Commercial Auto Insurance California: Insure Your Vehicle Fleet With CA Auto Insurance
Commercial auto and truck insurance is essential for all Californian fleets. Businesses that own vehicles in the Golden state can insure their vehicles for their individual coverage needs on the road. Commercial auto insurance in California is required by state law and every vehicle belonging to your business has to be insured under your liability policy. Insurance companies have separate commercial auto insurance for vans, cars, trucks, and other vehicles that may get in an accident on the road.
Commercial auto insurance is used by the following companies:
- Trucking companies.
- Restaurants/delivery services.
- Manufacturing companies.
- Transport/logistics companies.
- Security companies.
- Hotels, motels, casinos.
- IT businesses.
The insurance coverage included will vary by the insurance company, but California-based businesses have the highest choice in regards to commercial auto insurance. Each policy can be customized to your own individual needs and added to an existing General Liability (or purchased as a separate policy).
Commercial Insurance California: Introduction
California has nearly 4 million businesses operating in the state, and nearly 97% of these businesses are small businesses. Vehicles are an integral component of Californian life and businesses rely on vehicles to transport goods, deliver products and transport materials to a job site.
Companies may need only basic car insurance if they have one registered vehicle or they may have to insure a fleet of 100 trucks. Under California state law, it’s irrelevant whether your fleet is comprised of one car or dozens of trucks – all vehicles have to be covered under a commercial auto insurance policy.
Insurance companies make it easy to insure the entire vehicle fleet at your company. The following are examples of vehicles which can be insured under commercial auto insurance in California:
- Hazardous material carrying vehicles
Each vehicle belonging to the company has to meet the state’s minimum liability threshold. The state will inspect your vehicles and demand proof of insurance and you must meet the liability minimums in order to be granted a license to operate in the state. The minimal coverage is $15,000 per person and $5000 in property damages.
Commercial Truck Insurance California
California has minimal coverage requirements for trucks based on the materials and size. Trucks carrying harmless substances may require 5x less insurance than trucks carrying hazardous transport trucks. There are different insurance types based on the weight of the truck as well.
Commercial auto insurance in California offers similar benefits to general liability, but it’s geared towards possible road accidents. The following are the main coverage benefits of commercial truck insurance in California:
- Truck Damage. This coverage extends to the first person i.e. the driver and the property damage to the truck. If the truck is hit or hits another vehicle, this policy covers the repair cost.
- Medical Payments. If the truck causes bodily injury to a person during an accident, the passengers in the other vehicle are covered for their medical expenses.
- Comprehensive Coverage. This policy enables you to ensure your own vehicles in the event they’re burglarized.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This benefit exists due to the fact that more than 1/8 of all drivers nationwide are uninsured. If the truck hits an uninsured driver, you must have liability even if the uninsured driver is at fault.
Vehicle Coverage Requirements In California
The state of California imposes minimum liability coverage requirements for vehicles based on their carry capacity and the materials they’re transporting. Smaller vehicles with lesser passenger capacity require less liability insurance. Likewise, trucks that carry harmless commodities such as furniture will require less insurance than trucks that carry hazardous or potentially explosive materials.
- Passenger Capacity
CA requires different coverage based on the number of passengers a vehicle can transport. This is determined by the seating capacity in the vehicle. Vehicles with less than 7 passengers such as regular cars and small vans will only need $750K in minimal coverage. Larger vans with 8-15 seats will require $1.5M in minimal coverage. Buses and other transport vehicles exceeding 16 passenger seats will need $5M or more in liability coverage.
- Vehicle Weight Total
Depending on the weight of the vehicle, you may require substantially more liability insurance which you file as proof of public liability with the state of California. The liability has to include bodily injury and property damage.
The requirements for small vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs start at $300,000, while the coverage increases to $750,000 for vehicles exceeding 10,000 lbs.
- Transport Materials
Depending on the hazard level the material poses to the general public, you may have to obtain a special CDL permit from the state of California to be allowed to transport materials which pose a public security risk. Petroleum and chemical transport trucks require this type of license. The trucks are called “Hazmat Carriers” because they transport dangerous substances. The minimal coverage requirement in the state of California is $5M for trucks of this kind.
Warning: Hazmat carrier trucks operating without minimum liability insurance can be fined severely by the state of California and their business licenses revoked.
Commercial Truck Insurance California: What Is The Cost?
Commercial truck insurance policies vary based on the coverage necessary. This includes the passenger capacity, transport materials, special license requirements, etc. If you’re providing transport services as a carrier-owner, the rates can vary based on your own driving experience, history of claims, the state of the truck you’re driving and the general requirements (as mentioned above).
Factors that might increase the premiums prices include depreciation coverage which can be added to commercial truck insurance on your existing policy. The average cost of commercial truck insurance can exceed regular car insurance by a margin of 5x.
For instance, if you’re insuring a high-capacity truck over the 10,000 lb limit you may pay more than $1000 a month in liability insurance. The only way to lower the premiums is to choose an insurer that gives you affordable commercial liability insurance.
Customize Your Commercial Insurance California Plan
We’re aware that all commercial businesses are different. You may be a sushi restaurant in Pasadena with a single delivery vehicle and you don’t need extensive liability insurance. In this case, you’ll pay as little as you’re paying for your current car insurance. You may be a large logistics operator based out of San Diego and you need to insure 30 large trucks with $1M coverage each.
The insurance policy can be put together based on your individual insurance needs. We understand that no two commercial companies are alike, and we can cover you even if you’re a sole owner-operator.