Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in Maine
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All motor vehicles operated within Maine―for business or pleasure―must be covered by some type of financial protection from their owners or operators.
That's because accidents can be costly, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) needs to know that those traveling the state's roads have some safeguard in place to handle the possible consequences of owning or driving a vehicle.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
You may prove your financial responsibility to the BMV in a few ways:
- Carry a vehicle liability insurance policy that meets the state's minimum requirements.
- Place a cash or securities deposit with the state treasurer.
- File a surety bond with the state treasurer.
Depending on your business or the sort of driving activity you do, you might need to be protected by a commercial policy instead of a personal one. So, if you're unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many vehicles need to be insured?
- What kinds of vehicles need to be insured?
- How will the vehicles be used?
- Who will drive the vehicles?
- Who owns the vehicles?
Your answers can steer you into making the correct insurance choice. Business-owned vehicles usually do need to be protected through commercial insurance. This includes those used to make deliveries and for farming.
If you're driving a company vehicle for business purposes, your employer's insurance might cover your driving activity; check to be sure.
If you're self-employed or a sole proprietor, you might be able to simply use your personal auto coverage, especially if you just use your vehicle for business trips. However, self-employed individuals and sole proprietors often do need commercial coverage, even if it's teenagers using their own vehicles to deliver pizzas.
If any of the following apply to you, the likelihood you'll need to be covered by commercial insurance rises:
- You can't remove your business equipment from your vehicle.
- You allow your employees to drive your vehicles on behalf of your business.
- You can't find a personal auto policy with high enough coverage limits.
To make the right decision, you may need to partner with both the BMV and your insurance carrier. The former can assist you on the legal requirements for your business; the latter can advise you on the amounts and types of coverage you need to protect your business assets.
Should you decide that having commercial insurance is the right move, be ready to talk to an insurance carrier about:
- Who owns the vehicles.
- How much they weigh.
- How they're used.
You may also need to discuss issues such as how much the vehicles are worth, what sort of cargo they'll carry, if any special business equipment is installed, and related matters.
Choices abound for commercial insurers, ranging from smaller companies specializing in commercial policies to mega-insurers offering multiple types of policies. So, be prepared to do some comparison shopping online or by phone to sort through your options, and find policies with the best rates and coverages.
Don't overlook your current carriers, as many providers offer discounts to customers who hold multiple policies with them.
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