Before buying or renewing an insurance policy, ask questions to better understand what you’re getting from the insurance company. Below are a few coverages and insurance considerations to think about as a snow and ice management professional.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability covers your legal liability, up to the limit of liability you select, for an accident in which there is damage or injury to someone else.
Collision and Comprehensive help cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Collision covers you if your vehicle collides with another vehicle or most objects. Comprehensive covers damages caused by an event other than a collision, theft, vandalism and weather-related damage.
Uninsured Motorists Bodily Injury and Property Damage covers medical treatment along with damage to your vehicle (and sometimes other property) caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance.
Equipment coverage. Do you have salt spreaders, hydraulics or plow blades that you need covered? Whether it’s extra gear or permanently attached equipment, if you don’t want to pay to fully replace it, it’s a good idea to have it insured.
Find out from your agent or insurer what’s covered under your policy, and add extra endorsements as needed. Just like any other coverage, consider how much everything is worth, and pick a limit that you’re comfortable with. Whether your equipment is owned, leased, rented or borrowed, an insurance provider can provide protection against loss, theft or damage to most things you use for work.
Look at more than just price
Pick a carrier that understands your business needs, because it’s not all about price. There are a lot of companies offering commercial auto insurance. Here is a list of important questions to consider asking when making a decision about what carrier to use:
Can the company cover you in all four seasons? If you have a landscaping or construction business when the snow melts, it pays to have an insurer who covers you year-round.
Is the company an expert in heavy vehicles as well as pickup trucks? Some companies don’t even write coverage for dump trucks. Ask your carrier about their experience in covering municipal and residential removal.
How long has this company offered commercial auto coverages? How long have they covered snow and ice management?
How are claims handled? Are they handled by company representatives or contracted third-party representatives? Are the people handling commercial auto claims specially trained?
Does the company offer 24/7 claims service, so I can get back on the road fast?
Do I have the flexibility of choosing a 6-month vs. a 12-month policy?
Does the carrier offer flexible payment plans?
Can I manage my policy online?
If you’re confused, talk to an expert
There are many things to consider besides price when shopping for insurance. To be profitable, you need to keep your business vehicle on the road, so choosing a carrier with superior claims service is critical. Unlike most commercial auto carriers that depend on independent adjusters, Progressive’s in-house Field Specialists are located throughout the country to settle claims fairly, quickly and accurately.
When shopping for insurance, make sure you ask your agent or insurance provider exactly what’s covered. Just like you’d go to a doctor for medical advice, your agent or company should be able to help you find the right policy for your business.