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Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Auto Insurance

What is Commercial Vehicle Insurance in California?

Commercial vehicle coverage is property damage and liability protection – and other applicable protections – for vehicles designated for business use.

Is Commercial Car Insurance Just for Semi-Trucks?

No. While semi-trucks, box trucks, company vans, and other such business vehicles should have a commercial vehicle coverage, it is not limited to the type of vehicle used.

How Do I Know if I Need Commercial Auto Insurance in CA?

In most cases, you need commercial car insurance if you use your vehicle to conduct a service for financial gain, including:

  • Charging a fee to use your vehicle to transport goods or people
  • The nature of your work requires higher limits of liability coverage
  • Hauling a considerable weight or equipment/tools
  • Towing a trailer used to conduct your business
  • If ownership of the vehicle is in the name of a corporation or partnership
  • If employees operate the vehicle

Some examples of vehicles that require a commercial vehicle policy include:

  • Cars, sports utility vehicles, and pick-up trucks used in business
  • Snow plows
  • Limousines
  • Taxis
  • Flatbeds
  • Vehicles outfitted with work equipment
  • Tow trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Utility vans
  • Semi-trucks

Why Can’t I Just Use a Personal Auto Policy for My Business?

Most personal auto plans don’t have high enough liability limits to satisfactorily cover business vehicles in the case of an accident. Additionally, in many cases, if you are using your car for work when you get into an accident, it could nullify your car plan.

Why Do I Need Higher Liability Limits?

Even if your business vehicle is a regular-sized automobile, commercial coverage can assist you in protecting victims from coming after your business assets in the case of a lawsuit.

If your business vehicle is a box truck or similarly large hauling vehicle, the liability limits of a typical auto policy aren’t usually enough to cover property damage and repairs on that scale. Plus, many commercial vehicle plans offer coverage for any damages done to equipment or products hauled in the vehicle whereas a personal auto plan does not.

Where Can I Get Commercial Auto Coverage?

Many reputable providers offer commercial coverage for business vehicles, but Cost-U-Less provides affordable options.

Is Commercial Vehicle Tax Deductible in California?

Typically yes. Commercial vehicle insurance is considered a business expense, so any premium payments made can written off on your tax return that year.

Will California Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover My Employees?

Yes. Most commercial vehicle plans will cover employees that are driving your insured business vehicle if they have your permission. In fact, if you are using a rented vehicle or your employee is using their vehicle to conduct your business, many commercial plans will provide coverage for these circumstances as well.

What if I Drive My Commercial Vehicle for Personal Use? Am I Covered?

Yes. Personal use is typically covered for company owned vehicles under a commercial car plan. If your personal vehicle is insured under a commercial vehicle plan and you allow family members to drive it, you will want to inquire about “non-owned vehicle endorsement” protection from your agent in order to ensure that they will be covered.

I Use My Personal Car to Deliver Pizzas. Do I Really Need Commercial Car Coverage?

Yes. If you make a living primarily as a courier, pizza delivery person, or other similar profession, you will probably need commercial vehicle coverage for your personal car. However, if you are using your vehicle while working for a company, you can ask the business owner to list you on their commercial vehicle policy for non-owner coverage. If the work is seasonal or temporary, talk to your provider to see if you can get commercial coverage for a shorter period or at a discounted rate.

I Make Money Driving for a Ridesharing Service like Uber and Lyft. Does this Mean I Should Get a Commercial Vehicle Plan?

The State of California requires rideshare drivers to maintain either a commercial policy or a rideshare endorsement in their personal auto policies.