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October 21, 2020

Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover Storm Damage

If you own a commercial vehicle and use it for business purposes, then you will need to have commercial auto insurance on it. Of course, this will be an important investment for the business, which is why you always need to protect the vehicle (or even a whole fleet of them) as best you can. Still, you can’t prevent every damage risk, and there are plenty of them out there. 


One damage risk that all drivers face, and that is often hard to predict, is weather damage. After all, you never really know how severe inclement weather is going to be until it happens. When it does, it could easily tear up your company vehicle, which probably sits outside a lot of the time. 


However, if you have the appropriate commercial auto insurance benefits, then you’ll be able to receive compensation for this damage. Here’s how it works. 


Physical Damage Insurance for Weather Damage 


Most commercial auto insurance policies offer physical damage coverage, which means that they will pay to repair your vehicle following unexpected damage. There are usually two physical damage insurance components in most policies: Collision & Comprehensive coverage.  


Comprehensive coverage pays for physical damage to your vehicle when that damage is not related to a collision. Generally, it covers an extensive number of loss scenarios, and the damage done by weather often has coverage. Just some of the claims the policy might cover include:


  • Damage from falling objects, such as if a utility pole falls on your car during a storm. 

  • Fire damage, such as if lightning strikes the vehicle and ignites a blaze. 

  • Hail damage. 

  • Damage from flooding to both the car’s interior and exterior. 

  • Windstorm damage, such as if a limb comes out of a tree and hits the car. 


However, there are limitations on coverage, too. For example, your policy won’t cover normal wear and tear caused by weather. Neither will it cover rain damage if you leave the window down during a storm or allow a slow leak to spill water into the car over a long period. 


Should the commercial vehicle be totaled by the damage, your insurer will likely compensate you based on the car’s actual cash value at the time of the accident. This is the vehicle’s used value, rather than its like-new value. Additionally, deductibles will apply to your coverage, so any weather damage that falls below your deductible cost will not have coverage. 


One important thing to remember is that comprehensive coverage is optional for most commercial drivers, though sometimes you have to carry it if you have financed your vehicle(s). Therefore, your agent won’t automatically include it in your quote unless you tell them you need it. Don’t hesitate to ask for coverage, however, as the cost of this benefit is far more affordable than the cost of uninsured weather damage. 

Tags: auto, business, car, commercial, coverage, damage, insurance, storm

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