If you work as a contractor, builder or painter, you probably use a truck to transport your tools and equipment between job sites. If the truck is registered to your business, chances are you also purchased a commercial auto insurance policy. But let’s say the truck you drive for work is also your personal vehicle. It’s registered in your name and covered by a personal auto insurance policy. You may think that policy also provides coverage for work-related use of your truck. But it probably doesn’t. In most cases, personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage for business driving. This could be an issue in No Proof of Insurance traffic tickets. Denver’s best traffic ticket defense lawyer can help sort this out.
Different Policies for Different Risks
If you read through your personal auto policy, it probably states that business use of your vehicle isn’t covered. That’s because personal auto policies are written with consumers in mind. Insurance companies assume that people who drive a personal vehicle are commuting to work or running errands, and they price the policy accordingly. But when you use a vehicle for commercial purposes, you usually spend a lot more time behind the wheel. More miles spent on the road means a greater chance of an accident. From an insurance carrier’s point of view, business driving is riskier and more expensive, so it requires its own policy. And they aren’t wrong. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, accidents involving a commercial vehicle cost Americans $87 billion in 2011. So, if you get into an accident while hauling tools to a worksite and you don’t have the appropriate commercial coverage, you could be responsible for:
- Repairs for damaged property
- Medical bills if someone was injured in the accident
- Legal expenses if you are sued over the accident
If you don’t want to pay those bills out of pocket, it might be time to consider commercial vehicle coverage.
Protect Your Truck with Commercial Auto Insurance
Unlike personal auto policies, commercial auto insurance is a type of business insurance. Business policies address the risks of business driving, such as:
- Additional time behind the wheel
- The need to move tools and equipment between job sites
- Transportation of employees or clients
Aside from covering business driving, commercial auto insurance is similar to your personal auto policy. A typical commercial auto policy may offer:
- Liability coverage for damage you cause to a third party or their property
- Medical payment coverage for bodily injuries you suffer in a crash
- Physical damage, vandalism and collision coverage for your vehicle
- Uninsured motorist coverage for damage caused by drivers who don’t have insurance
The medical expense coverage in a commercial auto policy can be particularly useful. If you’re involved in an accident that injures you or occupants in your vehicle, your policy may help pay for:
- Emergency care
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation costs
For example, let’s say you and an employee are en route to a client’s house for a painting job. You rear-end a car at a traffic light. If you file a claim under your personal auto policy, it may be denied. However, if you have a commercial auto policy, it may cover the cost of repairs to the vehicle you rear-ended, as well as medical expenses if you or your employee were injured. Contact the Best Denver Traffic Ticket Lawyer Steven J. Pisani for more information. Worth noting: Commuting doesn’t qualify as business driving. If you get into an accident while on your way between your home and the office, your commercial auto policy typically won’t cover it. For better protection when you use a personal vehicle for business, consider purchasing both personal and commercial coverage.