Do you run a car hire business and need insurance coverage for your fleet of cars? If YES, here are the best insurance policies for car rental businesses.
If you are starting a car rental business, have it in mind that every decision you make is a multi-step process—when cars are involved, there are more costs, licenses, and space required to get everything set up for success. Unfortunately, your business insurance is no different.
Unlike some businesses that simply require liability insurance, your commercial car rental insurance needs will be a little more complicated. That is why before you begin to think about what kind of car rental business insurance you need, the first step you will want to take is to analyze your inventory.
- How many cars do you have?
- What kind of cars are they?
- How much are they worth?
- Do you only own standard cars
- Do you have other types of cars in your fleet?
Note that ticking all these questions will help you in your search, as the specifics of your car rental business will largely dictate what kind of insurance you need, how much it will cost, and the best providers for you to consider.
Generally, the car rental business insurance you will need can be broken up into two overarching categories — general business insurance and commercial fleet insurance. For the sake of this article, we will concentrate on just fleet insurance.
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What is Fleet Insurance?
Fleet insurance is for companies who own four or more commercial cars. It is an easy way to cover all the cars belonging to a business under one policy. It helps with organization and can also provide discounts. One of the primary benefits of fleet insurance is that it allows insurance companies to group and rate cars and potentially allows for discounts. Note that some fleets will have a particular endorsement that allows cars to be automatically covered.
There are restrictions and requirements in order for overage to apply, but this is very useful for businesses that have many cars that change frequently throughout the year. Otherwise, it is similar to a normal commercial car policy. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, you and your cars will be protected in the event of damage or destruction being caused by a covered event.
It will also cover damages associated with liability. Just like any other commercial car policy; there are different levels of insurance you can get with fleet coverage. The best coverage to have is third party liability, collision, and comprehensive.
Third party liability is required by law in order to have a car on the road, but it only protects the other party for both property damage and bodily image – there is no coverage for yourself or the car you own. But collision covers the owned car for damage caused by a collision.
However, this does NOT cover medical or legal fees. It will also not cover the car in cases of damage caused by anything other than a collision. But, Comprehensive, on the other hand, covers a long list of perils that can cause damage or destroy your car. It will also provide coverage for medical and legal fees.
7 Fleet Insurance Policies for a Car Rental Business
Coupled with your general liability policy, your commercial fleet insurance should include liability coverage that protects third parties from any bodily injury or property damage caused by your vehicles.
- Medical payments
Note that Medical payments coverage will cater for the medical bills and expenses of anyone injured in an accident while they were in one of your cars, regardless of who was at fault.
- Physical damage
This is expected to protect you in the case of loss or damage to the cars in your fleet specifically.
- Collision damage
This coverage is usually part of physical damage and particularly covers loss or damages to your cars when they are involved in a collision or rollover.
- Comprehensive coverage
Comprehensive coverage is more or less included as part of physical damage coverage. Comprehensive coverage takes care of any events that are not collisions or rollovers, such as theft, vandalism, fire, storms, etc.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Note that this one covers your cars and drivers if they are involved in an accident with another driver who has little or no insurance coverage. It also protects your business in the case of a hit-and-run, where you have no information on the other driver.
- Roadside assistance
When one of your cars breaks down, this coverage will cater for the cost of towing, repairs, or other works needed to get the vehicle running again.
Companies That Offer the Best Fleet Insurance in the United States
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- United Auto Insurance
3 Smart Ways to Reduce your Fleet Insurance Cost and Premium
There are ways to reduce the cost of your fleet insurance policy without giving up or reducing your coverage. Most times, these come in the form of discounts. For instance, if your drivers all have excellent driving records, you may be eligible for discounted rates.
Another way to save money is to raise your deductible amount. This means you will pay less in premiums, but will pay a higher deductible amount when you file a claim. Although increasing your deductible can make your commercial fleet insurance more affordable up front, always ensure your business can afford to pay the deductible at the time of loss.
You can also save on your commercial fleet insurance by combining policies. If you require various commercial insurance policies besides your fleet insurance, purchasing them through the same insurance provider can potentially reduce your premiums overall.
Things to Consider When Acquiring Fleet Insurance for Your Car Rental Business
Remember, your commercial fleet insurance is the policy that actually protects the core of your business—your cars and vehicles. Most businesses with company vehicles only need commercial auto insurance, which protects them, their employees, and the vehicle from damages or claims that occur as a result of the vehicle’s use.
However, your commercial fleet insurance will more or less have same coverage parameters. This type of car rental business insurance is designed to accommodate businesses that have two or more vehicles that they use as an integral part of their daily operations.
Commercial fleet vehicle insurance is largely a specialized policy and will require working with a company that provides this specific type of insurance. Have it in mind that the coverage will ultimately depend on the insurer, you will generally want to have some or all of the following included in your policy:
Fleet car insurance is perfect for a growing business where alterations can easily be made throughout the lifetime of the policy. But it is important to relay these changes to your provider to ensure your policy is up to date. Accidents happen, even to the best drivers.
However, since most accidents are the result of mechanical failures or driver inexperience and inattention, taking a few simple precautions can reduce your risk of liability in a commercial fleet collision and may even earn you discounts on your fleet insurance.