top

Mon – Fri | 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT

Commercial auto insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance FAQs

Backing your business is clutch

Who can drive a car that’s insured under a Next Commercial Auto policy?

Anyone who regularly drives your vehicle should be listed on your Next commercial auto policy.

Other drivers can occasionally use the vehicle and still be protected by your coverage but they might not be covered if it is revealed they regularly use the vehicle for your business.

 

How do I know if I need Commercial Auto insurance?

If you have vehicles that are titled to your business that you or your employees drive, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. This is required by law in almost every state.

Even if you drive a car for work that’s not titled to your business, you’ll still need to get commercial auto coverage. This is because your personal auto insurance usually won’t provide coverage if you drive your own vehicle for business reasons.

Let’s say you’re a house cleaner and you drive your personal vehicle to all the homes you clean. You might think that the regular car insurance you got when you bought the care is enough, but if you got into an accident on the way to a job you might not be covered.

You might also want to consider commercial auto insurance if you use your vehicle to:

  • Tow a trailer carrying your work equipment
  • Transport goods
  • Help your employees get to job sites

Small businesses might sometimes ask employees to drive their own cars for a job or rent vehicles. Hired and non-owned auto insurance is a form of commercial auto coverage that helps pay for accident damages in these instances. You can add it as an upgrade to commercial auto insurance from Next.

 

I use my personal vehicle for my business. Can I insure it with this policy?

Yes! If you use your personal vehicle for business purposes, we can insure it under our commercial auto policy.

For example, if you own a van that you use for personal travel, as well as your job as a painter, it would be covered under our policy when it’s used for work purposes.

It’s important to note that we’re unable to provide coverage for certain high-end vehicles and vehicles larger than standard trucks or SUVs.

 

Does Commercial Auto insurance cover personal use for my own vehicle?

Yes, if your vehicle is covered by our commercial auto insurance it will be protected when driven for personal or work use.

For example, if you use that vehicle for your registered business to get to job sites and you sometimes use it on the weekends to haul your fishing gear, commercial car insurance would cover your fishing trips.

 

Are the items that I transport with my insured vehicle covered by this policy?

A commercial auto policy will cover the vehicle used to transport items, but not the items themselves.

For example, if you have a pickup truck that you use to transport ladders and power tools, the policy would cover the truck but not the equipment.

If you’re concerned about your gear going missing you should consider purchasing tools and equipment insurance. If you regularly transport your tools in your vehicle, this coverage will help replace or repair any damaged or stolen equipment.

 

What types of vehicles can I insure? How many vehicles can I insure under one policy?

You can insure 10 vehicles and up to 15 drivers with your commercial auto policy from Next. (Note: This is limited to four vehicles and eight drivers in California).

These vehicles can be owned by the business owner or the business, so long as they are used for business purposes. Unfortunately, we can’t cover certain high-end cars or vehicles larger than standard trucks or SUVs at this time.

 

Will my premium change or my policy be cancelled if I file a claim?

No, we won’t alter your premium during the term of an active policy or cancel your coverage due to a claim. We understand that filing a claim is stressful enough without having to worry about it affecting your premium.

At the end of your policy period, however, we will review the details of your business and vehicle activity. If either has changed since you first applied, we’ll adjust the premium up or down accordingly when you renew.

 

I run my business out of my vehicle. Does Commercial Auto cover this type of vehicle?

No. Unfortunately, our current policy cannot cover food trucks or mobile businesses that operate out of a van or truck.

For example, if you own a dog grooming business with a brick and mortar location, we can provide insurance if you drive to groom dogs at different locations, but we can’t provide insurance if you groom dogs in a mobile unit.

 

Can I buy Commercial Auto insurance by itself?

Yes. You can buy commercial auto by itself, but we recommend buying liability insurance along with your commercial auto insurance. General liability insurance can protect your business from certain costs including medical expenses, legal costs and more. When you buy both policies together, you also get a discount on them.

 

Can I combine a Commercial Auto policy with my existing NEXT insurance liability policy?

Yes! You can save up to 10% if you combine more than one type of policy together.

In order to add a policy, please call us at 855-222-5919 between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday to Friday or email us at support@nextinsurance.com.

 

Is Commercial Auto insurance cheaper than personal car insurance?

No, commercial auto insurance is almost always more expensive than personal car insurance. Policies that cover just your own car, or your family’s couple of cars, typically offer protection against collisions, personal injuries and medical payments but they don’t take into consideration the much riskier situations dealt with by commercial auto insurance.

When you’re transporting people or goods or providing a service with your vehicle, you’re at risk for claims to be brought against you for property damage or injured parties. Commercial auto by necessity has higher liability limits, which ends up costing you more every month than you pay for your own personal vehicle.

 

Can I drive out of the state where my vehicle is registered?

Yes, you certainly can! This policy will cover you if you need to drive out of state for your business operations.

 

What is the coverage area of this insurance policy? Can I drive outside of the U.S.?

Beyond the United States, the coverage territory also includes Canada and Puerto Rico. Mexico is not included in our commercial auto policies.

 

Do you offer personal auto insurance?

No, we are solely focused on business insurance. It’s important to know that a commercial auto policy can be used to insure your personal vehicle if that vehicle is used for your registered business.

For example, if you own a truck that you use for personal travel, as well as your job as a landscaper, it would be covered under our policy when it’s used for work purposes.

 

I don’t feel comfortable providing my driver’s license number online. Can I still buy this insurance policy?

We understand that an entirely online process is new, and can be surprising for some people. But in order to get a commercial auto policy, we will need your driver’s license number. You will be unable to buy your policy without one.

We use the industry standard AES-256 encryption algorithm to make sure your data is safe, and we use a high level of encryption on the client side (SSL).

 

In the event of a claim, how is the value of my vehicle determined?

In the case of a claim on your commercial auto policy, the value of your vehicle will be based on the actual cash value (ACV) or the cost of repair at the time of the incident. However, if you have a vehicle loan, there may be coverage for the difference between the remaining balance of the loan and the ACV of the vehicle.

 

How is the “Actual Cash Value” of my vehicle determined?

The actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle is determined when the vehicle is appraised following an accident. The ACV is calculated by deducting the “wear and tear” costs of the car from the replacement value of the car.

We all know that if you paid $30,000 at the dealership your new car is worth substantially less as soon as you drive it home, so your replacement value almost certainly wouldn’t be $30,000.

How far you’ve driven it, how old it is, the make and model, and how many other accidents it’s been in will also be subtracted from the replacement value.

 

Does Commercial Auto insurance cover a rental car after an accident?

This commercial auto policy will cover some rental reimbursement fees following an accident for certain policy packages; however, it will not provide coverage for damage to the rental cars themselves.

 

What does medical payment and personal injury protection cover?

For car-related accidents, medical payments (MedPay) coverage reimburses you for your own medical bills if you get hurt. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is similar and can also cover lost wages and other expenses, such as the cost of an ambulance, which vary by state.

 

Am I the owner of the vehicle or is it registered to my business?

The vehicle listed on your commercial auto policy can be registered to your name or the name of your business.

Note that anyone who regularly drives your vehicle should be listed on your NEXT commercial auto policy.

Other drivers can occasionally use the vehicle and still be protected by your coverage but they might not be covered if it is revealed they regularly use the vehicle for your business.

 

What does liability coverage for an auto insurance policy mean?

Most states require that your business-owned vehicles are insured for certain types of accidents with auto liability coverage. If you’re driving and are at fault in a car accident — and are liable for the incident — liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses.

Auto liability coverage covers two types of incidents: bodily injury and property damage. Liability insurance under a commercial auto policy could therefore cover medical expenses that result from an at-fault accident, as well as any damage to property that got damaged in that accident.

 

Are trailers covered under Commercial Auto insurance?

Depending on the policy, commercial auto may provide liability coverage that extends to the trailer being towed (that is, if the trailer hits another vehicle) if it’s a utility trailer used for business purposes. Separate trailer insurance will typically have to be purchased to cover any physical damage to the trailer itself.

 

Can I insure my motorcycle with this insurance if I use it for my business?

No, at this time motorcycles are not included in commercial auto coverage.

 

 

How we can help you with Commercial Auto insurance

If you have more questions, our licensed, U.S.-based insurance advisors are ready to help.

When you’re ready to explore coverage options for your business, you can get an instant quote online and purchase business insurance within a few minutes.