Thursday, October 27, 2016

How To Save on Commercial Auto Insurance In the Off-Season

Ever mowed a lawn in January? Or plowed a snowy driveway on a hot July day? If you own and operate a seasonal business, chances are you aren't working in the off-season, so the insurance you carry should be different than what you carry in-season.

Leading commercial auto insurers like Progressive offer seasonal insurance for businesses like landscapers, snowplow drivers, ice cream truck owners, and more. These coverage's allow you to customize your commercial auto insurance based on when your business is running on all cylinders — and when it's not.

Progressive offers these tips for getting the most out of your policy in the off-season:

  • If your vehicle will be parked during the off-season, you may think you should cancel that vehicle's insurance during that time. But if you’d like to protect your vehicle and still save a little money, just switch your insurance to a Comprehensive-only policy. This will give you basic protection against incidents like vandalism, theft, falling tree branches and hail. 
         A Comprehensive-only policy also gives you the bonus of having continuous insurance           coverage. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a         new policy when in-season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see           proof of continuous coverage. 

  • If you plan to drive your work truck or other vehicles for personal use during the off-season, let your insurance carrier know. They can adjust your policy to reflect personal use, which can be less expensive while still providing coverage. 

Claims handling capability is the most important feature we sell our commercial customers. Progressive consistently proves superior at settling commercial claims quickly. Call (agency name) at (phone) for a free quote on your commercial vehicles today.

Using your Personal Vehicle for Business? (October 2008)

Not all auto insurance is the same. A personal auto insurance policy generally won’t cover damage to your car if you’re using it for business purposes.

Even if your personal policy has “business-use” coverage, you may find yourself at a loss when an accident happens, especially if your liability limits are not high enough to cover the damage. Make sure you’re protected.

Call your insurance company or independent agent and ask these questions:

· How do you define “commercial use?” Some insurers may simply define it as transporting goods for compensation or a fee. That could include services like:

  • pizza and newspaper delivery;
  • catering;
  • door-to-door consulting services;
  • landscaping or snowplowing services; or
  • day care/church van services.

Even real estate agents may qualify. Fall in to one of these categories? Consider a commercial vehicle policy.

Here are some questions to ask to determine if commercial auto insurance is right for you.

· What are my liability limits? In general, a commercial auto policy can offer higher liability limits. Larger vehicles, like delivery vans, can cause more damage than passenger cars.

· Does my personal policy cover me for issues specific to my business? For example, if you have a trailer that damages another vehicle while on a job, a personal liability policy may not cover the repairs. A commercial policy will.

· Do I have employees who drive my vehicles? In general, if other people drive your vehicles for work, you need a commercial auto policy.

You also a need commercial auto policy if your vehicle hauls tools or equipment weighing more than 500 pounds, makes deliveries, or requires filings for interstate for for-hire trucking businesses.

A local, independent insurance agent can help you better understand business needs and put together a package that meets your needs. Find an agent at

Want to learn more about the differences between personal and commercial auto insurance policies? Visit

Seven Tips from Progressive to keep Truckers safe and Protected during the Winter Season

A carpet of fresh snow can be heartwarming when viewed from indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. But for a trucker, that beautiful landscape can mean treacherous roadways. 

To prepare for brutal winter weather, here are a few tips from Bill Kampf, Progressive Commercial Auto general manager, to help protect against harm to you or your truck this season: 

1. Pull together a winter survival kit for yourself… – Make sure your truck is fully stocked with everything you might need so a stall-out or breakdown doesn’t leave you stranded. Key items to include: a shovel, battery booster cables, ice scraper/snow brush, flashlight with extra batteries, and a space blanket to help prevent heat loss from a person’s body. Additional items might include extra pairs of dry socks and gloves, energy bars or other non-perishable food, bottled water and spare fully-charged cell phone batteries. 

2. …AND your truck – Before the cold weather hits, equip your truck with new winter windshield wiper blades as well as winterized washer fluid and fuel. Also make sure that your tires, headlights, cooling system and battery are all in good shape. With all of these precautions, both you and your vehicle will be ready for any snow, hail, black ice or below freezing temperature that you might face out on the open road.

3. Slow down – Give yourself more time to react if something occurs in the road ahead. Compensate for poor traction by driving slower and making all changes slowly and gently.

4. Give yourself extra space in front and behind - To stay out of harm's way in a sudden emergency, increase the distance between you and other vehicles and avoid driving in packs. Normal following distances should be increased to 8-10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.

Look further ahead in traffic than normal to get a split-second extra to react safely. Awareness of other drivers can go a long way this time of year.

5. Keep an eye on the temperature – Be alert to potentially dangerous road conditions. Touch the front of your outside mirror to see if ice is forming. If it’s forming on your mirrors, it’s forming on the road too. Be especially cautious when crossing bridges and overpasses where ice often forms first.

6. Check your favorite station - Listen to the weather forecast before you leave town. If travel seems hazardous, postpone your run.

7. Be ready for the unexpected – No matter how cautious you are, you still need a safety net on the road. Specialized insurance coverage's and services designed specifically for truck owners and operators are offered by commercial insurers like Progressive.

Check with your insurance company to see what they offer. Make sure your policy has tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of you and your business, including:

o Cargo Coverage to protect against damage or loss due to theft, fire, collision and hitting or running over cargo. Progressive’s Cargo Coverage includes no co-insurance penalty, no exclusion of coverage if a vehicle is left unattended, and no reduction in coverage limits for items such as electronic equipment.

o Roadside Assistance that provides 24/7 towing, battery jump-starts, tire changes, emergency fuel delivery, locksmith service and on-scene labor.

o Rental Reimbursement to pay for a replacement vehicle following a covered claim.

Bottom line: make sure you and your vehicle are safe and covered, even during the coldest and most treacherous winter months.

Bill Kampf is commercial auto general manager for The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. Progressive, in business since 1937, is a market leader in commercial auto insurance. For more information on Progressive’s truck program or to find a local independent agent, please go to the all-new