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Commercial auto and your industry: mechanical contractors - Pie Insurance

Mechanical contractors rely on commercial vehicles to do their work well. Make sure your work vehicle is protected with commercial auto insurance.
Commercial auto and your industry: mechanical contractors - Pie Insurance

Safeguard your mechanical contractor business with commercial auto insurance

Being a mechanical contractor comes with more than its fair share of risks. Whether you squeeze into small uncomfortable spaces, crawl into pipes, or climb up to high, exposed locations, each job site presents its own dangers. 

Along with those risks come a number of potential liabilities. For small businesses in the mechanical contracting space, getting the right types of insurance coverage is key to protecting your business from financial and reputational harm in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.

Some of the most common types of accidents and injuries that people working in mechanical contracting experience include: 

    • Repetitive stress injuries
    • Slips, trips, and falls
    • Being struck by an object 

The good news is that mechanical contractor businesses can often use their workers’ compensation and general liability insurance policies to cover claims from these common industry hazards.

But what if you or an employee of your mechanical contracting business are involved in an incident on the road between jobs? How do you protect yourself and your small business from auto claims? The best way to protect your assets is by adding commercial auto insurance into the mix of your small business insurance policies.

Why do mechanical contractors need a commercial auto insurance policy?

As a contractor, your work takes place at various locations. You and your employees may have to drive short or long distances to serve clients in different parts of your city, state, or beyond. It’s also common to drive between multiple job sites in one day. For all that time spent on the road, your (or your employee’s) personal auto insurance isn’t enough. This is why mechanical contractors need commercial auto insurance. 

What does commercial auto insurance cover? 

Commercial auto insurance covers collision or damage to any vehicles you and your employees drive for work, whether or not the company owns, leases, or borrows them. It also can include coverage for medical bills, vehicle servicing, repairs to your property, and legal fees. While you shouldn’t count on your personal auto insurance policy to cover your business-owned and operated vehicles, a commercial policy can cover personally-owned vehicles used for work purposes. 

Am I required by law to have commercial auto insurance coverage? 

Legally, you must carry commercial auto insurance for any business-owned, hired, or leased vehicles in all states except Virginia and New Hampshire. Whether or not commercial auto insurance is required in your state, your business will be liable if your vehicle is involved in an accident. Federal law requires commercial auto insurance if you cross state lines for your business.

How much commercial auto insurance does a mechanical contractor need? 

The amount of coverage your business needs depends on a variety of factors. How many vehicles your mechanical contracting company uses commercially, how far each vehicle is driven each day, and where each vehicle is stored all play into your coverage needs. 

Risk factors for coverage are also specific to where your mechanical contracting business operates. Geographically speaking, there are different risks in different parts of the U.S. Each state that requires commercial auto insurance will have a minimum level of required coverage, and these minimums are influenced by how far you travel, the size of your vehicles, how many you own, as well as state requirements. 

The bottom line is if you’re a mechanical contractor who owns, hires, or leases vehicles, or you have commercial license plates or registration on your vehicles, you need to add commercial auto to your insurance coverage.

What coverage benefits does commercial auto insurance provide for mechanical contractors?

You have a choice of coverage options with commercial insurance just like you do with personal auto coverage. Only a licensed insurance agent or an insurance provider can tell you the exact options that apply to your situation (along with your state’s minimum requirements). But generally speaking, you may choose to add: 

    • Auto liability: This part of your commercial auto policy protects you and your company from out-of-pocket legal expenses after an accident in a work vehicle if a driver chooses to sue your business.
    • Collision: This aspect covers costs related to the repair and replacement of the vehicles damaged in an accident. It also covers other costs linked with your vehicle hitting, or being hit by, another vehicle.
    • Comprehensive insurance: This part of a commercial auto policy covers weather-related damage, vandalism, and other damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision with another vehicle. 
    • Medical payments or personal injury: This coverage pays medical expenses of parties injured within your vehicle, or by your vehicle, during an accident.
    • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: This important part of your commercial auto insurance protects you and your business from financial losses including medical costs and vehicle repairs after an accident if the at-fault driver has insufficient or no auto insurance coverage. 

Just like your personal auto insurance policy, other customization options include: towing, roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and more. 

The importance of commercial auto insurance for mechanical contractors 

Mechanical contractors don’t work in offices all day. Your company vehicle may serve as your “office” so it’s vital to protect it. Not only is commercial auto insurance required by law in most states, but it’s also an important piece of coverage to keep your business financially sound if something goes wrong. 

Need commercial auto insurance coverage?

Accidents happen, even to the most careful drivers. Whether someone else is driving distracted or having a medical emergency, sometimes you’re the one who ends up paying the price.

Commercial auto insurance can help you keep your mechanical contractor business up and running in the event of an auto accident. See how Pie can help!