Mayfield Village, Ohio-base Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. is advising agencies that focus on personal lines business to remain cognizant of the commercial lines needs of customers.

Progressive offers agencies the following tips to attract commercial lines business:

1. Offer a policy review. Your current customers might not realize they need different insurance coverage when they begin using their vehicles for business.

2. Start with a few commercial policies a year. You don’t have to commit to launching a commercial division in your agency. Simply start by focusing on the opportunities you have when current customers’ insurance needs change, or market to businesses that are getting a boost from stimulus funds, like these:

    • Start-up contractors and tradesmen (e.g., pavers, painters) established specifically to ride the wave of upcoming highway and housing projects

    • Existing companies that are expanding to bid on the same infrastructure jobs

    • Customers that are going green with new vehicles and building improvements that could affect their premiums

3. Reinforce your relationship. Provide expert recommendations that offer your customers the best protection. Commercial policies generally provide higher liability limits, which most commercial enterprises need. Vehicles that require state or federal filings may also require higher limits. In some cases, a commercial auto policy can actually be less expensive while providing those higher levels of protection for your customers.
 
Other advantages of a commercial auto policy include specialized coverages, including Hired Auto and Employer’s Non-Ownership Liability, Non-Trucking Liability, and Drive Other Car coverage. These coverages aren’t available with a personal auto policy.
 
Consider writing a commercial policy when a customer’s vehicle is:

        •    Used for business    •    Owned by a corporation or partnership
        •    Driven by employees
        •    Used to haul tools or other equipment weighing more than 500 pounds
        •    Used to deliver things like pizza, newspapers, or kitchen wares
        •    Used in the courier business
        •    Heavy enough to require state or federal filings

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