Drivers may be surprised to find they need commercial auto insurance in a number of common situations. Maybe you have a weekend job delivering pizzas, or consistently find yourself driving to clients’ offices during the workday. Perhaps you work within an industry involving heavy-duty truck or cargo van use. If you get in an accident carrying out work-related tasks, your personal auto insurance will likely not cover the claim.
Whatever a given vehicle’s model, if you’re using it in the conduct of business, it’s considered a commercial vehicle. That means it needs designated coverage. Comparing commercial auto insurance quotes ahead of time can save you a headache (and major expense) down the line. Learn more about what constitutes a commercial vehicle here.
Commercial Vehicle Classifications
Now, with all of that said, some vehicles are designed and built specifically for commercial usage. These typically belong to a company or a corporation. They may also be owned or leased by individuals with the specific intention of using them for business. If an automobile is designed to carry 15 or more people, it is automatically considered a commercial vehicle. Similarly, models exceeding certain weight classes, as well as those used to haul hazardous materials, fall into the category as well.
Classifying Commercial Trucks
Trucks are ranked according to their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This is a combination of the vehicle’s total wet weight (with fluids and fuel) and its total cargo carrying capacity. The categorization system consists of the following eight classes:
- Class 1: 0 to 6,000 pounds
- Class 2: 6,001 to 10,000 pounds
- Class 3: 10,001 to 14,000 pounds
- Class 4: 14,001 to 16,000 pounds
- Class 5: 16,001 to 19,500 pounds
- Class 6: 19,501 to 26,000 pounds
- Class 7: 26,001 to 33,000 pounds
- Class 8: 33,000 pounds+
Trucks fitting into Class 1 and 2 are considered light trucks. Medium trucks fall into Classes 3 through part of Class 6. The rest of Class 6 and above are considered heavy trucks. Extra-heavy trucks, heavy-duty truck tractors and extra-heavy truck tractors fill out Class 8.
In addition to their weight ratings, commercial-oriented trucks fall into a wide variety of configurations. There are articulated semi-trucks, vans, coaches, buses, taxis, box trucks and heavy equipment such as that used in mining, construction and farming. In today’s gig economy, even personal vehicles used for part- or full-time ridesharing require insurance above a standard personal policy because the risk of an accident increases each mile it’s out on the road. Temporarily “getting away” with underinsuring will land you in hot water if you have to file a claim–or someone else files one involving you.
Again though, keep in mind while there are definite categories of trucks falling under the automatic commercial vehicle classification, what really counts is any automobile you use to get your goods and/or services to a customer or to market, whether it’s a heavy-duty tractor/trailer rig, or a Smart Fortwo.
In other words, if you use a vehicle to conduct business, you’ll need to seek commercial auto insurance quotes to be certain you’re covered in the event of an accident while you’re working. Discover the best coverage for your specific needs using CoverHound today.