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Insurance Mysteries Decoded: What are Commercial Auto Symbols?

Ever noticed how insurance rates get all the attention? This company can save you this and that company can save you that… and this company over here can do it in 15 minutes or less! Hey, we get it. Looking for the lowest rate for your business auto insurance can be very tempting. But when you’re shopping for insurance protection for your business, there’s another piece of the puzzle to consider.

What you actually get for that low rate. The bang for your buck.

Blonde woman holding a pink umbrella getting into a red car on a rainy day.

Imagine this: It’s a warm sunny day and you see that umbrellas are on sale. And you realize that you may need one sometime in the future, so it’s a good idea to pick one up.

Buying the lowest rate insurance without considering the coverage is kind of like buying the smallest and cheapest umbrella.

Before you make a decision based solely on a price tag, we’re going to give you the information you need to make the best purchase for your budget. Because the sun may be shining today, but eventually…

It’s gonna rain.

Insurance rates are important, but so is your coverage. So here’s one thing you need to know when you’re shopping for commercial auto insurance:

It’s all about the symbol.

What Commercial Auto Symbols Mean for Your Business

A commercial auto symbol is essentially a coverage code signifying which of your autos is covered, and who is protected when operating your business vehicles. Within the construction industry there 4 main symbols you’ll want to know.

Let’s decode them.

Decoding Symbol 1

Symbol 1 is going to provide you the broadest coverage for your commercial vehicles because symbol 1 is designated “any auto”; any auto you own, rent, hire, lease, and any non-owned autos. This coverage even includes your employees’ vehicles if they drive for business purposes.

Picture stepping outside in the middle of a huge rainstorm. With torrential rainfall pouring down from the sky, what kind of umbrella would you grab to cover you? When you have symbol 1 coverage, it’s like having a golf umbrella on hand to keep you shielded and unexposed during the storm.

Decoding Symbol 7

Symbol 7 is very common to commercial auto coverage, but this is a very limiting coverage. Think cocktail umbrella vs golf umbrella. Symbol 7 coverage may keep your drink covered while you’re caught in the rainstorm -- but that’s about all.

With symbol 7 coverage, only those vehicles listed on the policy are covered in the event of an accident. If you need coverage for newly acquired vehicles, they need to be reported to the carrier within 30 days to be included. (Your policy may have different reporting deadlines, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier.) Do you ever have to rent a vehicle? Or do you have employees drive their own vehicles to run errands or make deliveries? Don’t expect symbol 7 to cover it.

Decoding Symbol 8

Symbol 8 refers to “hired auto” coverage. This includes any autos hired, rented, leased, or borrowed for business purposes. It does not cover autos borrowed or leased from your employees or members of your household.

Symbol 8 coverage can combined with symbol 7 to increase the amount of protection you have against auto accidents and incidents. Now we’re trading in our cocktail umbrella for a standard rain umbrella. You’ve got more protection against light rains and maybe even the occasional heavy storm, as well.

Decoding Symbol 9

This final symbol shields you from the risks that symbols 7 and 8 can’t cover. Symbol 9 coverage refers to the “non-owned” autos which are used for your business but aren’t owned, leased, or rented by you. This could be an employee’s vehicle which they drive when making deliveries or to transport tools to a construction site. It could also mean a vehicle that you borrow. Symbol 8 is like having another standard rain umbrella available when the storm hits, which you can use to keep someone else protected from the storm.

Which Symbol is Better?

Obviously, symbol 1 auto coverage provides the broadest protection for your business vehicles. Who wouldn’t want a golf umbrella on hand when a storm hits? Unfortunately, this wide-reaching coverage isn’t always available. But that doesn’t mean you have to be left exposed to the winds and rains, either.

You can bundle commercial auto coverage coverages to better protect you from the storms ahead.

Combining symbols 7, 8, and 9 is your best bet for the ultimate protection for your business vehicles if symbol 1 coverage isn’t available.

When you bundle these coverages you get protection for the business vehicles listed on your policy, hired autos which you rent or lease, and non-owned autos used for your business purposes. It’s like having a rain umbrella for you, one for your employees, and one for anyone who lends your business a car, too.

Additional Commercial Auto Coverage Options

Many carriers offer expanded coverage packages to further protect your business vehicles. One of the reasons we choose Amtrust commercial auto coverage for our contractors and business clients is the available coverage options they have available for your business. You can add roadside assistance, coverage against theft, and even glass breakage to your policy. Hey, it’s like having a pair of rainboots and a coat available for you, too!

Hint: It’s always a good idea to perform a review of your daily exposures and your current coverage. If you notice any leaks in your protection or areas where you are left exposed, let’s get you better coverage. Whether that means bundling some different coverage options together or adding an additional option, we can make sure that you’re not left out in the rain.

Rates matter. We get it. We want you to save on commercial auto insurance. But we also want you to have the best coverage available, too. Understanding commercial auto symbols can help you determine what the right insurance policy is for you, your business, and your budget; rain or shine.

Smiling Female Contractor



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