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Does your auto insurance policy cover the personal vehicle you use for work in the event of an accident?

| October 15, 2013 | Reply

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Have you ever wondered whether your auto insurance policy will cover the personal vehicle you use for work in the event of an accident? Some policies include exclusions for certain types of use like delivering pizzas and flowers, landscaping, snow plowing and livery services. Bel Air News & Views sponsor Chip Schilling of Northern Chesapeake Insurance Services explains what you need to do to make sure your vehicle is properly insured. For more information, call Chip at 410-420-3080 or chip@ncins.net. Like Northern Chesapeake Insurance Services on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NCINS to find Chip’s regular postings about insurance issues and tips.

Does your personal auto insurance policy cover you while driving your vehicle for work purposes?

The answer is… it depends.

It depends on how you use the vehicle and with which company the vehicle is insured. Generally speaking, a personal automobile insurance policy provides coverage for your individually owned vehicles driven for regular, day-to-day personal purposes. In a “personal” auto policy, there are often several exclusions of coverage for certain types of vehicle use. Some examples of these exclusions include: delivery services (pizza, flower, etc.), public livery (transporting people for a fee), landscaping and/or snow plowing, and more. Before you or your child take that pizza delivery job, please contact your insurance agent first! More than likely, there will be no insurance coverage in the event of an accident or loss that occurs while using the vehicle in that type of business or service.

What if you are self-employed and use your personal vehicle in your business? Beyond the exclusions listed above, personal auto insurance policies typically exclude coverage for any “employee” use of a vehicle. Therefore, if you are self-employed and any employees drive your personal vehicle for the job, there may not be coverage for an accident.   Another possible concern for the self-employed is the titling of a business vehicle.  Any vehicle listed on a personal auto policy must be registered under an individual’s personal name, not a business name. If the vehicle that is used for business is titled in a business name, you cannot insure it on your personal auto policy. If either of these situations describe your business arrangement (employees that drive or vehicle titled in the business name) you need to look into obtaining a commercial/business automobile insurance policy.

Commercial/business automobile insurance is ordinarily more expensive than personal automobile insurance. Consequently, many people are concerned about the cost ramifications of disclosing to their insurance agent that their vehicle is used in business. However, considering the expanded coverage accompanied by the increased cost, it is well worth the consultation with your agent.  And who knows — depending on the insurance company, your personal automobile insurance may be just fine for you.

Regardless of which type of policy fits your need, it is always important to discuss options with your agent so that you are aware of any possible gaps in coverage. If you don’t have a trusted insurance agent, please feel free to contact us. Northern Chesapeake Insurance is a locally owned, independent insurance agent. We represent several quality insurance carriers- this allows us to shop for the best fit in terms of cost and coverage for your specific needs. Call us at 410-420-3080 or email us at info@ncins.net.

This post was sponsored by Northern Chesapeake Insurance Services.


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