Do you use your personal vehicle for business use? If so, you could have a gap in coverage should you have an accident in the course of your employment. Whether or not you have personal auto insurance gap coverage may depend on what kind of car you are driving, does the car belong to you or someone else, and what type of business you’re in.
What does a typical personal auto policy exclude?
A personal auto policy seems to exclude coverage for any vehicle used for business except farming or ranching. However, a very broad exception to this exclusion allows coverage for the business use of a vehicle provided it is a private passenger auto, pickup, van, or a trailer used with one of these vehicles. But be very careful – some personal auto policies are more restrictive towards pickups and vans, including a gross vehicle weight (GVW) limitation or a clause that restricts coverage to owned pickups or vans only.
Why can’t I add my box truck to my personal auto policy?
Commercial vehicles such as box trucks, tractor trailers, and shuttle buses may be purchased personally, but they don’t fit the description of a personal auto. You may need to purchase a Commercial Auto Policy.
Does my son have coverage when he is delivering pizzas?
Your son might not have coverage. Some personal auto policies exclude coverage if you use your vehicle for the pickup or delivery of food, newspapers, mail, auto parts or other goods for a fee.
What happens if I become an Uber driver?
Your personal auto policy excludes all coverage – liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist, medical payments and physical damage if your vehicle is used as a public or livery conveyance like a taxi cab, limo, or shuttle service including Uber and Lyft car services. Most likely you’ll need a commercial auto policy and possibly a commercial driver’s license.
Do you drive a company car?
If so, you could have a potential gap in coverage. The typical personal auto policy will exclude coverage for a vehicle that is regularly available to you but is not specifically listed on your policy. If you do have a company car as a benefit of your employment, check to see if your employer’s auto policy provides coverage for you. If not, your agent will need to extend coverage from your personal auto policy. Extending coverage from your policy is easy to do and usually inexpensive.
Is there anything that is not excluded on my personal auto policy?
Some examples might be:
- A salesperson that drives to various customer and prospect locations.
- A building contractor who picks up supplies and delivers them to his job sites.
- A home health or social worker who drives to clients homes.
- An employee using their own vehicle to pick up the mail or take a deposit to the bank.
Is there a difference between acceptable risks – vs. – exclusions?
The use of your vehicle may not be acceptable to your insurance company even though the use is not specifically excluded. The company may charge additional premium for certain “business use” or refuse to insure or cancel your policy if the use presents too much risk. A commercial auto policy may be the best solution for your situation.
Does my vehicle have to be titled in my personal name?
Check with your insurance agent if you are thinking of titling your vehicle to an LLC, corporation, or other entity. You may need to purchase a commercial auto policy.
Need to determine the type of insurance coverage you need? All personal auto policies are NOT alike.
Our insurance professionals can give you specific recommendations for coverage based on your individual needs and help you eliminate potential gaps in your insurance coverage. Contact us today!
Vicki Brossman has been with Kemner Iott Benz for over 18 years where she specializes in asset protection and risk management for our personal lines customers. Vicki has been involved in farming her entire life being raised on a farm in the Marcellus area. For the last 42 years, Vicki and her husband have been farming in the Vandalia/Cassopolis area.
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