Bodily Injury Coverage For Commercial Vehicles
Whether you are a sole proprietor who runs a business that involves the transportation of goods or people or a larger business with many employees who use company vehicles in a work capacity, you can benefit from having bodily injury coverage as part of your commercial auto insurance policy.
In fact, depending on your business and where your company operates, it could be required by state law. Federal law even requires some companies that use vehicles for interstate transportation to have bodily injury coverage.
What is Bodily Injury Insurance?
Liability auto insurance, which is the most commonly required form of car insurance throughout the country is comprised of two types:
- Bodily injury coverage.
- Property damage coverage.
Under the terms of your commercial auto insurance policy, bodily injury coverage will help pay for costs related to injuries suffered by others in an accident caused by you or your employees while operating a vehicle for business purposes.
Bodily injury coverage pays for a variety of the personal injury expenses, such as:
- Hospital care.
- Doctor's visits.
- Prescription medicine.
- Home health care.
- Lost wages.
- Funeral costs.
However, it does not pay for property damages. Also, it does not pay for your own medical expenses or those of your employees. But, it can take care of your company's legal defense fees should the injured party sue your business.
Bodily injury liability insurance can cover a diverse group of occupations, including:
- Commercial drivers (CDL).
- Floral delivery drivers.
- Limo drivers.
- Snowplow drivers.
How Much Commercial Bodily Injury Coverage Do I Need?
When shopping for commercial auto insurance, you will want to consider some factors before determining how much bodily injury coverage you need.
State and Federal Laws
Nearly every state in the country requires motor vehicles operated on public roads to be covered by liability auto insurance. Within these requirements, states have set minimum limits for bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage.
Your commercial auto insurance policy must at least meet these limits.
Additionally, some businesses that transport goods or passengers across state lines must meet specific limits for liability auto insurance that are mandated by federal law. Visit our federal motor carrier insurance page for more information.
Your Business Needs
You may find that by simply meeting legal requirements for bodily injury coverage, you do not have sufficient coverage to protect you from the potentially devastating costs associated with traffic accidents.
It is highly recommended that you assess―preferably with an insurance agent or another qualified financial professional―how much insurance you need to protect your business. This will vary depending on:
- The nature and financial strength of your business.
- The type and amount of assets you have to preserve.
Keep in mind, though, that one severe accident caused by you or an employee could jeopardize the near-term or even long-term viability of your company. This is especially true if you are being sued.
Remember, liability insurance becomes progressively cheaper as you elect higher amounts. For example, a $2 million policy won't cost double the amount of a $1 million policy.
You could also purchase a commercial umbrella policy for an extra layer of protection that will kick in after you've exceeded your bodily injury policy limits.