Using your car for business: what’s covered?

So many people use their cars for work that they probably don’t think about insurance consequences. Make sure you know what’s covered the next time you take your auto on the road for business.

Physical damage
As long as you purchased physical damage insurance for your vehicle, you have the same coverage if you get in an accident when using your car for work.

You receive the same liability protection when using your auto for business as you would for personal use. But there are a few nuances you should know about:

  1. Your personal auto must be a car. It cannot be a commercial auto, like a dump truck, 18-wheeler, or pick-up truck. These types of vehicles should be on a commercial auto policy instead. There may be an exception for your van or truck; talk to your agent about how you use your auto.
  2. If the business you work for sells, repairs, services, stores, or parks vehicles, including road tests and delivery, your personal insurance policy will not cover liability protection for your own car.
  3. Your employer might offer some liability insurance for you in your personal car if you’re using it for work. If that’s the case, your insurance and theirs will both cover a liability claim – proportionately – if you’re in an accident. For example, if you have a $25,000 limit and your employer offers $75,000, you employer’s insurance will cover 75% of the claim.

Medical payments
As with liability protection, you’re likely covered. The only exception is that your personal auto must not be a commercial vehicle.

Generally speaking, most insurance companies cover you in these situations. But, as always, you should read your policy carefully or call your agent to know exactly what’s covered.