Protecting your carpentry business with commercial auto insurance
Running a carpentry business comes with both risk and reward. Whether you’re crafting furniture or constructing residential and commercial structures, you’re using heavy tools and machinery that could be hazardous to your health and safety.
Despite the risk, the rewards are great. After all, you’re a skilled craftsman with a creative flair that allows you to delight customers with new builds and renovations, custom kitchens, unique furniture pieces, and much more.
General liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance will protect you and your fellow carpenters in case of accidents or injuries that occur on the job. But how do you stay protected on the road, traveling to and from job sites, or picking up much-needed supplies?
Owning and operating a work vehicle comes with the same mix of risk and reward. It can increase your productivity and profitability while also posing a financial risk to your business. Investing in commercial auto insurance can help your carpentry business keep running smoothly, even in the event of a collision or accident.
Read on to learn what commercial auto insurance is, what it covers, and why you should add it to your small business insurance policy.
What is commercial auto insurance for carpenters?
If your carpentry business uses a car, work van, or truck to drive from job to job, or pick up and transport lumber and other materials, you’ll need to invest in commercial auto insurance.
This insurance protects any small business vehicle from liability in the event of a collision or any other type of accident. Without coverage, your business could be forced to cover vehicle and property repair, medical bills, and worst-case scenario, crippling legal fees. Commercial auto insurance keeps your business covered on the road.
Is commercial auto insurance required by law?
The short answer is yes. Aside from New Hampshire and Virginia, all states require auto insurance by law to operate a motorized vehicle. Even if your state doesn’t require auto insurance, it’s still highly recommended. Regardless of whether auto insurance is required, your business will still be liable for damages should a company vehicle be involved in an accident or collision.
You might think your personal vehicle insurance is enough. But if your carpentry business owns or leases a vehicle—or if the vehicle you drive for work has a commercial license plate, tag, or registration—you’ll need to get a commercial auto insurance policy.
What does commercial auto insurance cover for carpenters?
Adding auto insurance to your small business insurance policy will cover the cost of repair, medical bills, and lawsuits should you or one of your employees be involved in a collision or accident while driving a company vehicle.
The type of coverage included will depend on your specific policy. A commercial auto insurance policy will often include:
- Collision to cover any costs associated with your work vehicle being hit by, or hitting, another vehicle. This includes the cost to repair or replace the damaged vehicles involved in the accident or collision.
- Comprehensive to cover any non-accident related damages that may occur. For example, vandalism or weather-related damages.
- Auto liability to protect you and your company’s assets should another driver sue your business after an accident with a work vehicle.
- Personal injury or medical payments to cover any medical expenses should the occupants of a work vehicle be injured in an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured to cover repair or medical costs after an accident if a driver doesn’t have personal auto insurance or insufficient coverage.
In addition to the coverage above, you can also customize your insurance policy to include:
- Rental reimbursement to keep your business moving after an accident by covering the cost of a rental vehicle until your work van is back up and running.
- Roadside assistance to help with lockouts, flat tires, or dead batteries when you or your crew is on the road.
- Expanded towing to cover any additional towing costs beyond what your existing coverage provides.
- New vehicle replacement cost to help pay for a new work vehicle in the event your company car is totaled in an accident.
What happens if carpenters aren’t covered by commercial auto insurance?
Simply put, if your carpentry business isn’t covered by auto insurance, you’re putting your business at risk.
Without small business auto insurance, your carpentry business may be forced to pay out of pocket for the following:
- The cost to repair a work vehicle
- The cost to replace your totaled work vehicle with a new one
- Expensive medical bills
- Legal fees in the event another motorist or pedestrian decides to sue you
Not covered yet?
Operating a vehicle for your business comes with risks. Even the safest driver can find themselves in circumstances out of their control, and no one wants to be stuck paying the cost of repairs out of their own pocket.
Luckily, commercial auto insurance can help you avoid expensive repairs and keep your carpentry business running smoothly. Think you may need a policy? See how Pie can help!