3 Things A Small Business Owner Needs To Know About Commercial Auto Insurance
If you currently have a small business, and you are using your personal vehicle for this business, there are a few things you need to be aware of. This is true whether you're working out of your home or you have a storefront. The following are three of the most important things you should understand.
Your personal auto insurance policy will not cover you
If you're working out of your home, a storefront, or perhaps your garage, and you are using your car or truck for your business, then you need a commercial auto insurance policy. If you get into an accident while using your car for business, there is a good chance that a claims adjuster will deny your claim. Any hint of business use will likely lead to a claim being denied. Auto insurance companies are aware that many people have side hustles, or they're using their personal vehicles for full-time businesses. They will deny a claim in a heartbeat if they find any evidence of this.
Your general liability policy may not be enough
Typically, when someone else drives a car, your policy will cover the car, except for a driver who lives with you. But with a commercial insurance policy, if you were to allow someone else to drive your car, during work hours, and they were to get into an accident, a claims adjuster will likely discover that this person is working for you, and your claim will be denied. However, you don't need to add another driver to your commercial insurance policy. To cover your vehicle when someone else drives it, you need hired and non-owned auto liability coverage. This type of coverage is only for the concessional errand that you require.
You may also need loading and unloading insurance
This is the third aspect of commercial auto insurance that you need to be aware of. It may or may not apply to your business, but it is important to understand. The general liability portion of your coverage is not likely to cover loading anything into or out of your vehicle. And this doesn't have to be large, heavy loads of product using a pickup truck. This could be the few boxes from an SUV. In addition, these loads may be brought to or from your vehicle at a distance. For example, moving a load from your vehicle, in a parking lot, into a building and up several floors to an office. Accidents can happen, so you need this type of coverage.
To summarize, if you're operating a business, even out of your home, your auto insurance policy will not cover your car while you're conducting business, so you need a general liability policy. In addition, you should consider hired and non-owned coverage, and coverage for loading and unloading your vehicle.