COMMERCIAL AUTO INSURANCE
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name.
This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. Ask your insurance agent to explain all the differences and options.
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Commercial Package Policies
There are many different types of risks that a business owner might be exposed to and each requires its own insurance policy. When buying individual insurance policies to cover each risk, it can get confusing, which is why there are commercial package policies available to help business owners organize the insurance policies they need to protect their business into one convenient package. Often, this package can also afford an insured some discounts which makes it even more advantageous.
Not every type of insurance can be offered in a commercial package policy, however. Business owners can create their package using any of the following:
•Inland marine coverage
•Professional liability coverage
While the policy package may have some limitations, it is not cookie cutter. You individual package may have declarations, endorsements and conditions specific to you and the needs of your business. For instance,
•Each package will have what is called a common policy declaration, which spells out the details of who and what is covered. It will include the insured’s name, the date of coverage start and end, a description of the nature of the business covered and the premiums.
•Another package-wide spec is the common policy conditions, which spell out the responsibilities and obligations of the insured that is named first on the declaration. This ensures that, in the case of a business with multiple owners who are all named on the policy, one individual owner is responsible for making premium payments and responding to inquiries rather than having each business owner assume that another is handling it when none of them are. This is also the only individual on the policy with the power to cancel it. In order to do so, he or she must send the request in writing to the insurer. If the first named insured wishes to transfer these responsibilities to another, the request must also be made in writing and must be approved by the insurance company.
In this type of package policy, it’s also important to note that the insurance company is generally permitted to audit the insured company’s books and records at any time while the policy is in-force and for up to three years after it is canceled. They can also make an inspection or survey any time while the policy is in-force.