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Commercial Auto Ins.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by PerfiCut L&L, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    If a business is a sole propriatary and the automobile used is registered to the owner not the business is it still required to have commercial auto insurance if it used on occasion for business purposes?
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Only if required by law or you want to be covered for damage.
  3. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    Ask the same question to your agent. He(or she) will tell you if you are or are not covered.
    Sometimes it depends on the ins. co.
  4. Precision Lawn

    Precision Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 334


    Mine told me yes so I have a commercial policy for auto and you need to make sure that you tell him that you are using it for snow and make sure that the plow include.
  5. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Talk to your agent. I would recommend that. If you use your POV for business, make sure it is all covered. Other wise it will eventually cost youpayup
  6. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    I agree with the other posts.

    Its not like a cop is going to give you a ticket if you have a personal auto policy vs a commercial auto policy.... But if you ever have need to file a claim with your insurance company.....wether it is for damage to your own truck or damage to someone or something else.... they will ask you what you were doing plowing snow at "Joe Schmoe's house"...

    If you tell them the truth, (that you plow snow for money) they will point out the clause in your personal policy that says that if you use your vehicle in the operation of a business, they will not cover it.

    The other option is to lie...and to me thats not acceptable.
  7. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    This insurance issue is what kept me from pursuing any plowing. You could always take the chance, but it's not worth it. If I hit a fence or a mail box I wouldn't file a claim, because I would rather just pay for it out of pocket. Here is the big dilema. If a person goes to the business or where ever and slips and falls, the business owner is likely going to point the finger at you and I can't afford that kind of a hit. Since I could not find ANYBODY to cover plowing and GI coverage, I traded my plow truck (which was starting to have problems I didn't want to tackle) for another ATV and said heck with plowing for now.
  8. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    Gues Ill give my agent a shout this week. I though that by law they were required to cover it. Insurance is a sneaky monster.... Few years back my found a local company that offered really good rates to drivers with 5yrs no accidents, points, or tickets. When she signed up, the agent asked if their were any other drivers in the house, of course she said yes, and the agent found out I had a no fault accident from a few years earlier, and denied me coverage. So from that point on, I wasnt allowed to drive her truck. However, when I asked the agent what would happen if a friend of my wife's who has several points, an accident and reckless driving violation, get ins drives her truck, id he covered? The agent said, by law they have to cover anyone with a valid license that drives that vehicle, however, if the companies knows ahead of time your record, and your told coverage is not offered because of that record, then you are not covered.

    Long story short, by law, shes covered and so is anyone with valid license regarding record, as long as the insurance company doesnt know ahead of time that persons record.

    So had she of told him, no, when asked about any other drivers in the house, I would have been covered. Of course this was before we were married, so we could have gotten away with it since I still had a seperate address.

    Theres alot of things isurance companies dont tell you, and a lot of things that effect you based on what you do or dont tell them. Some things are covered by law, and some things are covered by clauses. Too complicated to figure it all out.
  9. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    i have an extremely good insurance agent. He looks out for the customer (me). For example. My oldest is 16 and will be getting his stage 2 michigan driver's license in February. (the stage 2 lets him drive without adult supervision).

    I asked my insurance agent the best way (best = cheapest) way to make sure that we are covered for both our personal auto policy and our commercial trucks.

    His answer...while totally honest...gave me great information. My particular insurance company told him that they would like to see my 16 year old "employee/son" drive the commercial trucks less than 10% of the time. Which works out great for us, because our trucks are our daily drivers, too. So he can plow for me, but not drive them back and forth to school or work. Works great.

    He also said that the least expensive way to add him to our personal auto policy is to get him his own beater car that only needs liability insurance. Add that car to our personal auto policy, and add him as a driver. His age would be considered the THIRD driver on a 2 car policy. The difference will be only $600 - $725 per YEAR. Which is great, i think.

    Anyway. the point, I guess, is to interview your insurance agent like you would interview any other employee. They work for you, and should be able to give you the best way to do things and still stay moral, ethical, legal and frugal.

    A good agent will help you out. If anyone is in my kneck of the woods and would like to know who my agent is, PM me.
  10. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 981

    This would beg the question why would anyone add their teenager to their policy when they get a driver's license? It is my understanding that you are correct, the insurance company, by law, must cover any driver of your vehicle as long as you gave them permission to drive it. So, it's simple, don't add extra people to your policy.

    Then you have a moral question to deal with. Is it a lie, well, a lie by ommission I guess. But, either way, you should still be covered. If you can live with yourself "lying" to your insurance company, then go for it. If not, then don't.
  11. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Not telling your insurance company about your teenage driver is dangerous, too.

    They'l find out eventually if something goes wrong. If the teenager gets into an accident, and the insurance company has to pay, they will want to know who was driving.

    The insurance company doesn't hand out money for free, either. They will attempt to determine who was "at fault" in the accident and collect their money from him/her in the end.

    If you, or anyone listed on your policy has an accident and are determined to be "at fault", then THATS why you have insurance.

    If someone not on your policy is driving your car and has an accident, your insurance will pay, then go after the "at fault" driver for reimbursment.

    Then if they find out that you had a teenager in your house, driving your vehicles, and they paid...You're guilty of insurance fraud.

    Its a BIG can of worms that nobody should want to open.

    Trust me, they do this stuff for a living. THEY know the game. If you play it and win, its because you were lucky, not because you outsmarted them.
  12. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There is usually a caveat to "any driver you give permission...". That caveat is that the person you gave permission to is not a member of the same household as you. This would make them an "occasional driver". Your wife or teenager would not meet that critera. Glenspot hit it - these companies and agents have been at this a lot longer than you. They know all the tricks and what to look for. The first thing they'll look at is the police report. It'll show who was driving. From there, it'll amount to them deciding if they simply want to deny the claim or go for insurance fraud.
  13. PatrickCampbell

    PatrickCampbell Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    If your state requires insurance, and you run personal insurance on a commercial operation, and your insurance company will not cover that, this is pretty much like having no insurance isn't it?
  14. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613


    You hit the nail on the Head.