Commercial auto policy vs. personal auto policy

You’re set to hit the road in your trusty truck. You have a list a mile long of the things you need to do and the jobsites you have to visit to keep your business running.

You jump in the front seat, throw the truck in drive, step on the gas and you’re off! You’ve got great insurance coverage through your personal auto policy, so you have nothing to worry about, right!?

One question … how do you know if your personal auto policy is sufficient to cover your truck when you use it for business purposes also?

How do you insure a personal truck used for business purposes?

A commercial vehicle policy is not mandatory, but if you’re using a personal vehicle to transport tools or drive to and from job sites, we strongly recommend insuring it under a commercial policy.

Here’s why:

Higher liability limits

In a commercial policy, liability limits are higher than what is offered in a personal auto policy. Personal auto policies usually top out coverage at $500,000, but a commercial policy can provide liability coverage for $1 million or more.

Have you seen how expensive medical bills are these days? A serious accident that causes injuries could easily put you way over your limits if restricted by a personal auto policy.

Coverage for vehicles beyond company owned

It’s obvious you need insurance on the vehicles you own, but did you ever consider you may need coverage for vehicles your company does not own?

If you rent trucks or other autos to help cover the extra jobs you land, you can add additional coverage to your policy to cover your rentals.

Have you ever had to move a client’s vehicle out of their driveway so you can get your truck in to do the job? You can get additional coverage for non-owned vehicles as well, like your client’s vehicle. This way you know it’s covered when you don’t see that big rock in your blind spot … Yes, it really happens!

Some commercial policies offer this golden nugget of coverage that will actually cover any autos driven by a company employee. This includes those hired and non-owned vehicles mentioned above. It does come with a higher price tag, but if you need more options in your coverage, this is a great option to consider.

Of course every business is different, so these extra coverage options may not be necessary for your company. You can also get a commercial auto policy where each covered vehicle is listed specifically by VIN, or vehicle identification number, much like your personal auto policy.

And then there are claims …

Ah, yes.

No one wants to deal with claims, but that’s exactly why we have insurance – to help you recover when the unexpected happens.

Consider this very plausible scenario …

You’re on your way to your next job and the car in front of you slams on their brakes. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to avoid crashing into them and both of your vehicles are badly damaged. Thankfully, no one was hurt!  

You call into the insurance company that provides your personal auto coverage and file a claim. Your claim is assigned an adjuster who has to do research into the accident. They have to find out why it happened, how it happened, the extent of damage to vehicles and people. This research into the claim will ultimately reveal you were using the vehicle for business purposes.

The assumption may be that the claim will still be covered, but that will be up to each individual company. Even if they do pay the claim, your insurance carrier could decide not to continue coverage due to the added liabilities that come with using your personal vehicle for business purposes.

Make the move to a commercial auto policy

Ultimately, the choice is yours. But if better protection for you, your business and your family is what you’re after, we highly recommend looking at commercial auto insurance options.

Oh yeah, and it’s a business expense. Tax deduction!   If you’re ready to take advantage of the increased protection of a commercial auto policy, give us call. Our team of commercial insurance specialists is here to answer your questions and help you determine what’s best for you and your business now and into the future.

Leave a Comment