto Insurance. Businesses should purchase hired and non-owned auto coverage to supplement their Commercial Auto Insurance to address these instances.

Hired and non-owned auto insurance can apply whenever an employee causes an accident with a vehicle that is hired or not owned by the company while fulfilling business purposes. In the event of such an accident, your company may be held liable for damages, in which case hired and non-owned auto insurance would kick in.

Hired and non-owned auto coverage is important for building design businesses that:

Example: A project manager at a design build firm uses his personal pickup truck to transport drywall to a client site.

Commuting from home to work or any personal errands will not be covered by hired and non-owned auto coverage.

How much does Commercial Auto Insurance cost?

Pricing for Commercial Auto Insurance depends on several factors, including:

Annual premiums usually run about $750 to $1,200 per vehicle for small business owners.

How much Commercial Auto Insurance do I need?

A minimum of $500,000-$1 million in Commercial Auto liability is usually adequate. You may also consider purchasing a commercial umbrella policy to provide another layer of financial protection should you exhaust the limits of your Commercial Auto Insurance.

Final Word

For architects, engineers, and other building design professionals who regularly use company-owned or leased vehicles, Commercial Auto Insurance can provide peace of mind. Driving on the road exposes you and your employees to the risk of getting into an accident that can result in bodily injury, damaged vehicles, and serious financial consequences. Commercial Auto Insurance will cover both property damage and liability for unforeseen events on the road.

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