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Commercial vs. Personal Auto Insurance

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

It’s common when running a business to use your personal car for work purposes. However, you may require commercial auto insurance to ensure you are properly protected. Unfortunately, the difference between commercial and personal auto insurance can be tricky to understand. Many people are driving their vehicles thinking that they are properly covered, when in reality they are not. Here is a quick guide to the differences between commercial and personal auto insurance. 

Differences Between Commercial and Personal Auto Insurance

Whenever you get behind the wheel, you are putting yourself at risk. The risks are physical, but also financial if you are liable for damages or injuries. However, if you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes, there may be different risks involved than if you are using it for personal use. 

Personal coverage is geared towards providing protection for personal use. Commercial coverage may need to be more comprehensive since using your vehicle for work could involve different risks. It could depend on the industry you are in, such as construction, or the type of work you do. In general, a personal coverage plan will not cover activities undertaken while you are working, and a commercial policy will not cover you for personal activities. 

Commercial Automobile Coverage

There are thousands of deaths on roads in the United States every year. You never know when disaster might strike, and you want to make sure that your business is protected against any claims that may be made against you. You might drive between work sites, or have a delivery business of some kind, but no matter what, you need commercial auto insurance you can trust

Your commercial auto coverage should be custom designed so that you are protected against the specific risks of your business. Because of this, there are many possible policy options. It’s important to look them over carefully to make sure that you are properly protected. Not all insurance providers provide the same options either, so find one that is flexible. Be as diligent as possible. You never want to find out that you are not covered for something when it comes time that you actually need it. Must haves when it comes to commercial auto coverage include: 

  • Personal injury for anyone in the vehicle, which includes yourself, your employees, or any passengers that you might have. Coverage should include lost wages and medical costs. 
  • Coverage against injuries or damages when loading or unloading the vehicle. This is especially important if deliveries are a part of your business, or if you need to transport tools or other objects that might cause injury or damage. 
  • Coverage to replace the car if it is damaged and needs repairs. When you are operating a vehicle for your business, any downtime will affect your business’s bottom line. With this coverage, you can continue to operate until your vehicle is ready to go. 

Personal Auto Insurance

Personal auto insurance is meant for the day-to-day activities for which you might use your vehicle. This includes going to work and school, shopping, personal tips, and even a small amount of business use if necessary. Someone may have a job that requires traveling to different work sites but that doesn’t carry extra risks, and still be covered under a personal plan. This could include real estate agents who head from home to home on a regular basis. At the very least, your personal auto coverage should include: 

  • Liability coverage that protects you financially if you are found liable for an accident causing injury or death. 
  • Accident benefits coverage will help if you are injured and require medical and rehabilitation costs. 
  • Uninsured automobile accident coverage will make sure that if you are injured or a loved one is killed by someone without insurance you will still be protected. 

Things To Consider

It can be hard to figure out which coverage you need to make sure you are properly protected. It might be that you require both on a single vehicle to be sure. However, there are some factors you should consider to help make it clear for you. For one, the actual owner of the vehicle will make a difference. If the vehicle is owned by the business, then you probably require commercial auto insurance. If you only use your vehicle to go to and from work, then you should only require personal insurance. 

The nature of the work you do with the vehicle, and the type of vehicle will also play a part. If you have a pickup truck that transports equipment and other items related to working, then you will require commercial auto insurance. 

Don’t assume that if you use your personal vehicle for work that you will be covered with your personal policy. Remember these guidelines and check with your insurance provider to make sure you are properly protected when on the job.

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