Figuring out how Georgia commercial auto insurance works can be tricky enough when you plan to drive in-state. But, as many business owners know, the laws of doing business change as soon as you cross state lines, including laws about commercial auto insurance coverage.
This article walks you through everything you need to know about how commercial auto insurance in Georgia works when you drive outside the Peach State.
How Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cover Me Outside of Georgia?
Your Georgia commercial auto insurance policy will cover your vehicle when you drive out of state for business purposes. However, depending on the type of vehicle you have and what you want to carry across state lines, you may need to adjust the limits of your commercial auto insurance in Georgia.
If you use a personal vehicle for business, then your commercial auto insurance in Georgia will cover you when you drive out of state. Note that one of the biggest differences between commercial auto insurance and personal auto insurance is that personal car insurance won’t cover you while you’re driving for work, even if it’s your own car.
If you have a commercial vehicle in Georgia, then you’ll need commercial plates, as well as commercial insurance. You’ll also need to register in the International Registration Plan (IRP), which will allow your commercial vehicle to freely travel between all US states, the District of Columbia, and Canada — that is, if you have the minimum required commercial insurance.
Since state-to-state commerce is regulated by the federal government, your commercial auto insurance in Georgia will need to match the federal minimum required insurance limits.
How Much Commercial Auto Insurance Do I Need For Interstate Driving?
The minimum commercial auto insurance you need in Georgia depends on the type of vehicle you’re using for business.
If you have commercial auto insurance in Georgia for a personal vehicle that you use for work, then you’ll need to satisfy the state-required minimum insurance limits, which are:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability (per person)
- $50,000 bodily injury liability (per accident)
- $25,000 property damage liability
Your insurance policy’s bodily injury liability will cover the medical costs of the other driver if you’re at fault for an accident, while property damage liability covers the repair and replacement costs of other cars and property when you’re at fault.
If your vehicle needs commercial plates and you plan to drive interstate, the federal government sets the minimum insurance limits for interstate commercial auto insurance, which are:
|Small Freight (under 10,000 lbs)||$300,000|
|Non-hazardous cargo (over 10,000 lbs)||$750,000|
|Oil and hazardous cargo mentioned here (over 10,000 lbs)||$1,000,000|
|Oil and hazardous cargo not mentioned above (over 10,000 lbs)||$5,000,000|
|Seating capacity of 15 passengers or less (including the driver)||$1,500,000|
|Seating capacity of over 15 passengers (including the driver)||$5,000,000|
If you’re using your commercial vehicle to tow a trailer across state lines, note that these weight limits apply to the total weight, which includes the vehicle, trailer, and the payload.
Can a Customer Require Me to Carry More Commercial Auto Insurance?
Yes, a customer can contractually require you to carry additional commercial auto insurance that exceeds the state or federal minimum. Larger companies usually have established minimum insurance limits that they require for all vendors and service providers.
If you’re signing a standard service contract provided by your customer, be sure to carefully read the section on insurance requirements. If you need more insurance than you already have, talk to your Georgia commercial auto insurance company about adjusting your limits while you’re working with the customer.
What Happens if I Don’t Have Commercial Auto Insurance Out of State?
Driving out of state without the right commercial auto insurance policy is like driving without insurance at all. If your commercial auto insurance in Georgia covers a personal vehicle, then getting caught driving without insurance can lead to fines, jail time, and a suspended license.
If you’re caught driving without commercial insurance for a commercial vehicle, then your business will be subject to stiffer federal penalties. The exact penalty amount is up to the administrator assigned to your case, and they’ll take into account the circumstances of the violation, the business’s history of previous insurance violations, and the consequences of the violation.
This is just another reason why you need commercial auto insurance when you’re driving a vehicle for business.
Stay in Business with Commercial Auto Insurance in Georgia
Having the right commercial auto insurance will keep your business in compliance with federal and state requirements, but it’ll also open the door to a lot more business. When you have commercial auto insurance, customers know that you’re running a responsible business and looking out for their best interests. At Velox Insurance, we work with business owners all over the state to find affordable insurance. All it takes is a few minutes for an online quote for commercial auto insurance in Georgia, or you can give us a call at 770-293-0623 or visit one of our offices in person.