My employees drive their own car for work, do I really need separate Commercial Auto Coverage for their Cars?

Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have?

The answer to this question is yes and no.  Like most things in life it depends.  If your employees drive their personal cars for business operations, you do not necessarily need a full commercial auto insurance policy.  There is another policy that will cover just this situation.  The coverage is called Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.  This coverage is specifically for businesses who have employees who either use their personal car for work or drive a rented car at some time for business purposes.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability covers bodily injury and property damage caused by a vehicle you hire (including rented or borrowed vehicles) or caused by non-owned vehicles of your employees. In most cases it does not pay for the physical damage to the vehicle itself; that’s covered by the owner’s insurance. Although this option is available on some policies.

Whether you realize it or not, as a business owner, you at least occasionally find yourself in situations where this coverage is needed. Errands and rental situations always come up. Just a few examples of when there is a need for this coverage include:  When you send an employee to pick up lunch, renting a car while on a business trip, to impress a client, you send a limo to pick them up, or an employee runs to pick up office supplies at the local Sam’s club.

So the answer to the original question: Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have? It may cover damage to their vehicle, but in most cases it will not cover any liability to the other person who’s may be injured or whose car has been damaged. The reason for this is because the only reason the employee is driving at the time of the wreck is because of the directions of the business.  Had the person not been working there is no reason to believe the person would have been behind the wheel at that place in time. For that reason, the liability is the responsibility of the business and not the individual employee. This is why it is important to have the right form of commercial auto insurance.

For this reason, it is crucial to secure hired and non-owned auto coverage for your business.  Not just a commercial auto insurance policy.  It can be added to most business owner’s policies for a minimal amount. No matter what the amount of the premium, it will most certainly be less than the damage to your business if an accident happens and you are not covered.  Uncovered losses involving a vehicle are the types of losses that some businesses are not able to survive.

 

 

5 Myths about Commercial Auto Insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance can be a tricky coverage for many business owners. Many think it is just like their personal auto coverage and many think it is an all encompassing policy, meaning if something happens to my business car I am covered. Right? That would be wrong and here are five examples of incorrect assumptions, many business owners make regarding their commercial auto Policy.

All of My Employees Are Covered While Driving Company Vehicles

It depends on the policy and the carrier. Some policies require you to name drivers. In some cases companies will exclude some of your employees because of their driving record. Most all carriers have an option to include all drivers. Like in all situations, it is best to consult with your agent about the limits and exclusions to your policy. That way you can be crystal clear what is and is not covered under your particular commercial auto insurance policy.

I Can Cancel My Policy During the Off Season to Save Money

You can choose to cancel your policy in the off-season if your business is seasonal. It can save your business some money on premium if you are able to store your vehicle indoors and in a secure place. If you are planning on doing this you need to be aware that the vehicles are still at risk. If there is damaged you are liable for the repairs. This damage can come from via natural causes like wind and hail damage. Damage can also come from things like vandalism or theft. If you experience any of these problems while not covered you or your business will be responsible for damages.

The Entire Premium is Due Up Front

Most companies allow commercial policies to be paid in monthly installments. Most refer to these policies as Pay as You Go.  If you have the ability to pay the full years amount up-front, many carriers do offer a discount for doing so.

Bundling is Always Cheaper

In many cases this is the case, but it is always a good idea to shop your policy around just in case. Some carriers specialize in certain coverages and some carriers change their appetite for certain industries and types of coverages. This means that if your carriers has recently taken a loss in one industry or in one type of coverage, they may not be as excited about quoting your policy. This may cause them to offer a higher rate for this one policy or for your industry. For this reason, it is important to partner with an agency who has partnerships with many carriers and can quote your policies as a bundle and individually.

If you are self employed you don’t need Commercial Auto Insurance

I drive a company car, so I don’t need my own auto insurance.
The car may be covered, but you may not. Even if your employer has coverage that provides some liability protection, it may not be enough, or you could be sued personally in a bad accident. Also if you borrow or rent a car, you should have your own protection. Being listed on another auto policy isn’t enough to protect you because business use is different. You need to purchase special protection.