Uninsured Motorist Insurance For Commercial Vehicles
Nearly every state in the country requires all vehicles driven on public roads to be covered by liability car insurance. This is to help ensure that when an accident occurs, the at-fault driver can pay for property damage or bodily injuries suffered by drivers and passengers in other vehicles. Despite these laws, several drivers continually operate their vehicles without car insurance coverage.
Commercial uninsured motorists coverage can help if you or your employees are hurt, or your commercial vehicle is damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
What Commercial Uninsured Motorist Insurance Covers
When you purchase liability insurance, you are buying coverage that will help you pay for others' property damage or injuries in an accident caused by you or your employees. When you purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you are essentially purchasing liability insurance for uninsured drivers who cause an accident with you that results in damages or injuries.
Because uninsured motorist coverage is a mirror of liability coverage, it is also split up into coverages similar to those that make up liability auto insurance. These coverages include:
- Bodily injury: Covers medical-related expenses stemming from the accident, such as:
- Hospital bills.
- Doctor's visits.
- Prescription medication.
- Property damage: Covers the fees to repair or replace your commercial vehicles.
Uninsured motorist coverage is similar to underinsured motorist protection, which fills the gap between the at-fault driver's insurance coverage and the actual expenses incurred in an accident.
Does Your Company Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Before answering this, keep in mind that commercial uninsured driver protection not only financially safeguards your business but protects your employees, too.
Let's say your company requires employees to get behind the wheel as part of the job. While out performing a job-related task, one of your workers is struck by an uninsured driver and is severely injured, leaving your employee with tens of thousands of dollars in medical-related costs.
Since the accident occurred in a work capacity, your employee's personal uninsured motorist coverage likely won't pay for the expenses. That means your employee could be stuck paying the medical bills. However, if your company carried uninsured motorist protection, your carrier would cover those expenses, and lift the financial burden from your recovering employee.
And, what about the costs to repair the company vehicle your employee was driving? Is your company strong enough to shoulder the body shop bills on its own? These are some of the main issues to consider when determining if your company should purchase commercial uninsured motorist coverage.
It is also important to note that some states require uninsured motorists coverage to be part of your commercial auto insurance policy. However, you do have the right to refuse this coverage, but you must do so in writing.
Cautionary Note for Independent Contractors
Are you an independent contractor who drives a car for business reasons?
If so, see if your personal uninsured motorists protection will cover you, or if you need to purchase a commercial policy. Also inquire with your employer to see if you're protected by its insurance.