Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in Rhode Island
Rhode Island law holds all drivers to a minimum standard of financial responsibility for injury or damage they may cause with their vehicles in the future. If you can’t prove you have adequate financial responsibility, you cannot legally drive on public roads in the state.
If you own a business, you’re obligated to adhere to the same minimum requirements for each of your company vehicles, just like individual drivers. Whether your vehicles are cars, trucks, vans, trailers, motorcycles, or buses, you’re financially responsible for them all.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
For most drivers, the easiest way to establish financial responsibility is to purchase a vehicle liability insurance policy―but it’s not the only option available. The following are the various "proofs" the state will accept when it comes to potential vehicle liability:
- A liability insurance policy covering your vehicle(s).
- A surety bond issued by a company authorized to do business in Rhode Island, or signed by two state residents who own property with a combined value of at least two times the bond amount.
- A deposit of in cash or securities given to the state treasurer.
- A self-insurance certificate issued by an authorized Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employee.
Determine Whether You Need Commercial Insurance
It’s up to you, basically, to choose whether you get a personal insurance policy on each vehicle or an umbrella-type of commercial vehicle insurance that covers all your vehicles. But the first questions to consider in the process are:
- How many and what kind of vehicle(s) you need to insure
- How the vehicle(s) is being used
- Who drives the vehicle
- Who owns the vehicle
The answers to the items above can guide you in your decision. Typically, business owners should get commercial insurance if they have vehicles for business purposes only, or if they employ multiple workers who drive the business vehicles.
In other words, you’ll most likely need commercial vehicle insurance if:
- You have a business that primarily transports people or products.
- You have a trade business that requires multiple vehicles driven by multiple workers.
- Your business vehicles include specialized built-in equipment used solely on the job.
- You want to cover the employees who drive your business vehicles, or their own vehicles for business purposes.
- You need an auto policy with a coverage amount higher than a personal auto policy.
If you need help determining whether you need commercial vehicle insurance, you can contact the DMV or a state-licensed insurance agent.
Determine the Required Amount of Coverage
Gather the following information before meeting with an insurance agent, because it will be used to determine how much coverage you need:
- Who owns the vehicle(s)
- Weight of the vehicle(s)
- Usage of the vehicle(s)
- Liability limits requirements
Purchase a Commercial Policy
You have many insurance providers to choose from, and they’ll all be thrilled to be of service. There are companies that specialize solely in commercial vehicle insurance, but other companies offer many different types of coverage.
Check out your options before making a commitment; rates can vary widely, but so can quality of services. Only you can know which company or coverage is best for you.Choose a State:
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