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Do You Need a Commercial Car Insurance Policy?

    3 minute read

    commercial policy for your businessMany Californians are known for having nontraditional jobs. In addition to the well-documented actors, musicians, and artists, there are plenty of residents who eschew standard nine-to-five employment to work for themselves, while others choose to augment their regular income with side businesses. Not only can these individuals earn some extra cash, but they can also utilize their innate talents to help others and become a more integral part of their communities.

    However, many of these entrepreneurial types may not realize that they need commercial car insurance. Depending on what type of industry they are in or which kinds of services or products they provide, they may be better protected if they obtain a commercial auto insurance policy.

    Why Regular Auto Insurance Might Not Cover Your Business

    Though there are few laws on the books which spell out which professions fall under the purview of commercial regulations, here are some characteristics of businesses which may not be covered by standard auto insurance policies.

    • Those of you that use your vehicle to transport other people. This applies directly to Californians who use their vehicles for ride-sharing services like Lift or Sidecar. But running a for-pay shuttle service or even using your vehicle to transport clients (like realtors often do) may still necessitate the need for commercial car coverage.

    • Those that allow employees to use their vehicles. For example, if you have workers who deliver food and equipment for your catering business or restaurant, they likely won’t be covered on your regular auto insurance policy.

    • Those that transport goods. Delivery services for packages fall into this group. But it also applies to retailers who offer home or office delivery to customers who purchase their items (like artists who deliver paintings, for example).

    commercial vehicle - truck• Those that accessorize their vehicle for business. Many handymen or home service providers equip their vehicles with ladder racks, glass transport frames, or permanent toolboxes. This is often enough to put these vehicles into the commercial car insurance category.

    • Those that use unusual vehicles. Food trucks (which have cooking and food storage equipment) or carpet cleaning vans (that are fitted with vacuums or water tanks) are classified as commercial vehicles by California regulators.

    • Those that have a vehicle registered to their business. If your car is registered to a corporation, partnership, or other business entity — or is leased to or owned by such an entity — a regular auto insurance policy may not cover its use.

    • Those that lease or rent vehicles to others. If you allow others to use your vehicles for a fee (like truck day-rentals or luxury sedans for event transport), then this activity falls under the scope of business use.

    • Those that use weighted down vehicles. If you make modifications to your vehicle so that it has a weight of more than five tons or a rate load capacity of over a ton, it may be seen as a commercial vehicle in the eyes of the state.

    Ask About Commercial Car Insurance

    passenger bus commercial vehicleIf you aren’t sure whether your business necessitates the purchase of a commercial car insurance policy, ask a qualified auto insurance professional. If you are a franchisee, you can contact your franchise’s corporate office for advice. You can even ask a competitor in your industry about this issue (if you feel comfortable doing so).

    If you determine that you do need commercial car insurance, you should contact Auto Insurance Specialists to get a competitive rate. As with standard auto insurance, AIS can provide you with multiple commercial auto insurance quotes so you can find a policy that perfectly suits the needs of your business. After all, you don’t want your business vehicle to be involved in an accident, only to find out that you aren’t covered under your regular auto insurance policy. That type of calamity could be enough to sink your business entirely.

    This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.