Understanding the Differences Between Commercial and Personal Auto Insurance
Do you have a vehicle that you use for work in some capacity? You’ll want to make sure you have it ensured properly. A personal auto insurance policy might not be enough. In fact, work use could invalidate a personal plan. You can’t expect a business owner policy (BOP) to bridge the gap either.
While a BOP provides coverage for a number of areas of your business, it doesn’t extend into auto protection.
You might need a commercial auto insurance policy. Commercial auto coverage is very similar to personal auto coverage. It offers protection for bodily injury and property damage, and it can be customized to offer comprehensive damage protection, theft/vandalization protection, etc.
A commercial insurance policy, however, tends to have higher claim limits, while also being able to handle more complex legal issues. So, which do you need? Let’s take a look.
Personal Auto Insurance
All but two states require you to have some sort of car insurance. For the majority of people, those insurance policies will fall under personal plans, as they only use their vehicle for personal purposes. Commuting to and from work doesn’t typically qualify as work use, even if that’s the main purpose for the vehicle. Going to on-site visits and out-of-office client meetings can.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need commercial auto insurance, however.
If your vehicle is generally used for personal reasons, but you occasionally use it in business situations, you may be able to modify the plan to cover some business use. Many modern auto policies have created add-ons for situations such as using your car for Lyft/Uber. This can potentially be cheaper than a commercial policy.
If you use your vehicle primarily for business purposes, a personal auto policy will likely not cover your needs. In fact, it could void your policy. A personal insurance policy also might not have a high enough limit to cover your needs, especially if you’re hauling expensive equipment inside.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance provides stronger coverage overall, with some additional options typically not found in personal policies. Commercial vehicles themselves are often more expensive and in many cases, they’re heavier. They cause more damage when an accident takes place, which means you need higher coverage limits.
Additionally, you might have costly gear, equipment, and/or products inside, which also need to be covered.
People who typically need commercial car insurance include:
- Work Trucks
- Tow Trucks
- HVAC Vans
- Dump Trucks
- Delivery Vehicles
- Taxis & Limo Drivers
- Food Trucks
It’s worth mentioning that food truck insurance is a little special, as it typically combines auto insurance and business property coverage.
A vehicle doesn’t have to be owned under your business to qualify for commercial car insurance. In fact, it doesn’t have to be owned at all. Rented and leased vehicles can operate under commercial policies.
Figuring Out What Type of Insurance You Need
When it comes to selecting insurance, it’s about getting the level of protection you need at a price you can afford. In cases where a car’s use is split between personal and professional use, things can be a little tricky. Sometimes, a modified personal policy can get you proper coverage at a lower rate. Other times, commercial car insurance is the way to go. You need to make sure you’re covered when driving for personal use.
This can often be done through a “Drive Other Car Coverage” endorsement.
An insurance agent can also help you figure navigate the various options available and help create a plan that gets you what you need for the most affordable price. At Link-Hellmuth, we’re experts in both car and business insurance in Springfield, Ohio and beyond. This makes us the perfect partner to help you out.
Contact us today!