Protect Your Business With Commercial Auto Insurance

commercial auto insuranceIf you’re in an accident, the last thing you want to hear is, “I’m sorry, this isn’t covered under your personal auto policy.” That’s the risk you take if you don’t purchase a commercial auto policy for any vehicles you or your employees use in your business.

 

Because a business has an increased liability in comparison to an individual, insurance companies exclude most business-related activity from personal auto policies. Commercial auto policies protect your business from financial losses resulting from an accident. They often include a broader range of coverages, such as physical damage (comprehensive and collision coverage), medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, loss of use/rental reimbursement coverage, and emergency roadside assistance. They can be tailored to suit your needs—and they don’t always cost more than a personal auto policy would.

 

If you’re not sure if you need a commercial auto policy, think about how and if your vehicles are used in your business. Certain types of activities and situations definitely call for a commercial auto policy, including the following:

  • The vehicle is used for pick up or delivery of goods, or for a taxi or other livery service (Uber or Lyft drivers have special needs—see “Coverage Options for Uber and Lyft Drivers.”
  • The vehicle is owned or registered to a partnership, business, corporation, or some other entity
  • The vehicle is driven on an occasional or regular basis by employees or non-listed drivers
  • The vehicle is leased or rented to someone else
  • The vehicle is outfitted with permanent equipment, such as a ladder rack or permanent tool box used in your business

 

Whether you’ve started a side hustle, you’re an owner/operator of a one-person business, or if you employ multiple people and have a fleet of vehicles, we can help you find a competitive commercial auto policy. Lakewood Financial has been serving the car insurance and commercial auto insurance needs of Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton/Sarasota, and surrounding communities since 2003. Please call us at 941-747-4600 to discuss your situation, and/or to get a free, no-obligation quote, or contact us online.

Have a Happy—and Safe—Holiday Season

holiday safety
The holidays are fast approaching, and with them the fun and excitement of getting together with family, traveling, exchanging gifts, and enjoying special holiday traditions. Unfortunately, the holiday season can also be one of increased risks, whether of fire, theft, or accident. Here are some holiday safety reminders from your friends at Lakewood Financial:

Decorate safely

Live trees are beautiful, but they can also be fire hazards. Water your tree regularly so it doesn’t dry out, and keep open flames away from it. Also be sure to check Christmas lights for frayed or exposed wires that could spark and start a fire.

Keep fragile, breakable ornaments securely fastened at the top of the tree and out of reach of children and pets.

If you decorate with candles, snuff them out before you go to bed or leave the house (and turn off flameless candles, too). Don’t leave them burning unattended where children or pets could burn themselves or knock them over.

Be cautious when decorating up high—use a ladder, not a chair or other piece of furniture. You’ll be less likely to fall.

Foil thieves

Don’t give thieves the gift of easy access to your holiday purchases. Help avoid a car break-in by keeping purchases locked in your trunk or where no one can see them. Lock car doors, keep windows rolled up, and park in a well-lighted area.

Be alert when shopping in a crowd. Don’t carry a lot of cash, keep your purse close to your body, or carry your wallet in a front pocket.

If no one is home and you’re expecting delivery of holiday packages, keep them safe from “porch pirates” by seeing if you can have packages delivered to you at work, or by arranging for the post office to hold them.

After the holidays, don’t advertise the new gifts in your home. Dispose of boxes and other packaging discreetly.

(And remember to add your expensive gifts to your home inventory!) 

If you plan to travel, don’t announce your plans beforehand on social media. Stop your mail and newspaper, and set up lights on timers so your home looks occupied. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things.

Drive carefully

Holiday traffic can be busier than usual, and drivers may also be more distracted. Be extra careful, and remind your teen driver to do the same. Remember to buckle seat belts, put aside cell phones, and pay full attention to the road. 

If you plan to drink alcohol at a holiday party, designate a driver beforehand, or use a taxi or car service to bring you safely home.

Remember your pets

Holidays can be stressful for pets. Provide a safe, quiet place for them to retreat if the holiday festivities become too much for them. Also avoid bringing toxic plants such as mistletoe, holly, lilies, or amaryllis into your home. Don’t give them “people food,” and make sure any holiday chocolate is kept out of reach—chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs.

With a little thought and preparation, you can avoid potential holiday mishaps. We hope you have a very happy—and safe—holiday season!

And remember, we are here to help with any of your insurance needs. Just give us a call at 941-747-4600.