Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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business insurance car

Since there are dozens of details associated with starting a business, many new owners forget to acquire business insurance for their cars. A common misperception is that any type of auto insurance is sufficient to cover a car that is used for business purposes.

Most insurance companies include disclaimer clauses in personal automobile insurance policies that will allow them to deny claims if the vehicle has been used for business activities. While not every claim would be denied, the risk of loss is not worth it.

Find the best policy for your business by comparing insurance quotes today. Simply enter your ZIP code above to compare quotes!

Why Bother to Purchase Business Automobile Insurance?

There are certain circumstances that require a business endorsement on an personal auto insurance policy while other situations require that commercial auto insurance is purchased. Every business owner is wise to determine the best approach to insuring every vehicle through the appropriate means. Each insurer offers different options according to state laws, and comparison research is the best way to find out what is available.

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Business Endorsement

Certain factors must be present in order for an insurance carrier to offer to underwrite a business endorsement and attach it to a personal auto insurance policy. If any questions arise or the situation changes, the policyholder should notify the insurer and acquire proper commercial insurance coverage for the vehicle. If all of the following conditions are true, a business endorsement is appropriate:

• The business is classified as a sole proprietorship.

• Employees will never drive the vehicle for business activities.

• Sufficiently high coverage limits can be purchased to protect the driver and the business.

• One vehicle will be identified for “artisan use.” Each insurer will specify distinctions they view as artisan. The following are just some of the professions that might be considered “artisan:”

painters business insurance

  • Contractors
  • HVAC specialists
  • Interior decorators
  • Bricklayers
  • Painters
  • Appliance repair
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Surveyors
  • Fence builders
  • Glass installers
  • Tree surgeons

Business Auto Policy

When a business endorsement would not provide sufficient coverage, the prudent measure would be to research the various types of commercial auto insurance. Some carriers specialize in auto insurance of various sizes and types. If the following conditions exist, the business owner must pursue the best possible coverage for all business vehicles and the equipment that is inside.

• Vehicles that are used to transport goods and/or people.

• Employees will drive business-owned vehicles or use their personal vehicles for business-related activities. Their vehicles must be covered under a separate class of commercial insurance.

• Higher coverage limits, above the limits of a personal auto policy, are required.

• Business ownership type is not sole proprietorship, but is classified as a corporation, partnership or LLC, instead.

• Multiple vehicles are used for work activities that are classified as “artisan.”

• Equipment is attached to the vehicle that would change the classification of the vehicle from its manufactured condition.

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Components of The Policy

Business automobile insurance policies are comprised of the same basic components as their private insurance counterparts, but there are categories of commercial auto insurance, called symbols, that designate the vehicle

business auto insurance

use.

Since companies of various sizes are insured by major insurance companies, coverage is designated to create various groups of insured policyholders. Annual insurance rates are set according to the various loss statistics gathered from incidents that occur in the group under each symbol.

Coverage limits on the commercial auto insurance policy are set differently than a personal auto policy, but the meaning of the insurance components is similar to private auto insurance policies:

• Comprehensive – Anything that causes damage to the vehicle that is not related to a collision. This would include storms, falling objects, vandalism and theft.

• Collision – All damage to the vehicle that is associated with an actual collision is covered under this component.

• Liability – Sufficient liability coverage must be carried because of the various people that will drive the vehicles. Whenever damage occurs to property belonging to another person, this part of the policy will provide coverage.

• Riders – Specialized equipment and highly customized vehicles can be covered with riders that are attached to the auto policy.

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Meaningful Business Auto Insurance Quotes

Whenever online research is conducted to find acceptable business auto insurance, the same factors must be used in the search. Every insurer calculates annual premiums based on numerous factors that include location, type of vehicle, driver profiles and other important information. All quotes must contain the same input values to acquire meaningful quotes.

Every returned quote should be verified to insure that comparable levels of coverage are offered. An inordinately low annual premium might be presented if liability coverage amounts are minimized. Wise insurance shoppers print each quote and compare the results side by side to determine which insurer is offering the best coverage at the lowest possible premium.

Certain discounts can lower the annual premium by substantial sums, but dropping coverage is not a wise approach to reducing the cost of insurance. When loss occurs, insufficient auto insurance coverage can be more costly than a business can endure. One way to lower the cost of business auto insurance is to carry an umbrella liability policy to provide additional coverage at lower annual premiums.

Final Consideration

Oftentimes, business insurance is viewed as an albatross that is a burden to the profitability of the organization. Statistics prove that less than 20 percent of all businesses recover from significant loss. Carrying appropriate levels of insurance without being over-insured is important to the livelihood of every employee and the owner’s family.

Efforts to compare reputable insurance companies and their policy coverage can save thousands of dollars on business auto insurance every year. Maintenance of the policy may seem cumbersome, but changes are necessary to maintain proper coverage. As the company grows, other symbols will be useful for lower the annual premium rates and saving money.

Take a moment to compare business insurance polices for your vehicle by entering your zip code below!