If you use your vehicles for work, you need to get a commercial auto insurance policy. Your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover the vehicles when you use for business. Commercial auto insurance is necessary when cars, trucks, or vans are used to conduct business. We cover everything you need to know about commercial auto insurance.
- 9 best commercial auto insurance companies
- What is commercial auto insurance?
- Who needs commercial auto insurance?
- How is commercial auto insurance different from personal auto insurance?
- How much does commercial auto insurance cost?
- How to get cheap commercial auto insurance?
- Commercial auto insurance in selected states: California; Texas; Florida; New Jersey; New York; Georgia; Massachusetts; and Ohio.
9 best commercial auto insurance companies
Fortunately, there are several insurance companies with many years of experience that can help guide you on the right path. Below are some of the best insurance companies for writing commercial auto for small businesses.
- Progressive: Best overall and for several discount programs
- biBERK: Best for low-cost commercial auto coverage from a reputable carrier
- Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes with one company
- The Hartford: Best for specialized commercial auto insurance coverage
- THREE: Best for affordable comprehensive business coverage
- InsurePro: Best for flexible pay-per-day coverage
- Tivly: Best for working with knowledgeable agents
- Smart Financial: Best for finding minimum coverage at affordable rates
- State Farm: Best if you already have a personal policy with State Farm
Progressive: Best overall and for several discount programs
Progressive is the largest commercial vehicle insurer in the US. They are also one of the top 4 personal auto insurance companies in the country with a good reputation for offering affordable coverage to millions of households. Progressive is also the market leader in the commercial auto insurance industry. They insure the most commercial vehicles in the country.
- Largest commercial vehicle insurer in the United States
- Extensive commercial auto insurance experience
- The only insurer consistently offers commercial auto insurance quotes online for all types businesses and vehicles
- Simple to get a quote online or to connect with an experienced agent
- Offer several discounts to help businesses save money on rates
- Not all businesses will qualify for Progressive’s famous discounts.
- Progressive may not be the best option for big enterprises with a fleet to commercial vehicles
- If you need other types of business insurance, you can purchase it from Progressive, but the policies will be backed by other insurers.
Below is a sample online quotes that we received from Progressive. It takes us less than 10 minutes to get this quote and if we want, we can also but a policy online as well. Their digital experience is good.
biBERK: Best for low-cost commercial auto coverage from a reputable carrier
biBERK is famous for offering direct-to-customers trucking insurance coverage, bypassing agents and brokers. Therefore, it can save costs and pass the savings to its customers, reducing their premiums. It is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of Geico.
- A unique approach to underwriting can save you up to 20 percent on coverage
- Completely digital experience from getting quotes, buying and managing policies, and filing a claim
- Download your insurance certificate and other documents anytime
- Backed by the financially solid and highly reputable Berkshire Hathaway family of companies
- Can be challenging to customize coverage.
- Their coverage limits may be lower than others
- May not be able to get insurance for unusual types of commercial vehicles
Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes
Simply Business is a digital broker specializing in small businesses. Commercial auto insurance coverage is one of their main offerings. As a broker, Simply Business works with 30+ insurance companies and they can pull quotes from these companies at once to help you compare several quotes in one place easily.
- Able to get several insurance quotes at once
- Easy to compare several quotes in once place conveniently to find the cheapest one for your business
- Agents can help you find all the discounts you qualify for.
- Flexible payment terms: monthly, semi-annual, annual.
- Insurance is provided by Simply Business partners, not the company itself.
- Must file claims through your insurance provider, which can be inconvenient.
- You can only get quotes from insurers affiliated with Simply Business.
The Hartford: Best for specialized commercial auto insurance coverage
The Hartford is one of the biggest and most reputable insurance companies for small businesses. They are also considered one of the most ethical companies in the world. They have insured more than 1 million small businesses and have had experience for more than 200 years.
- Specialized coverage for all types of commercial vehicles and sizes of fleets.
- An exclusive safety program can save your business money on premiums.
- Able to work with your agent to customize coverage.
- Limited online capabilities.
- Often more expensive than other insurers.
- You have to work with an agent to buy a policy
THREE: Best for affordable comprehensive business coverage
THREE is another subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. They have a special approach offering comprehensive business insurance coverage for small businesses in one three-page policy. Their commercial policy includes the 3 most critical coverage for any small business: general liability, commercial property, and commercial auto. This approach allows companies to save money. They don’t have to buy several policies.
- Several business insurance coverages are included in a single policy.
- Licensed agents can answer your questions and help you understand your coverage.
- Easy to purchase all your business coverage at once
- Comprehensive coverage at a very affordable rate
- Limited online capabilities.
- Challenging to customize coverage.
InsurePro: Best for flexible pay-per-day coverage
Need commercial auto insurance fast and for a limited period? InsurePro could be an excellent solution for you. Complete an online form, and InsurePro will get you quotes for fast, temporary pay-per-day coverage.
- InsurePro makes it easy to get quotes from several well-known and reputable insurers all in one place.
- The entire process usually takes less than 15 minutes from beginning to end.
- InsurePro can sell you temporary coverage when you need it.
- If you need comprehensive insurance protection, InsurePro may not be able to provide all the coverage types you need.
- If you need highly customized coverage or insurance for unusual vehicles or fleets, InsurePro may not be able to meet your needs.
- You may not be able to get personalized help when it comes to selecting your coverage.
Tivly: Best for working with knowledgeable agents
Tivly makes it easy to connect with highly knowledgeable and experienced insurance agents who can help guide you to commercial auto insurance to meet your needs.
- Tivly has a team of insurance agents who can help you with your coverage.
- It helps businesses get quotes for commercial insurance from top companies, such as Progressive, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, and Gallagher.
- Their agents are very knowledgeable and experienced
- The company is a relatively new one compared with many of the others on this list.
- It can sometimes be more costly to get coverage from Tivly than direct from insurers.
- The firm has a decent online library about business insurance coverage, including commercial auto
Smart Financial: Best for finding minimum coverage at affordable rates
SmartFinancial is an insurance comparison website. The company’s back-end technology makes it possible to see more than one commercial auto insurance quote in a single place.
- Smart Financial can search over 200 insurance companies to find the best, most cost-effective coverage options.
- They specialize in serving businesses that want to get minimum coverage that states require at the cheapest rates
- The service is free to use.
- Smart Financial’s interface is intuitive and easy to use.
- You don’t get your insurance direct from Smart Financial. It comes from different insurance companies.
- You will have to make claims through the insurer that provides your coverage.
State Farm: Best if you already have a personal policy with State Farm
State Farm has been around for almost a century, and it’s one of the top insurers in the United States. If you have a personal auto policy from State Farm, it could make sense to get your commercial auto coverage from the insurer primarily for the convenience reason and multiple policy discount
- State Farm has a solid reputation in the insurance industry.
- If you prefer to purchase insurance through an agent, State Farm could be a good insurer for you.
- The company can customize coverage to meet the needs of most businesses
- You can get multiple policy discount and it is more convenient for you to manage your both personal and commercial policies in the same place
- Insurance coverage is relatively expensive.
- The company doesn’t have agents in all parts of the country.
Commercial auto insurance quotes
Similar to buying personal auto insurance, buying commercial auto insurance requires you to get and compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. However, unlike getting personal auto insurance quotes, which is relatively easy and available with almost all carriers, only a few carriers offer commercial auto insurance quotes online. Below are those that we recommend:
- You can get commercial auto insurance quotes online directly with the following reputable and top-tier carriers: Progressive, biBERK, and THREE.
- Progressive: Comprehensive coverage with a lot of discount programs
- biBERK: Low-cost coverage. Their quotes are usually the cheapest one
- THREE: One comprehensive yet affordable policy for your small business: commercial auto insurance, general liability, and commercial property coverage
- You can get and compare several quotes from more than 10 top-tier carriers with a good digital broker such as Simply Business or Smart Financial
What is commercial auto insurance?
Commercial auto insurance is usually necessary if you use cars, trucks, or vans to conduct business. Commercial auto insurance works just like regular auto insurance, except that it covers company-owned cars and trucks. As such, it covers:
- Auto accident liability in at-fault accidents
- Property damages (both to your vehicle and any other vehicles in the accident)
- Bodily injury
- Medical payments for the driver and passengers, regardless of fault
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Theft, vandalism, flood, or fire damage
Who needs commercial auto insurance?
Obviously, if you own a fleet of delivery trucks, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. However, many people don’t realize (until it’s too late) that their personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover their vehicle when they use it for work.
If you just drive back and forth to work, that’s covered under your personal auto insurance policy. If you occasionally run errands for your boss while driving your own car, you’re probably okay. However, if you’re a caterer that often delivers food to various locations, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. Real estate agents who drive customers around in their vehicles will also need a commercial auto policy.
If you drive an Uber, you don’t need commercial auto insurance because these companies have require you to have auto insurance and they provide extra insurance while you’re driving for them. However, there is such a thing called Rideshare insurance, which covers everything that isn’t covered by rideshare services and your own auto insurance. The only exception is New York City: Rideshare employees are required to have commercial auto insurance there.
How is commercial auto insurance different from the personal auto insurance?
Your personal auto policy covers you when you’re driving for your personal life, and a commercial auto policy covers you when you’re driving for business purposes.
The liability limits on a commercial auto insurance policy are a lot higher. On the positive side, commercial auto insurance is tax-deductible as a business expense, and personal auto insurance is not. Also, with commercial auto insurance you can either name other employees on the policy or just cover all employees.
If you are part of the gig economy and deliver goods or services some of the time, technically the company you’re delivering for should provide some liability insurance. If you aren’t sure what your status is, talk to an insurer to see if you need rideshare coverage or commercial auto coverage.
For the most part, while personal auto insurance won’t cover you if you use a vehicle for business use, commercial auto will cover you if you use a business vehicle for personal use.
Do I need to have both commercial and personal auto insurance?
No, you do not need to have both commercial and personal auto insurance. Depending on your situation, you may only require one or the other. It is important to evaluate your needs and determine which type of coverage best suits those needs.
If you use your vehicle primarily for work-related purposes, but occasionally run some personal errands as well, you don’t need to have a personal auto insurance policy. Your commercial auto insurance will cover your personal driving as well.
How much does commercial auto insurance cost?
Commercial auto insurance is more expensive than a personal auto insurance policy. In our study, the median cost of a $1M policy is about $142 a month. Several factors affect how much you’ll pay:
- type of business
- type of vehicles
- number of vehicles
- how often vehicles are driven
- employee driving records
How much you choose to get in coverage and the amount of your deductible will also affect how much you pay.
It is always a good idea to compare quotes from several companies. Working with a digital broker like Simply Business or CoverWallet will help compare several quotes more easily since they are able to provide several quotes from their partners in just a few minutes.
How to get cheap commercial auto insurance?
Cheap is relative, but you can take some steps to save some money:
- maintain a clean driving record
- raise your deductible
- pay in full
- use cheaper vehicles
- bundle with other types of business insurance
- maintain safety features in the vehicles (anti-theft, alarms, use safe driving apps, etc)
The biggest factor is driving record, so when you hire employees, make sure to ask about it when you interview them. You don’t have to dismiss from consideration every person with some issues on their record, but if you want the lowest price, don’t have them drive for you.
Commercial auto insurance in California
California requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. That’s probably a good thing, since L.A. traffic has been rated the worst in the world. Since you’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in traffic, you should make sure you’re covered.
California requires at least $5,000 in property damage per accident, $15,000 in bodily injury coverage, and $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident (written as 15/30/5). These limits are very low, and many businesses will insure their vehicles for much more.
In our study, small business owners in California pay somewhere between $574 and $1804 a year for commercial auto insurance.
If you’re looking to buy commercial auto insurance in California, we recommend getting a quote from one of the best commercial auto insurance companies in California.
You might also try Statewide Commercial Insurance Brokers, which provide contractors and others with most types of business insurance. If you want a quote, you’ll fill out a form and then they will call you.
Commercial auto insurance in Texas
If you use your vehicle for business, other than commuting back and forth, you probably need commercial auto insurance in Texas. State law requires a bare minimum of 30/60/25, or minimum liability of $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage.
If you happen to work with farming vehicles, you only need coverage if the gross vehicle weight is more than 48,000 or more, in which case it must be insured for at least $500,000. Commercial vehicles with a weight of more than 26,000 lbs must maintain at least $500,000 in liability insurance as well. If you transport hazardous waste, you’ll need at least $1M in coverage.
In our study, small business owners pay around $650-$900 a year for commercial auto insurance in Texas. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies in Texas.
It’s still a good idea to shop around and get quotes from at least three companies. You can also work with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business to get and compare several quotes in one place.
Commercial auto insurance in Florida
In Florida, commercial vehicles have the same minimum requirements as personal vehicles, or $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage. Florida is a no-fault state, so any accidents you get into will be covered by your insurance, regardless of who caused it.
The average cost of commercial auto insurance in Florida is somewhere between $2,565 and $3,370.
If you drive for a rideshare company, like Uber or Lyft, you can get rideshare insurance, which is cheaper than commercial auto insurance.
It is always a good idea to compare quotes from a few companies. Working with a digital broker like Simply Business or Smart Financial helps obtain and compare several quotes more conveniently.
Commercial auto insurance in New Jersey
If you own a business in New Jersey, you already know that New Jersey businesses suffer from high taxes and slow economic growth. However, rates on commercial auto insurance are as low as $97 a month. Like most states, you are required to have commercial auto insurance in New Jersey if you use your vehicle for business.
Commercial auto insurance requirements are the same as personal auto insurance requirements: 15/30/5 ($15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and $5,000 in property damage). However, savvy consumers will want more coverage than that.
Here are three companies we recommend getting quotes from. Learn more about the best commercial auto insurance companies in New Jersey.
Commercial auto insurance in New York
Unlike most states, if you drive for a rideshare company in New York City, you must have commercial auto insurance on your vehicle—not rideshare insurance. The minimum amount of coverage you must have is 25/50/10 ($25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $10,000 in property damage coverage, plus $100,000 for death of two or more people in an accident). But you’d probably want more coverage than that.
There are a lot of insurance companies operating in New York, so be sure to shop around for the best price. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies in New York.
Commercial Auto insurance in Georgia
Georgia is ranked as the 8th best state to start a business in, thanks to their low taxes, high state credit ratings, and reliable infrastructure. Vehicles in Georgia are required to have at least 25/50/25 as the bare minimum in auto insurance.
The average cost of commercial auto insurance in Georgia is $850-$1,300 a year.
When you shop around for a commercial auto insurance policy, bear in mind that some companies, such as The Hartford, will have a risk engineering team which can provide things like analysis of the root causes of accidents and can recommend strategies to prevent them.
Learn more about the best commercial auto insurance companies in Georgia
Commercial auto insurance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts, primarily Boston, has a high auto theft rate. They also have narrow streets and a confusing layout, which can make rates for commercial auto insurance higher than the norm. Worchester is worse as far as the theft rate goes.
Massachusetts requires all autos to have at least 20/40/5 in insurance, although most businesses with cars and trucks will want more coverage, with $500,000 a year or even $1M being the recommended amount.
Depending on what type of vehicle you want to insure, costs in Massachusetts vary. Here is a breakdown:
- Commercial car insurance: $1,200 to $2,400 a year
- Commercial truck insurance: $800 to $2,000 a year
- Commercial bus insurance: $35,000 a year
Commercial auto insurance in Ohio
Ohio offers small businesses the 8th best tax climate in the U.S. Ohio doesn’t tax corporate incomes or have capital gains taxes, making it a very friendly state for a small business.
Ohio requires all vehicles to have at least 25/50/25 in auto coverage, but businesses will want more coverage for their business vehicles. Some larger trucks will require higher limits as well. Luckily, commercial auto insurance in Ohio is reasonable, about $187 a month.
Again, to get the cheapest quote, you need to shop around with a few providers or work with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business who is able to provide with several quotes in one place. Learn more about the best commercial auto insurance companies in Ohio.
Does commercial auto insurance cover personal use?
While your personal auto insurance won’t cover you if you use your personal vehicle for business use, your commercial auto policy will cover you if you use your business vehicle for personal use. However, if the employee car is an employee’s only car, then it might not unless you add Drive Other Car Coverage to your Business Auto Coverage Form.
If you have employees who use their own cars for business use, you’ll want to get non-owned business liability endorsement for those cars.
If you drive for a rideshare company, you can get rideshare insurance, which only adds somewhere between $10 and $350 a year to your auto policy.
Is commercial auto insurance cheaper than personal auto insurance?
No, it is not. Actually, it’s usually more expensive because you’re at higher risk for liability and property claims and you’ll need more insurance than just the minimum requirement.
What is monoline commercial auto insurance?
A monoline policy provides coverage for a risk that is typically included in a business owners’ policy but is excluded for whatever reason. If company XYZ sells you a business owners policy that excludes property damage, then you would need a monoline policy for property damage.
Sometimes a monoline policy is called a stand alone policy. So, for example, if you buy all of your business insurance from company X except for your commercial auto (either because company X doesn’t offer it or it doesn’t meet your needs) then your commercial auto insurance policy from company Y is a monoline policy.
Temporary commercial auto insurance
You can get temporary commercial auto insurance, which is short-term insurance. It usually lasts for somewhere between 24 hours and 30 days. This provides you with enough time to drive your truck home and then comparison shop for a long-term insurance policy. It covers the vehicle for transport, but you can’t use it for freight.
The biggest factor in getting a good price for a commercial auto policy is shop around. And once you have a policy, you should review it every year so the insurance company doesn’t sneak rate hikes into your policy. Compare at least three companies and choose the one that best meets your needs.