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Commercial Auto Insurance California

Getting a commercial auto policy in California can be quite the task. There are several options for consumers to choose from and it is difficult to know what is the right choice. Just getting quotes on a California commercial auto insurance policy is difficult in itself. There is a lot of additional information needed to ensure that the policies are rated appropriately and that all discounts are applied for.

Since there is so much additional information needed to quote a commercial auto policy for a California business, it is recommended that you work with an independent agency that has access to several markets. This can save you a lot of time and helps to ensure that you are getting a package that gives you all of the coverage that you need, all while getting a competitive rate.

When you work with an independent agency you will only need to give all of your quoting information to a single point of contact. From there the agent or broker can shop you rates with several companies. Here at Bains & Woodward Insurance we have access to the majority of the nation's top rated carriers and quote most of our commercial auto accounts with at least eight insurance companies. This means that you can rest assured that you will be getting quotes from several companies all with a single request for a quote.

On the contrary, if you work with a captive agent they will only be able to quote the company that they represent. Most captive agents are bound by contract to only provide rates from the company that they work for. This keeps their interest aligned with their company. Since we are independent, we work to find you the best package for your commercial auto coverage with no preference of the carriers that we represent.

What Information is Needed to Quote a California Commercial Auto Policy?

In addition to all of the standard business information needed there are several additional rating factors that will be taken into consideration in order to develop an accurate quote for your California commercial auto policy.

Business Description - The type of business that you are running is one of the is the best place to start to determine insurance company eligibility. Appetites for different business types will vary significantly from business to business. Most carriers would consider offering coverage to an accountants office or an outside sales representative. This is not the case for the higher risk commercial auto policies like taxi commercial auto coverage or a commercial auto for a trucking company. Many of these types of businesses need to get their coverage with a specialty market.

Schedule of Drivers - The drivers on your policy will also impact the premiums on the account just as they do on a personal auto insurance policy. Here in California, the rating bases are different than in other states with respect to driving history. Many commercial auto insurance companies impose significant rate surcharges for youthful operators or for drivers that have a less than desirable driving records.

Vehicle Schedule - When getting a commercial auto insurance quote it is important that you disclose all of the vehicles that you have to the agent or broker. The agent will need to know the year, make, model, and vehicle type (cargo van, tow truck, car carrier, tractor, trailer, etc). Most commercial auto insurance policies will only cover the vehicles that are listed on the schedule of covered vehicles. In fact, many policies will not even extend coverage to borrowed or newly purchased vehicles.

Stated Vehicle Values - A large majority of the insurance companies that write commercial auto insurance in California will offer physical damage coverage based upon the stated value of the vehicle. This is primarily because many commercial vehicles have specialized equipment and it is not possible to generate a value from the vehicle identification number alone.

Radius of Operation - Let's face it, the more that you are on the road and the further the distances that you are traveling, the higher the likelihood is that you will be involved in an accident. This is why most policies are rated on the radius of operation. Most insurance companies use this information to not only as a rating factor but also an eligibility factor. Many carriers will have a maximum radius that they offer for commercial auto policies in California. It is also very important for you to discuss the radius restrictions with your agent or broker because many carriers will either not offer coverage for claims outside of the covered area or will have restrictions as to the number of times that the insured can travel outside of the area.

What Types of Discounts Are Available for California Commercial Auto Insurance?

Prior Insurance Discount - Commercial auto insurance policies in California are different than personal auto policies with respect to prior insurance discounts. Although it has been up for vote several times in California to carry a continuous coverage discount for personal auto insurance, it has yet to pass. This discount is available for commercial policies though. What happens is that the insurance companies offer a discount from the standard premium if you can prove that you have had continuous insurance for a specified amount of time. Carriers will normally ask for one year or six months of proof of continuous insurance with equal or greater values. Proof is normally supplied by giving the new agent or broker you prior term declarations page to show all information that is need.

Years in Business - Many California commercial auto insurance carriers offer a discount to businesses that have been in business for more than three to five years. Normally if you have been in business for more than three years you can receive a discount of around five percent from the total policy premium.

Claim Free Discount - A claim free discount is normally applied to larger commercial auto policies with fleets of vehicles. Many times the agent or broker working on your account will ask for the loss runs from your prior carrier. The loss runs will show the total premium paid and any claim payments. On larger accounts the underwriter will apply credits if there has been no losses and possible will consider a lower amount of credit for a good earned premium to claims payments ratio.

Paid in Full Discount - Getting a paid in full discount is another way that commercial auto policies in California differ from personal auto. Some carrier will offer a discount of up to ten percent on account that are paid in full for the annual policy term.

Getting More than Just a Commercial Auto Policy in California

In almost every case, businesses in California that have a commercial auto policy should also consider additional protection to cover them from other than auto related losses. It is important that you speak with your agent or broker to get quotes on either a California general liability insurance policy or a California business owners insurance policy depending on the needs of your business.

Even if you are a carpet cleaner or towing company, there are many types of potential losses that could happen that would not be covered under a standard California commercial auto insurance policy. Call one of our representatives today or request your quote online.

commercial auto insurance california

We are here to help regardless of what type of California Business Insurance you are looking for. See the list below for help with other types of coverage:


For California Commercial Auto Insurance we specialize in the types of commercial vehicles that are listed below:


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