Insuring your business vehicles couldn’t be easier thanks to BrokerLink. If your company uses vehicles for business purposes, commercial auto insurance is a must. Commercial auto insurance covers a wide range of risks that come with you or your employees driving vehicles for business purposes. Whether you have one company car or a fleet of vans, commercial auto insurance will protect some of your most important business assets. Continue reading to learn more about insuring your business vehicles in Canada.
What is commercial auto insurance?
Commercial auto insurance is a type of specialty car insurance designed to protect vehicles driven for business purposes. Businesses of all sizes across all industries can purchase commercial auto insurance policies. In addition, commercial auto insurance is for businesses with any size fleet of vehicles whether your business has one single delivery van or a fleet of hundreds of vehicles, commercial auto insurance is equally important.
When an individual policy is purchased (e.g. if you operate a small business that only uses one commercial vehicle or you have multiple cars but want to insure each separately), it is referred to as commercial auto insurance. However, if your business has multiple company cars and you wish to insure them together under one policy, this becomes what is known as fleet insurance.
Both commercial auto insurance and fleet insurance can be registered in the name of the business or the name of someone associated with the business, such as the business owner or a director. Like any type of car insurance, a commercial auto insurance policy can be paid for annually or monthly. They can also be customized to insure all employees on all vehicles (any driver policy) or specific employees on specific vehicles (named driver policy).
Who needs a commercial auto insurance policy?
Any business in Canada that uses a vehicle for business purposes must purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. The question becomes how many policies you purchase or whether you purchase one policy for all vehicles (if your business owns more than one).
Commercial auto insurance offers many of the same benefits as personal car insurance policies. Namely, they protect drivers, passengers, and vehicles from financial losses. Therefore, this type of insurance is suited to all kinds of businesses, from taxi firms and delivery companies to retail stores and moving companies.
Your business does not have to be involved in the transport industry to benefit from commercial auto insurance. There is also no minimum number of vehicles your business must use to be eligible for a commercial auto insurance policy. Even if you operate a small business with one single van, it should still be insured through a commercial auto insurance policy.
Commercial auto insurance coverage types
The coverage included with commercial auto insurance policies varies depending on the province or territory you operate in and your business’s unique needs. First and foremost, just like with personal car insurance, all commercial auto insurance policies must comply with provincial law. Each Canadian province has its own regulations on auto insurance, including certain types of coverage that are mandatory.
For example, in Ontario, all commercial auto insurance policies must include the following four types of coverage: third party liability coverage, direct compensation-property damage coverage, accident benefits coverage, and uninsured automobile coverage. Beyond the mandatory coverage, businesses can choose to take out additional coverage to protect their business vehicles, such as collision or comprehensive coverage. You can read more about each type of commercial auto insurance coverage below.
Third party liability coverage
Third party liability coverage protects your business if an employee gets into a car accident that injures another person or causes damage to another person’s property. Under this portion of your policy, you can receive compensation to pay for medical expenses associated with bodily injuries or repairs of a damaged car, as well as any legal fees or court fees up to the coverage limit. In Ontario, all commercial auto insurance policies must include a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage protects a commercial car and its contents from the costs of property damage. This type of coverage only applies if the driver is not at fault for the collision that caused the damage. This type of coverage gets its name from the fact that the insurer typically provides direct payment for the damage caused (such as to repair or replace a vehicle). To receive compensation under the direct compensation portion of your commercial auto insurance policy in Ontario, the incident must meet the following criteria: it happened in Ontario, it involved multiple cars, and it involved at least one car that participates in the province’s car insurance program.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage protects you and any passengers in your business vehicle if you get into an accident with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured. This type of coverage also protects company cars against hit-and-runs. Uninsured automobile coverage covers medical expenses relating to injuries, car repairs due to damage, lost wages, and more.
Accident benefits coverage
Next, commercial auto insurance coverage in Ontario must include accident benefits coverage. If you, a passenger, or a pedestrian requires medical attention following a collision, accident benefits coverage can help. Protection is offered regardless of who was at fault for the accident and can help pay for loss of income, medical expenses, and more.
Collision coverage, which is optional, protects your business if an insured employee gets into an accident with another vehicle or object on the road, no matter who is responsible for the accident. Under the collision coverage section of your policy, your business can receive compensation to help pay for any property damage that resulted from the collision, such as car repairs.
Comprehensive coverage is one final type of optional commercial auto insurance coverage. It protects your business vehicles against several risks not covered by standard car insurance. For example, if you purchase comprehensive coverage, you can be protected against perils like theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, falling objects, and more. Ultimately, comprehensive coverage is known for providing peace of mind, which is important for business owners in Canada.
How much does commercial auto insurance cost?
Commercial auto insurance varies in price depending on the insurance provider, as well as the coverage types and limits chosen. When calculating commercial auto insurance premiums, insurers take several factors into account. Understanding which business-related and vehicle factors come into play might help Canadian business owners find the right coverage for them. Without further ado, the key factors insurance companies use to determine the cost of commercial auto insurance are as follows:
- The industry your business operates in
- Your business procedures
- The location your business operates in (including the specific details of where the vehicles are typically parked)
- Your employees’ or drivers’ driving records and level of experience (in years, if applicable)
- The ages and genders of your business’s employees or drivers
- The number of kilometres each business vehicle logs annually
- The year, make, model, and value of each vehicle operated by your business
- Insurance claims history
- Types and value of goods transported (if applicable)
- Percentage of travel abroad (to the U.S.)
- Coverage limits, types, and deductibles you choose
Tips for saving money on commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but there are ways to make it cheaper. BrokerLink never wants you to overspend on commercial auto insurance, which is why our expert advisors have put together a list of tips on how to save money and find a cheap commercial car insurance policy in Canada:
1. Install winter tires on commercial vehicles
One way to reduce how much you pay for commercial auto insurance is to install winter tires on your business vehicles. Winters in Canada make driving more challenging, and yet very few provinces have made winter tires mandatory. But if you make the proactive choice to outfit your commercial vehicles with winter tires, your insurance company may reward you by lowering your premium. This is because snow tires are proven to have better traction, increasing your safety on the road and decreasing your odds of getting into an accident.
2. Limit employee driving age to 25 and over
Another way to keep commercial auto insurance costs down is to limit the driving age of your employees to 25 and over. Car insurance, including commercial auto insurance, tends to be most expensive for young drivers under the age of 25. Whether you purchase a commercial auto policy for one vehicle or fleet insurance for multiple vehicles, insuring a young driver can significantly increase your premium. But if you opt to only insure employees over the age of 25 with good driving records, you could save money.
3. Implement a driver risk management program
Implementing business procedures relating to driver risk management can save you money on commercial auto insurance. For example, your risk management program could include hiring only vetted and well-trained drivers, laying out clear and detailed policies and procedures, drafting documents on preventative maintenance, and ensuring all company cars are in full compliance with motor vehicle regulations can reduce your premium.
4. Invest in vehicle safety features
Insurance companies calculate commercial auto insurance premiums according to risk. Therefore, equipping your business vehicles with a variety of safety features can save you money. When purchasing a new vehicle for your business, consider one with modern risk management technologies, such as lane assist or emergency braking. These features can reduce the odds of you getting into an accident and may also lower your premium.
5. Store vehicles in a safe place
If you can prove to the insurance company that your business vehicles are stored in a safe place and are therefore at a reduced risk of being damaged or stolen, they might lower your premium. You should aim to store business vehicles in locked or covered areas, like a security-monitored parking garage.
6. Increase your deductible
Another way to save money on commercial auto insurance is to increase your policy deductible. A general rule of thumb in the insurance industry is the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Increasing your deductible (the amount the policyholder is responsible for paying towards an insured loss), means the insurance company doesn’t have to take on as much risk. to take on. That said, increasing your deductible has both pros and cons. If you are considering raising your policy deductible, contact BrokerLink to learn more about how this decision could affect your business.
7. Purchase hybrid or electric business vehicles
BrokerLink’s final tip for saving money on commercial auto insurance is to purchase eco-friendly business vehicles. Several insurance companies in Canada offer discounts to businesses that operate hybrid or electric vehicles. Therefore, purchasing eco-friendly vehicles will not only benefit the planet, but it can also benefit your profit margins.
How do I insure my business vehicles?
Insuring your business vehicles just got easier thanks to BrokerLink. If you are ready to take the plunge and protect your fleet of company cars (or your single company car), follow the steps below to get started:
1. Contact an insurance broker
The first step to finding the best commercial auto insurance policy at a competitive price is to contact an insurance broker. Insurance brokers at BrokerLink know the ins and outs of the industry and can give you their honest, objective opinion on the right coverage for your business. To get started, simply give us a call, send us an email, or visit us in person. You will be assigned a dedicated insurance advisor who will take the time to get to know your business and understand its unique needs. From there, we can provide you with a complimentary commercial auto insurance quote.
2. We shop around for you
To find the best commercial auto insurance policy for your business, shopping around is a must. But when you partner with BrokerLink, we shop around for you. After all, contacting multiple insurance companies and obtaining quotes can be tedious. Let us take care of everything. We will obtain and compare quotes to find the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable price.
3. You get a great rate
We saved the best for last! The final step to insuring your business vehicles is purchasing a policy. Your dedicated BrokerLink insurance advisors will present you with several options to choose from. They will walk you through each policy and from there, you can pick which one is right for your business. It’s that easy!
Get in touch to learn more about insuring your commercial vehicles
Are you ready to protect your business vehicles with commercial auto insurance? BrokerLink can help you find an auto insurance policy that meets the specific needs and budget of your Canadian business.
As experts in all kinds of car insurance, we can help you find a policy in no time. Give us a call, send us an email, or visit us in person at any of our local locations.
We also encourage Canadian business owners to take advantage of BrokerLink’s free commercial auto insurance quotes. For over 30 years, BrokerLink has been pleased to offer free insurance quotes to Canadians far and wide. No matter the size of your business or the number of vehicles in your fleet, the BrokerLink team will provide you with a complimentary, no-obligation quote when you get in touch or use our online quote tool. All you need to do is answer a few basic questions about yourself, your business, and your business vehicles. From there, an expert insurance advisor will get back to you with an accurate and competitive quote in no time.
Insure your vehicles today with BrokerLink. Contact us to get started!