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In the ever-evolving landscape of business, navigating the road to success often involves a fleet of vehicles integral to operations. Securing these assets and ensuring the safety of drivers is a paramount concern for businesses. Commercial auto insurance serves as the key to this security, providing financial protection against the uncertainties of the road. In this exploration, we unveil the leading commercial auto insurance providers, each playing a crucial role in safeguarding businesses on the fast lane.

How does commercial auto insurance work?

As the name suggests, commercial auto insurance is a type of car policy designed for vehicles driven for business purposes. It works similarly to personal auto insurance in terms of protection but covers mainly company cars and commercial trucks and vans.

But due to the heightened risks associated with business-use vehicles, commercial car insurance premiums generally cost higher compared to the rates for personal auto policies. Prices for commercial auto insurance coverage are also influenced by the number of vehicles insured, coverage limits and deductibles, the business’s location, and even the drivers’ travel radius.

What does commercial auto insurance cover?

Auto insurance for business vehicles has the same coverage types as those in a personal car policy. These include:

  • Bodily injury liability: This covers injuries the driver causes another person and legal fees if they are sued over the accident.
  • Property damage liability: This pays out if the business’s vehicle damages another person’s property and legal defence costs incurred in a lawsuit. 
  • Combined single limit (CSL) liability: This provides one overall limit for bodily injury and property damage claims against the business rather than having two separate limits.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This covers medical expenses for the driver and the passengers, resulting from accidents covered by the policy. PIP is mandatory in no-fault insurance states.
  • Collision insurance: This pays for damage to the commercial vehicle in the event it hits or gets hit by another car or object.
  • Comprehensive insurance: This provides coverage for damages to the commercial vehicle, resulting from fire, flood, theft, vandalism, and covered perils.
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: This pays out for injuries the driver and their passengers suffer if they are hit by an uninsured driver.
  • Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: This covers medical expenses incurred when the driver or passengers of a commercial vehicle are hit by someone whose policy is not enough to cover all the costs.

Some states allow commercial vehicle drivers to purchase UM and UIM coverage separately. They can also find business-specific coverage, including those for lost business income.

What are the top commercial auto insurers in the US?

The country’s 25 largest commercial auto insurance providers controlled more than two-thirds (67%) of the market by the end of 2021, according to the NAIC’s latest annual property/casualty market share report.

Collectively, the top 10 insurers accounted for almost half, or $24.4 billion, of the companies’ direct premiums written. Here’s the list of the 10 leading commercial auto insurance firms in the US, according to the report.

1. Progressive

Headquarters: Mayfield Village, Ohio

Direct written premiums: $8.67 billion

Market share: 16.2%

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies (Progressive) is one of the most popular insurance brands in the US. The insurance juggernaut is among the largest auto insurers and the number one motorcycle and specialty RV insurer in the country. Progressive writes more than 13 million auto policies per year, including those for commercial vehicles, selling insurance directly to the consumer or via independent agents. Progressive’s agency business, meanwhile, sells through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies across the US.

2. Travelers

Headquarters: New York, New York

Direct written premiums: $2.97 billion

Market share: 5.6%

Travelers provides personal, business, and specialty insurance in North America and Europe through 13,500 independent agents and brokers. The insurer also employs an estimated 30,000 staff. Travelers’ commercial automobile policies cover liability, physical damage, and UM and UIM coverage for both small and large fleets.

3. Liberty Mutual

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Direct written premiums: $2.05 billion

Market share: 3.8%

Liberty Mutual Holdings Company Inc. is the sixth-largest P&C insurer globally and fourth in the US based on NAIC’s 2021 data. The mutual insurer delivers personal insurance products through its Liberty Mutual and Safeco brands and works with independent agents, brokers, and benefits consultants across the country to provide business insurance solutions to clients. Its commercial auto insurance policy comes with risk control tools.

4. Old Republic

Headquarters: Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Direct written premiums: $2.02 billion

Market share: 3.8%

The Old Republic General Insurance Group is the Old Republic International Corporation’s largest business segment, specializing in the P&C market. Its 15 specialty companies operate with the same core values. Several of these companies offer commercial auto coverage, including BITCO Insurance Companies, Great West Casualty Company, Old Republic Contractors Insurance Group, Old Republic Risk Management, Old Republic Specialty Insurance Underwriters, and PMA Companies.

5. Nationwide

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

Direct written premiums: $1.68 billion

Market share: 3.1%

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is a Fortune 100 firm that provides a full range of insurance and financial services products across the US. Its insurance portfolio includes car, motorcycle, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial policies. The company also offers annuities, mutual funds, retirement, plans and specialty health services. The insurer’s commercial auto insurance plans cover liability and medical payments, and offer collision, comprehensive, and UM/UIM protection.

6. Berkshire Hathaway

Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska

Direct written premiums: $1.68 billion

Market share: 3.1%

Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate consisting of several insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, manufacturing, and retailing businesses. The company’s insurance business is considered one of its “four giants,” which account for a significant chunk of the firm’s value. Berkshire Hathaway owns 100% of its insurance operations, with a massive float value of $147 billion. Its commercial insurance policies are offered through subsidiaries, including Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance Company, BHHC Special Risks Insurance Company, Continental Divide Insurance Company, Cypress Insurance Company, Oak River Insurance Company, and Redwood Fire and Casualty Insurance Company.

7. Zurich

Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois (US office)

Direct written premiums: $1.61 billion

Market share: 3.0%

Zurich Insurance Group is a multi-line insurer that serves customers in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s commercial insurance specialty lines include automotive, corporate accident and business travel, credit risk, cybersecurity and privacy, D&O liability, management or professional liability, marine, and political risk. For its automotive solutions, Zurich offers both conventional and non-conventional motor insurance, with the latter including deductible programs and captive fronting and reinsurance.

8. Auto-Owners

Headquarters: Lansing, Michigan

Direct written premiums: $1.68 billion

Market share: 2.6%

Auto-Owners Insurance Group is a Fortune 500 mutual insurance business consisting of numerous companies, including Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, Concord Group Insurance Companies, and Capital Insurance Group. The firm insures several types of vehicles, including motorcycles, motorhomes, RVs, boats, trailers, and ATVs. It offers collision, comprehensive, and UM/UIM coverages to commercial vehicle owners in more than 20 states.

In conclusion, as businesses accelerate on the fast lane of success, the security of their fleet is paramount. Explore the offerings of the leading commercial auto insurance providers to ensure a smooth and secure journey, where every mile is met with the confidence that comes from robust and tailored insurance coverage.