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What is commercial auto insurance?

Commercial vehicle insurance is a policy that covers damage to the vehicle and liability for amounts, situations, and uses that a personal auto insurance policy doesn't cover. This type of business insurance covers a wide range of commercial cars, trucks, and other vehicles, including company cars and cars used for business purposes.

Commercial auto insurance coverage

Like your personal auto policy, commercial vehicle insurance includes coverages like liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments (or personal injury protection), and uninsured motorist. But there are also differences between a commercial auto insurance policy and a personal auto insurance policy. These differences may include who is eligible, what is covered, what isn't covered, what is excluded, and what the limits are.

Bodily injury liability coverage

If you cause an accident and someone gets hurt or dies, your insurance will pay for it and, in most cases, help you defend yourself in court.

Property damage liability coverage

Gives you protection if your car damages someone else's property by accident and in most cases gives you a legal defense.

Combined single limit (CSL)

Most liability policies have different limits for claims for bodily injury and claims for damage to property. A combined single limits policy covers the same amount of money per covered event, no matter how many people are hurt or how much damage is done to property.

Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury coverage

Insurance usually pays for the medical bills of the driver and other people in your car who were hurt in a covered accident, no matter who was at fault.

Uninsured motorist coverage

Pays for your injuries and, in some cases, some property damage caused by a driver who didn't have insurance or who hit you and took off. In some cases, coverage for drivers who don't have enough insurance is also included. This is for when the driver who caused the accident doesn't have enough insurance.

Comprehensive physical damage coverage

Pays for damage to your car caused by things like theft, vandalism, flood, fire, and other things that are covered.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car if it hits something else or is hit by something else.

Types of vehicles covered by commercial auto insurance

  • Passenger carrying vehicles such as cars, vans, and trucks which usually carry one or more people. Some examples of these vehicles are taxis, cabs, school buses, auto-rickshaws, and private buses.
  • Goods carrying vehicles such as cars, trucks, and vans that are used to move goods from one place to another. Some of the most common types of these vehicles are trucks, tempos, lorries, and so on.
  • Other types of commercial vehicles that are often used for and by businesses. Some of these might be vehicles that are used for mining, farming, or building, among other things.

Commercial auto insurance cost

Your business cars, trucks, and vans need to be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. A commercial auto insurance policy should be in place for both large fleets and small businesses.

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By car type

The type of vehicle you need to insure is also a big part of how much your commercial car insurance will cost. Every vehicle is different, and each one has a main job to do. That will change how much it costs to insure because the type of accidents that are most likely to happen will depend on what you need the car for.

Car Type Min. Annual Cost Commerical Auto Insurance Max. Annual Cost Commercial Auto Insurance
Cab $5,120 $10,500
Semi $8,070 $12,585
Car $650 $2,460
Limo $4,550 $6,050
Cargo/Delivery Van $3,386 $6,229

By state

Each state has its own minimum requirements for commercial car insurance. The minimum price will go up if the minimum coverage goes up. Here are the prices you can expect to pay in a few states.

State Min. Annual Cost Commerical Auto Insurance Max. Annual Cost Commercial Auto Insurance
California $590 $1,850
Florida $2,586 $3,396
Maine $545 $1,390
Michigan $5,320 $8,754
Minnesota $994 $2,286
Montana $675 $2,566
Oregon $1,196 $2,238
Texas $910 $2,602

How much Commercial Coverage do I need?

Abbreviations used in the table

  • BI - Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
  • PD - Property Damage Liability
  • CSL - Combined Single Limit
  • UM - Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • PIP – Personal Injury Protection
State Passengers (Seating capacity) Property / Non hazardous Hazardous
Alabama 1 to 5: $26,000/$51,000/$11,000
5 to 20: $51,000/$200,001/$31,000
21+: $100,000/$500,000/$50,000
Alaska BI $501,000; PD $201,000 BI $501,000; PD $201,000
Arizona 1-8: $251,000 CSL; UM $251,000
9-15: $751,000 CSL; UM $301,000
16+: $5 million CSL; UM $301,000
21,000-26,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
More than 26,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
$5 million CSL or $1 million CSL, depending on the substance.
Arkansas 1-12: $51,000/$81,000/$31,000
13-20: $51,000/$121,000/$31,000
21-30: $51,000/$161,000/$31,000
31+: $51,000/$201,000/$31,000
$51,000/$101,000/$31,000 $1 million to $5 million, depending on specifics
California 1-7: $751,000
8-15: $1,501,000
16+: $5 million
Household goods carriers: 250/500/100 or $601,000 CSL
Vehicles less than 10,000 lbs: $301,000 liability
Vehicles 10,000 lbs or more: $751,000 single limit
Intrastate motor carriers petroleum/waste petroleum products:
$500/1,000/200 (other than property being transported) or $1.2 million CSL
Colorado 1-8: $501,000 single limit
9-15: $1.6 million single limit
16-32: $3.1 million single limit
33+: $5.1 million single limit
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs: $301,000
Vehicles of 10,000 lbs or more: $751,000
Connecticut 1-7: $50,100/$101,000/$11,000 or $101,000 single limit
8-12: $51,000/$151,000/$11,000 or $151,000 single limit
13-20: $51,000/$201,000/$11,000 or $200,000 single limit
21-30: $51,000/$251,000/$11,000 or $251,000 single limit
31+: $51,000/$301,000/$11,000 or $300,000 single limitLivery services:1-14 passengers: $1,501,000 single limit
15+ passengers: $5.1 million single limit
Intrastate property carriers:
Delaware Taxicabs: BI $26,000; PD $11,000
Limousines and charter buses: BI $11,000; PD $51,000
School buses: BI/PD $1 million CSL; PIP 100/300
District of Columbia Taxicabs: $26,000/$51,000/$11,000
Seating capacity 15 or less: $1.5 million
Unrestricted seating capacity: $5,001,000 CSL
Florida Nonpublic sector buses: $301,000 CSL or 100/300/50 26,000 to under 35,000 lbs: $51,000 single limit
35,000 to under 44,000 lbs: $101,000 single limit
44,000 lbs or more: $301,000 single limit
Georgia 1-12: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
13+: $101,000/$$50,0001,000/$51,000
Intrastate motor carriers: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
Hawaii 1-7: $101,000/$201,000/$51,000
8 – 25: $101,000/$501,000/$51,000
26+: $101,000/$1,001,000/$51,000
Idaho 1-24: $1,501,000 single limit
25+: $5.1 million single limit
$751,000 $1 million or $5 million, depending on specifics
Illinois 10-13: BI $1,001,000; PD $101,000
14-20: BI $1,501,000; PD $101,000
21-30: BI $2,001,000; PD $101,000
31+: BI $3 million; PD $101,000
Other for-hire passenger vehicles, including medical transport: BI $250,000; PD $50,000 or $300,000 CSL
Property carriers: $751,000 CSL
Tow truck operations: $500,000 CSL
$1 million to $5 million, depending on specifics
Indiana 1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5 million single limit
Contract carriers that transport railroad employees: $5 million
Also check federal regulations
Vehicles 10,001 lbs or greater: $751,000 CSL
Vehicles GVWR of 11,000 lbs or less: $301,000 CSL
$1 million or $5 million CSL, depending on substance
Iowa 1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5 million single limit
Taxicabs 1-6 passengers and not operating on a regular route or between specified points: $1,001,000
Also check federal regulations
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs: $300,000 single limit
Vehicles 10,001 lbs or greater: $750,000 CSL
$1 million or $5 million CSL, depending on substance
Kansas $101,000/$301,000/$50,000 $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
Kentucky 1-7: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
8+: $101,000/$601,000/$51,000
Motor vehicles with a GVW of: 18,000 lbs or less: $100,000/$300,000/50
Over 18,000 lbs: $100,000/600/50
Motor carriers of petroleum or petroleum products in amounts less than 10,000 lbs: $100,000/300/50
Motor carriers of hazardous materials other than above: $1 million CSL
Louisiana Passenger buses: 250/500/10
Trucks and passenger carrying vehicles: 250/500/10
Tow trucks or wreckers: $501,000 CSL
Maine School buses
1-30: $501,000 single limit
31+: $1.1 million single limit
Intrastate vehicles
1-3: $126,000 single limit or 50/100/25
4-7: $301,000 single limit
8-15: $751,000 single limit
16-30: $1,501,000 single limit
31+: $2.1 million single limit
Interstate vehicles
1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5.1 million single limit
Property carriers: $351,000 single limit
Rental vehicles: 50/100/25
Rental trucks with a registered gross weight of 26,000 lbs or less, rented or leased for fewer than 30 days: $125,000 single limit or 50/100/25
Maryland 1-7: $51,000/$101,000/$21,000 or $121,000 CSL
8-15: $76,000/$201,000/$50,000 or $251,000 CSL
16+: $76,000/$401,000/$101,000 or $501,000 CSLTaxicabs: $26,000/$51,000/$11,000
$1 million to $5 million, depending on specifics
Massachusetts 1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5 million single limit
1-32 passengers, sightseeing or charter bus: $1,501,000 single limit
Michigan 1-9: $1.1 million CSL
10-15: $2.1 million CSL
10-15: $1.6 million CSL
16+: $5.1 million CSL, personal and property protection also requiredLimousines: $1.1 million CSLTaxicabs: $300,000 CSL
Non-hazardous: $500,000 CSL
Non-hazardous: 100/300/50
Freight vehicles of 10,100 lbs or more: $1 million CSL
Freight vehicles under 10,100 lbs, hazardous: $1 million CSL
Minnesota Passenger carriers (must be at least equal to 49 C.F.R. 387.33):
1-15: $1,501,000 (including limousines)
16+: $5.1 million
Limousines: Minimum aggregate $1.6 million BI; $101,000 PD
Non-hazardous: 100/300/50 $1.1 million or $5.1 million CSL, depending on substance (as prescribed by 49 CFR 387.7)
Mississippi Limits shall be no less than requirements of 49 CFR 387:
1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5.1 million single limit
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs : $300,000 single limit
Vehicles 10,001 lbs or greater: $750,000 CSL
Hazardous Substances: $1 million or $5 million CSL, depending on substance
Missouri Interstate passenger carriers:
1-15: $1,501,000
16+: $5.1 million
Intrastate passenger carriers:
1-12: 100/300/50
13+: 100/500/50
Interstate property carriers: Gross weight of 10,000 or more: $750,000
Intrastate property carriers: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
Tow trucks: $501,000 CSL (MO ST 304.154)
Hazardous substance carriers: $1 million or $5 million depending on substance 7 MO ADC 265-10.030; 10 MO ADC 25-6.263(4)(A)
Montana Passenger carriers:
1-7: BI & PD $101,000
8-15: BI & PD $501,000
16-26: BI & PD $751,000
Under 10,000 lbs: BI & PD $101,000
Over 10,000 lbs: BI & PD $501,000
Tow trucks
Class A: $301,000
Class B: $501,000
Class C: $751,000
Nebraska 1-15 passengers: $1,501,000 CSL
16+ passengers: $5.1 million CSLTaxis and limos: $500,000 CSLBus K1 – 1-15 $1.6 million
Bus K2 – 16+ $5.1 million
Carriers of household goods (group 2): $751,000
Nevada 1-7: $1,501,000 CSL
8-15: $1,501,000 CSL
16+: $5.1 million CSLHorse-drawn vehicles/taxicabs: 250/500/50
$501,000 or $751,000 CSL, depending on specifics
GVW 10,001 to 26,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
GVW 26,001 to 81,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
Hazardous: 300/2,500/1,000 or 300/2,500/5,000, depending on specifics
New Hampshire 1-7: $101,000/$701,000/$101,000
8-12: $101,000/$1501,000/$101,000
13-20: $101,000/$5001,000/$101,000
21-30: $101,000/$5001,000/$101,000
30+: $101,000/$5001,000/$101,000
New Jersey 1-12: BI $26,000/$101,000; PD 10/25
13-20: BI $26,000/$201,000; PD 10/25
21-30: BI $26,000/$401,000; PD 10/25
31+: BI $26,000/$601,000; PD 10/25Autocabs (limousines or livery service): $1,501,000 CSLJitneys (shared taxis that are for hire): 10/100/5
Tow trucks:
GVW up to 27,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
GVW 27,000+: $1,001,000 CSL
Must maintain garage keepers liability ins. of at least $101,000 and on-hook coverage of at least $100,000 (auth. ins. only)
New Mexico 1-6: $1 million CSL
7-15: $1.5 million CSL
16 or more: $5 million CSL
$750,000 $5 million
New York 1-12: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
12+: $101,000/$501,000/$51,000
$101,000/$301,000/$51,000 $1 million or $5 million single limit
North Carolina 1-15: $1,501,000 CSL
16+: $5.1 million CSLSchool buses: $1.1 million to $1,501,000 CSL, depending on specifics Taxis: 100/300/50
Household goods GVW 26,000 lbs or less: 100/300/50 (or a higher amount as may be required by federal law)
Household goods GVW over 26,000 lbs: $750,000 CSL
North Dakota 1-15: $1,501,000 CSL
16+: $5 million CSLAlso check federal regulations
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs : $301,000 single limit
Vehicles 10,001 lbs or greater: $751,000
$1 million or $5 million CSL, depending on substance
Ohio 1-15: $1,501,000
16+: $5,001,000Intrastate for-hire carriers, no passengers: $751,000 Specified federal regulations apply
$1 million or $5 million, depending on specifics
Oklahoma Intrastate:
1-6: $101,000 CSL
7-9: $751,000 CSL
10-15: $1,001,000 CSL
16+: $5,001,000 CSL
Under 10,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
Over 10,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
Carriers of restricted property, including sand, rock, gravel, etc.: $351,000 CSL
$1 million to $5 million CSL, depending on the specifics (as specified in 49 CFR 387.9)
Oregon $751,000 CSL $751,000 CSL all types
Pennsylvania 1-15: $15,100/$31,000/$6,000 CSL
16-28: $1 million CSL
29+: $5 million CSL
$301,000 CSL
Rhode Island Public motor vehicles (excludes charter carriers): $1,501,000 BI; $101,000 PD
Common and contract: 250/500/25
Taxicabs and public livery: $301,000 CSL or 250/500/100 split limit
Jitneys: $301,000 CSL or equivalent split limit
Common and contract: 250/500/25
Public motor vehicles: 1.5 million BI; 101,000 PD
Federal requirements apply when not in conflict with Rhode Island laws
South Carolina Interstate passenger carriers seating capacity:
1-15: $1,501,000
16+: $5,001,000
Intrastate seating capacity:
1-7: 25/50/25
8-15: 25/100/25
16+: 25/300/25
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs: $501,000 single limit
Vehicles over 11,000 lbs or more GVW: $751,000 single limit
Property: $301,000
$1 million or $5 million depending on substance
South Dakota Passenger carriers:
1-15: $1,501,000 single limit
16+: $5 million single limit
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs : $301,000 single limit
Vehicles over 10,000 lbs : $751,000 combined single limit
$1 million or $5 million combined single limit, depending on substance
Tennessee 1-15: $1,501,000 CSL
16+: $5 million CSL
$750,000 CSL
Under 11,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
$1 million to $5 million CSL, depending on specifics.
Texas 16-26: $501,000 single limit
27+: $5.1 million single limit
26,000 lbs or less: $301,000 single limit
Over 26,000 lbs: $501,000 single limit
$1 million or $5 million single limit, depending on specifics.
Utah 1-15: $1,501,000 CSL
16+: $5 million CSL
Vehicles under 11,000 lbs : $301,000 single limit. $1 million or $5 million CSL, depending on substance
Vermont 1-7: $51,000/$101,000/$51,000
8-12: $51,000/$251,000/$51,000
13-20: $51,000/$301,000/$51,000
21-30: $51,000/$351,000/$51,000
31+: $51,000/$301,000/$51,000School bus seating capacity:1-9: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
10+: $301,000/$50,1000/$51,000
Virginia 1-6: $351,000
7-15: $1,501,000
16+: $5 millionTaxicabs: $126,000
Intrastate property carriers: $751,000
Vehicles with GVW in excess of 7,500 but less than 10,000: $300,000
Vehicles with GVW over 10,000 pounds: $751,000
Household goods carriers: $751,000
Washington 1-15: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
16+: $101,000/$501,000/$51,000Auto transportation companies1-16: $1,501,000 CSL
17+: $5 million CSLPrivate nonprofit bus transportation providers1-15: $501,000 CSL
16+: $1 million CSL
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
Vehicles over 10,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
Under 10,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
Garbage and refuse collection: $1 million or $5.1 million, depending on substance.
West Virginia 1-5: $101,000/$201,000/$26,000
6-12: $201,000/$50,1000/$26,000
13-20: $201,000/$601,000/$50,000
21-30: $201,000/$75,1000/$50,000
31+: $201,000/$901,000/$75,000
$201,000/$601,000/$101,000 Freight GVWR 10,000 lbs or more: $1 million or $5 million depending on specifics
Wisconsin 1-7: $101,000/$301,000/$51,000
8-12: $101,000/$351,000/$51,000
13-20: $101,000/$401,000/$51,000
21-30: $101,000/$451,000/$51,000
31+: $101,000/$501,000/$51,000
Vehicles under 10,000 lbs: $301,000 CSL
Vehicles over 10,000 lbs: $751,000 CSL
$5,001,000 or $1,001,000, depending on type of substance
Wyoming BI/PD $751,000 CSL or greater as required by federal law

Factors affecting the cost of commercial auto insurance

Some basic things that affect how much your commercial car insurance costs are:


Not all businesses have the same amount of risk. A business that does excavation and has multiple commercial vehicles has a lot more exposure than a business that does accounting and sometimes uses a car to run errands.


A commercial vehicle driven in a big city might cost more to insure than one driven in the country. Also, areas with more claims than average tend to have higher prices.

Type of vehicles

Your premium will depend on how old, big, and how often you use your car. For example, an older delivery van that is only used occasionally by a bakery will usually cost less to insure than a new cargo van that is used more often by a company that transports expensive goods. And the choice of coverage matters. If you choose to have physical damage coverage, your premium will be based on how much your car is worth.

Driving history

Most insurance companies run a motor vehicle report on all drivers who have access to your listed commercial vehicles. Your premium will go up if you have a lot of accidents or traffic violations. It's common for your carrier to look at your driving record from the last three years.

Coverage type

The cost of your business car insurance will go up as you add more coverage. For example, a policy with minimum liability limits of $1 million will have a much higher premium than a policy with liability limits of $1 million.

You could also use these factors to help you make business decisions that are good for your budget, like negotiating business contracts, hiring employees, and buying vehicles.

Best commercial car insurance companies

Commercial car insurance companies
Acuity A Mutual Insurance Co. Clear Blue Insurance
Auto-Owners Insurance Erie Insurance
Axis Insurance RLI Insurance
Federated Insurance The Hanover Insurance Group
The Hartford CNA
Nationwide Zurich
Sentry Liberty Mutual
AmTrust Financial Great American Insurance
Old Republic Insurance Allstate
Travelers American Transit Insurance Co.
Canal Insurance Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
EMC Insurance Chubb
The Cincinnati Insurance Cos. State Farm

Why is commercial auto insurance important?

This insurance policy can cover any car owned by a business and driven by an employee or the owner. This insurance policy is necessary to protect your financial interests by paying for all of your debts if something goes wrong.

The third-party liability cover of a commercial vehicle insurance plan pays for damage to property, accidental injury or death of a third party, and damage to their body. A commercial vehicle insurance plan will pay out in full if the insured vehicle is stolen or destroyed in an accident.

Who needs commercial auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is a must-have for small business owners who use their car for business purposes, such as driving to work sites or to meet clients, delivering goods, or hauling tools or supplies, or who have employees drive the car.

Commercial auto insurance is available in almost every state for cars owned by a business. Only in New Hampshire and Virginia do you not have to have car insurance. But drivers are also responsible for any damage they cause. Even though commercial auto coverage is not required, it is still a good choice. If you don't have it, you might end up spending a lot of money on hospital bills and other costs.

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Does commercial auto insurance cover your employees’ personal car and your own?

Small businesses often have trouble telling the difference between a personal vehicle and a business vehicle. Small business owners and employees will sometimes use their own cars for business. For example, they might use their own car to get to job sites, move equipment, or deliver goods.

Almost always, business use is not covered by personal auto insurance. That means you won't be covered if you get in an accident on your way to work (with the exception of your commute). Personal cars are not covered by business auto insurance. If you or your employees often use their own cars for work, you might want to get insurance that covers both.

Hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance protects against liability for cars that an employer uses but does not own. That encompasses:

  • Employee-owned cars
  • Vehicles that a corporation rent
  • Vehicles leased by a corporation

Commercial auto insurance vs personal car insurance

Not sure if you need personal auto insurance or commercial auto insurance? Here are some things to think about when figuring out what kind of insurance you need.

Who owns the car and drives it?

If your car is owned by a business, you'll probably need a commercial auto insurance policy. If you own your own business and are the only employee, you may only need a personal auto insurance policy. What kind of policy you need also depends on how often and for what you use your car.

How is the vehicle used?

If you use your car for business, you'll probably need a commercial auto insurance policy. If you own your own business and only go to one or two job sites a day, or if you only use your car to get to and from work, you may only need a personal auto insurance policy.

What is the type and weight of the vehicle?

If you drive a heavy vehicle, like a dump truck, tow truck, semi-truck, or semi-truck with a commercial trailer, you might need a commercial auto insurance policy. When they get into an accident, heavy-duty vehicles can cause more damage and sometimes need special insurance coverage.

What are the required business liability limits?

If your business vehicle needs higher liability limits, you probably need a commercial auto insurance policy. Most commercial auto insurance policies have higher limits than individual policies.

What happens if you avoid commercial auto insurance?

Most personal auto insurance won't cover accidents that happen at work. Personal auto insurance is required in almost every state, but your policy might not cover damage caused by accidents that happen when you or your employees use your personal vehicles for work. Because of this, most states require small business owners with company-owned cars to get commercial auto insurance.

The most important thing about commercial vehicle insurance is that it protects you from any costs you might have to pay and covers you for damage or loss caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, etc., or by man-made disasters like theft, robbery, fire, or any act of violence or terrorism.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with

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