Does My Personal Auto Policy Cover My Vehicle if I Use it For My Business?

Say you’ve just started a lawn maintenance business. You drive your personal pickup truck to get to and from clients and pull a trailer with all of your maintenance equipment. On the way to a client, you take too sharp of a turn and sideswipe a parked car. Does your personal auto insurance cover this?

In situations like these, it’s likely that your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover you. Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover accidents that occur while the insured vehicle is being sued for profit. This doesn’t mean simply commuting back and forth from work, however. If you only commute without using your vehicle for anything else work-related, your personal policy should cover you. In cases like the above, where you are the businessowner using a personal vehicle to transport equipment, you will need commercial auto insurance.

  • Commercial auto insurance offers a lot of the same coverages as personal auto insurance:
  • Comprehensive Coverage covers incidents involving fire, wind, hail, theft, vandalism and more.
  • Collision Coverage covers incidents involving a collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist steps in if the other motorist in an accident doesn’t carry an adequate amount of insurance.
  • Liability covers both bodily injury and property damage that the driver causes to someone else. It can also help with legal fees if the victim sues.
  • Medical Expense Coverage covers medical bills for the driver and passengers if they are injured in an accident, no matter who’s at fault.

In fact, if your company owns or uses vehicles, you may be required to carry commercial auto insurance by the state. Idaho requires businesses with commercial vehicles to carry:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 in property damage liability

There are some instances where the business may not own a vehicle it uses. For example, if an employee in your lawn maintenance business uses their personal vehicle to travel and transport equipment, you will need additional coverage called hired and non-owned auto insurance. This coverage provides liability for vehicles used but not owned by the business.

Does a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy Cover Personal Use? 
Don’t worry about having to juggle two policies for one vehicle. You can extend your commercial auto insurance policy to cover personal use for your vehicle.

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