If your business owns or uses vehicles for work, you likely have commercial auto insurance policy to protect against damage and financial loss. A lot of the coverages, and the way these claims are filed, are similar to personal auto insurance.
The main difference is that the driver of a commercial vehicle isn’t always the policyholder. If an employee gets into a wreck while driving a company’s commercial vehicle, they will have to speak with their employer, who will then help to file a commercial auto insurance claim.
The employer must be able to offer as much information about the accident as possible. The when, where, how and who is critical. Employees involved in an accident should keep record of the accident and report immediately to their employer after receiving medical attention as necessary. This will help the claims process.
Have the Vehicle Inspected
Any time a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, it should be inspected by a professional. This can give you an idea of the damages and costs of repairs. If the cost of repairs amount to less than the cost of your commercial auto insurance deductible, you may not want to bother filing an auto insurance claim. On the other hand, if the cost of repairs are significantly higher than the price of your deductible, you may want to file a claim for compensation.
Review Policy and Contact Insurance Agency
Double check the coverage available on your commercial auto insurance policy to make sure that the damages (and injuries) are covered. Commercial auto insurance policies often have the same exclusions and limitations as personal auto insurance policies. Once the vehicle has been appraised and the policy reviewed, contact your insurance agent. Provide them with as much information as possible, including pictures and a police report, if filed. This will help determine fault of the accident (if your business operates within a fault state) and how much compensation your business is entitled to.
File a Timely Claim
There is usually a time period in which you must file a claim to be entitled to compensation. It varies per policy, but it is generally within 30 days after the accident occurs when you must file a claim. Waiting too long can cause your claim to be denied and compensation for damages or injuries withheld.
Always make sure medical attention for all parties is sought immediately.