California Fleet Auto Insurance is a type of auto insurance that covers your fleet of vehicles, including damage to the car and liability for bodily injury or property damage. This insurance may also cover you in case of an accident caused by one of your employees, which can be very expensive.
Fleet auto insurance is not required by california law, but it’s essential to consider if you’re interested in protecting your business from costly accidents and liabilities.
Why do I need auto insurance for my california fleet of cars?
Vehicles used for business purposes, such as a company car or a fleet of vehicles used to transport your employees and merchandise, can be covered by fleet auto insurance.
When an accident happens with one of these cars, the damage will need to be repaired, whether it’s your fault or not. A typical auto insurance policy covers only one vehicle, so if you have several cars in your fleet, an additional policy will need to be purchased.
Also, with California business auto insurance, there is no exclusion for the “business use percentage” of an insured vehicle used for personal reasons. This means that if one of your employees has a fender bender while using their company car for personal reasons, you’re going to have a mess on your hands.
Who needs it?
A California company that operates more than one vehicle and does not want to risk losing money if an accident happens would be wise to consider fleet auto insurance. It can also help reduce the costs of maintaining a business car or van in case of damage.
If you’re a California business owner and own more than one car, it’s wise to talk with your broker about fleet auto insurance. Here are some questions that we recommend asking:
- What types of accidents will be covered? (collision, fire, and theft)
- How often can I make an accident claim without affecting my premiums?
- How much liability will the policy cover if an accident occurs to someone else while at fault?
- Will there be a deductible for any particular type of claims made, or is it all included under one premium price?
- When can I expect payment from your company after submitting a claim?
- How does fleet auto insurance work if I want to add a vehicle?
There are many other questions that should be considered as well. But, again, it’s best to consult with an experienced broker before making your purchase so you can get the most from your insurance coverage and have it customized for your business needs.
What should I consider when purchasing an auto fleet policy?
Before you purchase any insurance, you should compare the price and benefits from multiple companies. You can do this by getting quotes online or calling a broker specializing in fleet auto insurance policies.
When looking for coverage, there are three aspects to consider:
- The type of vehicles being insured – both owned and rented
- The number of vehicles involved
- Whether your employees will be covered as drivers
The more vehicles you have and the more significant number of employees driving them, the higher the premium. However, this is not always true, as smaller California businesses may pass on savings by having one vehicle for every driver versus separate policies for each car or van owned.
It’s also important to know that if your business has any employees driving a company automobile, they’ll need to have a valid California driver’s license and meet the minimum requirements set by your insurer.
How can I save money on my fleet insurance?
Saving money on your fleet auto insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many ways that you can lower the cost of an existing policy or receive a discount when purchasing new coverage:
- If one driver has had a clean driving record and is responsible, it may be wise for them to take over as the primary driver under each vehicle’s policy.
- By adding a car to your fleet, you may be eligible for a multi-vehicle discount.
Some insurers will give discounts for employees who have taken approved driver training classes or defensive driving courses.
- If the primary driver has been with an insurer and does not make claims on their policy, they can ask if this will result in a discount.
After purchasing, you continue to save money by staying with the same insurer over time, as premiums tend to be lower for those who have been loyal customers.
In addition, if your fleet has multiple vehicles and is sharing one policy between them, this can lead to savings, too – mainly if it’s done online or by phone.
If you do not have the time to manage your fleet policy this way, consider adding an employee that can act as a liaison between yourself and your insurer. This will allow them to provide updates on claims or let you know when premiums are due for each vehicle in your fleet, so they don’t go unpaid.
What are the different types of coverage that are available to me as a California business owner?
There are various types of coverage that you can choose from when it comes to insuring your fleet. Some of the most common include:
Comprehensive – covers damage caused by natural disasters, including floods and earthquakes, vandalism, theft, or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or fire.
Collision – protects against any harm caused to your vehicle due to an accident with another car or object.
Liability – reimburses you for damages caused to someone else’s property or person due to your negligence, including motorist bodily injury coverage and other types of harm that may apply in some states.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage – protects against accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Medical Payments – reimburses you for medical expenses if an uninsured driver strikes your vehicle. This is different from the comprehensive coverage, which only covers damage caused by natural disasters or accidents with animals, fire, etc.
Custom Parts & Equipment Coverage – protects against loss of income due to breakdowns and mechanical failure and damage caused to custom parts or equipment that you use in your business. The insurer will need to approve this type of coverage before offering it under the policy.
There are plenty of benefits you can take advantage of when insuring your fleet for business. By knowing the requirements and how insurance services operates, you can be confident that your company is always covered whether they are on or off duty.
Commercial Auto Coverage