Pinnacle Risk Managers
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Most businesses have a need for some form of automobile insurance. If a vehicle is being used for a business purpose, whether the vehicle is owned, leased, hired or borrowed, and is involved in an accident, the business will likely be named in any resulting lawsuit.
If any of the following scenarios apply, you have a need for Business Auto Insurance:
• An auto owned or leased (long-term) in the business name.
• No autos are owned or leased in the business name but, non-owned, hired or borrowed autos are used for business purpose. This is a common scenario for small businesses. In such cases, hired and non-owned automobile liability insurance will protect the business from lawsuits arising out of the business use of a hired or borrowed vehicle.
• An auto owned or leased personally is used regularly for business purposes. Regular business use of certain vehicles may be ineligible for a personal auto policy. Hired and non-owned automobile liability insurance should be purchased to protect the business. Keep in mind that when a vehicle used for business is insured on a personal policy, there is a chance that liability limits purchased to protect your family may have to be shared with your business if both are named in a lawsuit.
• An auto is owned or leased in the business name and insured on a personal automobile policy The Named Insured on an Auto policy should match the name on the title of the vehicle.
• Vehicles are rented during business trips or for other business purposes If this is the case, you should carry hired and non-owned automobile liability insurance to protect your business. While Hired Auto Physical Damage coverage may be available under a Business Auto policy, for loss or damage to the rented vehicle, purchase of the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company generally provides the broadest protection.
A Business Auto policy can provide coverage including, but not limited to:
Bodily Injury/Property Damage Liability: pays the cost of a claim made by a third person or people who becomes injured or suffer damage to property that your driver caused while operating a business vehicle.
Medical payments: pays for necessary medical and dental expenses incurred by a driver and passengers who are injured in an accident. This applies to individuals not covered under Workers Compensation.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists: Uninsured Motorist pays for necessary medical expenses incurred by an insured and passengers if injured in an accident where another party is responsible for the injuries but that party is does not have insurance. Underinsured Motorist pays when the other party does not have enough insurance to cover the loss up to the limit on your policy. Your limits must be higher than those of the at-fault driver. In some states, an insured may also have coverage for damage to an insured vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): often referred to as no fault coverage in those states where it is required. Regardless of who is responsible for the accident this coverage pays the medical expenses, lost wages, incidental expense related to an injury and funeral expense for you, your family and passengers in your vehicle. Coverage will also extend to you and your family if injured as a pedestrian.
Other than Collision (Comprehensive Coverage): covers certain types of damage to a vehicle insured under the policy such as, fire, theft, glass breakage, vandalism, flood, falling objects, and contact with animals or fowl. The policy pays to repair your vehicle but no greater then your actual cash value less your comprehensive deductible. While this coverage is required when your have a lien or lease the vehicle; it is recommended when the value of a vehicle is greater than an amount the owner would be willing to pay out of pocket to repair or replace a damaged vehicle.
Collision: covers damage to a vehicle insured under your policy caused by an impact with another vehicle or object. The policy pays to repair your vehicle but no greater then your actual cash value less your collision deductible. While this coverage is required when your have a lien or lease the vehicle; it is recommended when the value of a vehicle is greater than an amount the owner would be willing to pay out of pocket to repair or replace a damaged vehicle.
Additional Coverages Available:
Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability: extends your liability coverage to include vehicles used for business that are rented or borrowed by the business as well as other non-owned vehicles such as your employees personal vehicles used for your business.
Towing and Labor: pays for towing and labor cost each time your private passenger vehicle is disabled. Labor costs are covered if the services are done where the vehicle is disabled.
Rental Reimbursement pays for the cost of renting a car when your car is damaged due to a covered loss up to the time it takes to repair the vehicle.
Hired Car Physical Damage versus "CDW" - In the case of a short term vehicle rental while on a business trip or for other business purposes, purchasing the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company will protect against loss or damage to the vehicle. Such coverage, called hired car physical damage, can be added to a business automobile policy; however, this coverage is not as broad as the CDW. For example, it does not cover loss of use. This refers to the loss of income incurred by the rental car company while their vehicle is out of service. Nonetheless, Hired Car Physical Damage coverage can be much less expensive than the CDW for businesses who regularly rent vehicles on a short term basis.
Drive Other Car Coverage - Personal automobile policies include coverage for those occasions when you may drive someone else's vehicle. If you do not have a personal automobile policy, you may need to add this coverage to your commercial automobile policy for yourself and other family members by endorsement. Please contact us to assist you in evaluating your need for this endorsement.
These coverages are subject to certain limits and conditions and they will vary from state to state. Always read your policy. Other coverages may also be available to you.