Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in Utah
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Utah law requires all vehicle owners to cover their registered vehicles with liability and no-fault insurance. This ensures that you can pay for any damages or injuries your vehicle causes. This is also called "financial responsibility."
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
In Utah you can prove financial responsibility one of two ways:
- Purchase an insurance policy.
- Deposit $250,000 with the state treasurer.
If you own a fleet of vehicles your employees drive, it’s clear that you need a commercial auto policy. But if you’re a small-business owner with one or two vehicles, your personal insurance policy might be sufficient.
When deciding whether to purchase a commercial policy, consider the following questions:
- How many and what kind of vehicle(s) do you need to insure?
- How is the vehicle(s) being used?
- Who drives the vehicle(s)?
- Who owns the vehicle(s)?
For example, if you drive your vehicle regularly to meet with clients, deliver goods, or transport people, you most likely need commercial insurance.
If, however, you are in real estate, social work, or home health and do not regularly transport people, your personal insurance might be sufficient. The same applies for home-based businesses like Avon or Tupperware, unless it is your primary employment and your vehicle use is excessive.
Here are some additional scenarios where commercial insurance would be appropriate:
- Your business equipment cannot be removed from the vehicle(s).
- You or your business picks up and delivers goods and/or people.
- The coverage limits on a personal auto policy are not high enough.
- You need to protect your employees when they use your company vehicle(s) or their own vehicles on company time.
If you’re still not sure whether you need commercial insurance, contact the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the Utah Insurance Division at (801) 297-7780.
When shopping for commercial insurance, you will need to know the following:
- Who owns the vehicle(s)
- How much the vehicle(s) weighs
- How the vehicle(s) is used
- Required insurance minimums
Utah requires two types of auto insurance: Liability and Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
The state requires the following amounts of liability insurance:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $65,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Because Utah has a no-fault law, you also need at least $3,000 in PIP coverage. Unlike liability insurance, which covers the other person in an accident, PIP pays your medical expenses if you’re injured.
Remember that these are only the very minimum insurance requirements. You can discuss your requirements with the DMV and the Insurance Division at (801) 297-7780.
You have plenty of options when shopping for a commercial policy. Many private vehicle insurance providers also offer commercial vehicle insurance, and there are some companies that deal exclusively in commercial coverage. As with any insurance, you might want to consider purchasing more coverage than the minimum required by law.
Your insurer will send you a "proof of insurance" card, which you should keep in the vehicle at all times. You will need to show it to any law enforcement officer who asks to see it.
The state also compares the list of registered vehicles against a list of insured vehicles. If your vehicle is found to be uninsured, you will be asked to prove financial responsibility or face penalties.
If you have no proof of insurance or fail to provide it when requested, you will be reported to the DMV and law enforcement. Driving an uninsured vehicle is a class B misdemeanor and carries a minimum fine of $400 for a first offense.
In addition, you face suspension of your vehicle registration and your driver’s license, as well as vehicle impoundment. If this happens, you will not be able to reinstate them until you can show proof of insurance and pay a reinstatement fee.
All penalties fall on the registered owner of the vehicle. An employee driving a company-owned vehicle would not lose his license.
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