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Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Explore your options for commercial vehicle insurance.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Are you a business owner in Australia looking for reliable commercial vehicle insurance? Protecting your business assets is essential, and commercial vehicle insurance can provides coverage specifically tailored for vehicles used for business purposes.

Whether you have a fleet of trucks, vans or another commercial vehicle, comparing quotes online can give you access to a range of competitive offers from leading Australian insurers, helping you find a suitable insurance policy in minutes.  

What is commercial vehicle insurance?

Commercial motor vehicle insurance is a specialised form of insurance designed to provide coverage for vehicles used exclusively for business purposes. It’s essential for businesses that rely on vehicles to transport goods, equipment or passengers as part of their operations.

Commercial vehicle insurance offers protection against various risks and liabilities that may arise during the course of business-related vehicle usage, with specific coverage depending on the policy you choose. Like standard car insurance, this type of cover generally comes in three different levels:

  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Third party fire and theft (TPFT) insurance
  • Third party property damage (TPPD) insurance

It’s important to note that commercial vehicle insurance differs from personal car insurance as it takes into account the unique needs and risks associated with commercial usage.

What does commercial vehicle insurance cover?

Commercial vehicle insurance provides coverage for a wide range of risks and liabilities that can occur during business-related vehicle operations. As mentioned, the specific coverage options may vary depending on the insurance provider and policy, but common areas of coverage offered by comprehensive insurance include:

  • Liability coverage: this can protect businesses from legal and financial obligations arising from bodily injury or property damage caused by a business-owned vehicle (which isn’t already covered by CTP insurance where applicable). This can be capped at a set amount, such as $50 million.
  • Damage to your vehicle: the cost of repairs or replacement for a business-owned vehicle can also be included in your policy coverage. this can be for a range of reasons, including damage due to weather (such as hail or flood), fire, theft or other malicious incidents.
  • Third-party property damage: on top of damage to your vehicle, you can also insure yourself against damage caused to another individual or business’ property.
  • New vehicle replacement: this aspect of coverage can replace your old vehicle for a new one if it’s written off, usually if it occurs within the first two years of purchase. Other conditions may apply to this, so it’s important to check with your insurer if you’re unsure.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: you can be covered when a business-owned vehicle is involved in an accident caused by another driver without adequate insurance coverage. It ensures that businesses are not left to bear the costs of repairs in claimable circumstances.
  • Cover for personal effects, accessories and tools of trade: on top of the vehicle itself, you can be covered for certain personal items, accessories or tools which are damaged or stolen in a claimable event (up to a set limit as determined by your insurer).

You may also be able to add optional extras such as no-excess windscreen replacement and rental vehicle coverage while your business’ vehicle is being repaired or replaced.

By having commercial vehicle insurance, businesses can mitigate financial risks associated with accidents, damage, or liability claims that may arise during their operations.

What types of vehicles can be covered under commercial vehicle insurance?

Commercial motor vehicle insurance is designed to provide coverage for a wide range of vehicles used for business purposes. While the specific vehicles that can be covered may vary depending on the insurance provider and policy, common types of vehicles that can be insured under commercial vehicle insurance include:

  • Vans and trucks: this can include delivery vans, cargo vans, box trucks and other commercial vehicles used for transporting goods or materials. These may be capped at a certain carrying capacity, such as 5 tonnes.
  • Buses and coaches: commercial vehicle insurance may cover buses and coaches used for public transportation, charter services or other passenger transport purposes.
  • Construction vehicles: specialised vehicles used in construction, such as dump trucks, forklifts, tractors or excavators, can be included under your policy.
  • Trailers and semi-trailers: coverage can extend to trailers and semi-trailers used for transporting goods or materials (up to a certain weight limit), as well as assets such as a trailer-mounted generator or woodchipper.
  • Standard passenger vehicles: if used 100% for business purposes, you can insure your ute, sedan or four-wheel drive as part of your policy too.

It's important to note that different insurance providers may have specific guidelines and eligibility criteria for the types of vehicles they cover under commercial vehicle insurance. Consulting with insurance companies can help businesses identify the most suitable coverage options for their specific vehicle needs.

How is commercial vehicle insurance different from business car insurance?

Commercial vehicle insurance and business car insurance are both designed to provide coverage for vehicles used for business purposes. However, there are some key differences between the two which are important to know:

  • Vehicle usage: business car insurance typically covers vehicles that are used for business-related activities but may also be utilised for personal purposes. Commercial vehicle insurance, on the other hand, is specifically for vehicles that are used solely for business purposes.
  • Vehicle types: business car insurance generally covers passenger vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, or company cars. While commercial vehicle insurance can also cover these vehicles, it’s broader in scope, including vans, trucks, buses and specialised vehicles used for business operations.
  • Coverage: in addition to the available vehicle types, there are differences in the covered events on offer. Most notably, many business car insurance policies don’t cover deliveries and couriers, while commercial vehicles can.
  • Premiums: the cost of premiums for commercial vehicle insurance may be higher compared to business car insurance due to the increased risks associated with commercial vehicle usage, especially for vehicles used for transportation, delivery or commercial purposes.

Businesses should carefully assess their vehicle usage and needs to determine whether they require business car insurance or commercial vehicle insurance.

Can I add multiple vehicles to a commercial vehicle insurance policy?

Yes – many insurance providers offer flexible options for businesses that have multiple vehicles or a fleet which is for commercial purposes. Adding multiple vehicles to a commercial vehicle insurance policy can provide convenience and potentially save businesses time and effort compared to insuring each vehicle individually.

When considering adding multiple vehicles to a commercial vehicle insurance policy, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Insurance provider guidelines: different insurance providers may have specific guidelines and restrictions regarding the number of vehicles that can be included in a single policy. It is important to check with the insurance provider to understand their policies and any limitations.
  • Types of vehicles: as mentioned, commercial vehicle insurance can cover a variety of vehicles, including vans, trucks, buses and more. It’s essential to confirm with your insurer that all the vehicles you want to add to the policy are eligible for coverage.
  • Coverage needs: consider the specific coverage needs of each vehicle and ensure that the policy provides adequate coverage for all vehicles. Always compare claim limits, as well as optional extras, to see whether you can secure the protection you’re looking for.
  • Premium considerations: adding multiple vehicles to a policy can affect the overall premium. The insurance provider will likely consider factors such as the value, type, and usage of each vehicle, as well as other factors. It’s worth reviewing the premium details and any potential discounts or savings which may apply.

What factors can affect the premium for commercial vehicle insurance?

The premium for your commercial vehicle insurance policy can vary based on several factors that insurers take into consideration when determining the cost of coverage. Understanding these factors can help businesses make informed decisions and manage their insurance costs effectively. Some of these variables include:

  • Vehicle type and usage: the type of vehicle and its intended use are important factors. Larger or specialised vehicles may have higher premiums due to the increased risks associated with their operation and greater cost to repair or replace them.
  • Claims history: the claims history of the insured business or individual can impact the premium. A history of past claims or accidents may result in higher premiums, as it suggests a higher level of risk.
  • Driver details: the driving records of the individuals who will be operating the commercial vehicles play a significant role. Insurers assess factors such as driving experience, age, past traffic violations, and accidents when determining premiums.
  • Coverage options: the level of coverage selected for the policy can affect the premium. Comprehensive coverage, which can provide protection against a wide range of risks, typically comes with a higher premium compared to a more basic third party property damage policy.
  • Location: the location where the vehicles will be operated can impact the premium. Areas with higher rates of accidents or theft may result in higher premiums.
  • Excesses: the excess chosen by the policyholder can affect the premium. Higher excesses generally lead to lower premiums, but it's important to choose one that is manageable for your business in the event of a claim.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

Frequently asked questions about commercial vehicle insurance

Can I get commercial vehicle insurance for leased vehicles?

You may be able to obtain commercial insurance for leased vehicles. Leasing companies generally offer insurance as part of their packages, but you may decide to take out additional cover to increase your overall protection. It is important to notify your insurance provider about the leased vehicle and ensure that the policy meets the requirements set by the leasing company.

Can I transfer my commercial vehicle insurance to a new vehicle?

You may be able to transfer your insurance policy to a new vehicle. However, whether you can do so will depend on your insurer and the terms of your policy, such as whether your new vehicle qualifies for coverage. It’s important to contact your provider as soon as possible to inform them about the vehicle change and discuss the necessary steps to transfer the insurance coverage. If this isn’t possible, you may have to look for a new policy.

Are there any discounts available for commercial vehicle insurance?

Many insurance providers offer discounts on commercial vehicle insurance. The availability and eligibility for discounts may vary among insurers, but common discounts include multi-vehicle discounts, fleet discounts, safe driving discounts and loyalty discounts. To determine the specific offers available to you, you should compare insurance policies.

Do I need commercial vehicle insurance as a rideshare driver?

If you’re working as a rideshare driver, personal car insurance is unlikely to offer coverage while you’re working. Most rideshare companies require drivers to have at least third party property damage cover as an extension of their business or commercial car insurance policy. Check the terms and conditions of your rideshare company if you’re unsure what the insurance requirements are.

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Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.

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