Using your car to get to and from work is common. But what if you use your car on the job -- or rely on employees who use their own cars? Delivery drivers and businesses have special auto insurance needs.
Can I use my personal auto insurance policy?
You already have a personal auto insurance policy, so wouldn't that cover you if you're transporting pizzas instead of friends? Actually, it won't. According to Progressive, personal auto insurance policies will not cover your car when it's being used for business purposes.
Using your car for deliveries involves more time on the road, driving in bad weather conditions and high mileage -- risks that aren't factored into personal policies. In fact, your auto insurance policy may exclude using your car for delivering food, newspapers and other items, according to Progressive.
When is a commercial auto policy required?
Because your personal policy won't provide enough coverage, consider getting a commercial auto insurance policy. It will likely cost more, but if you're using your car to earn a living, it could be worth it.
So how do you know a commercial policy is needed? As Progressive explains, there are several considerations:
- Vehicle use. If a vehicle is driven for business purposes, like delivering goods, you'll need commercial auto insurance. The same would go for transporting people from place to place for a fee, as a taxi would do.
- Varied drivers. If a person rents out his or her vehicle for compensation in any way, a personal auto policy most likely won't cover the vehicle.
- Additional passengers. If a driver regularly uses a car to meet clients and a co-worker is frequently a passenger, any injuries the co-worker suffers in an accident likely would be excluded by a personal auto insurance policy. A commercial auto insurance policy, on the other hand, probably would cover them.
Because pizza delivery is one of the most common types of commercial services, some companies specialize in commercial auto policies for businesses that employ these drivers. According to Insurance broker Willis HRH, pizza delivery liability insurance is available in most states and covers risks beyond driving accidents. In addition to commercial general liability, a business owner can buy coverage for loss of business income and protection against employee theft.
Progressive provides pizza delivery coverage for delivery drivers that can be customized to account for on- and off-seasons.
Coverage options for business owners
Business owners know to expect the unexpected. A company delivery van could break down, and you may have to rent one or ask an employee to use his or her car for the day. Non-owned vehicle insurance would cover that.
- Employers' non-ownership insurance: This kind of insurance would cover a business if a company vehicle breaks down and the business owner has to temporarily use an employee's car as a substitute, according to Progressive.
- Hired auto insurance: This coverage extends your business's liability protection to a vehicle that you rent for 30 days or less and use for business purposes.