Commercial Use of a Private Vehicle

There are millions and millions of vehicles being used in the United States at any given moment, and according to the U.S Census Bureau, at least one-fourth of those are used for work purposes. You may not think about it, but even those who have non-driving based jobs may use their personal vehicle for running errands, making deliveries and visiting customers.

Because of this, it is important that you understand what type of auto insurance you need. A personal automotive policy (PAP) may or may not cover you when you use your vehicle for work. Consider the following before you risk your financial wellbeing by driving your personal car for work.

In most cases, what type of insurance you need depends on circumstances. Spend some time working with your insurance agent and discuss some of the following points;

  • What type of car are you driving?
  • Who owns the car?
  • Does your place of business carry any type of insurance that may protect you?
  • What type of business are you in?
  • How often do you drive the car for business?

Your independent agent will go over the possibilities for a personal automotive policy with you. Many policies may seem to exclude coverage for vehicles used in the course of business. However, there are also tricky wordings that may actually mean you would be covered. Generally the following three types of vehicles are NOT covered under a PAP and would require separate commercial coverage:

  • Commercial Vehicles – This includes tractor trailers, box trucks, shuttle busses and other commercial-type vehicles.
  • Vehicles Furnished for Regular Use – This is better known as a company car. Generally if you are furnished one of these vehicles it will require a specific addition to your policy. If this is the case, make certain the company has you covered before you drive it.
  • Vehicles that ARE the Business – This would include things such as taxis, limos and shuttles.

One specific area where you should proceed with caution is if you use a private vehicle to make regular deliveries. Those who deliver pizzas, newspapers or work as couriers will want to speak with an agent about what coverage is necessary. Some policies may cover these things; however, others will outright exclude coverage in this situation. A knowledgeable insurance agent can help you better understand the insurance requirements for your particular situation.

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