Most times, landlords or building owners drive their personal vehicles for business or to haul materials for their investment property. Some might even purchase a truck to use it for both personal and business purposes. This leads to questions about insurance types that landlords should consider when dealing with automobiles and their business. The following article can act as a guide to help you understand the differences and choose the type that best fits your needs.
Personal Auto Vs. Commercial Auto Insurance
There are few similarities between both policies in terms of offers. Both policies protect you if your vehicle is damaged in an accident under the comprehensive coverage policy section. Also, both policies cover you if another vehicle or property is damaged or if someone is injured in an accident in which you’re involved. However, the difference usually comes when the purpose for which it is used is not tied to the policy. For instance, if there was an accident in the course of hauling building materials to your rental property or transporting your employees, your personal auto policy will not cover you.
Getting It Right
Typically, a commercial auto coverage insures all the employees of a business as additional insured parties. If an employee has a valid driver’s license, they can use any of the company vehicles. A commercial policy also has higher liability limits than personal auto insurance. In the same way, a commercial auto insurance policy often protects against additional legal challenges that an injured party might file against your business or employees as a result of an accident. As a landlord, a personal auto policy might leave you without protection just when you need it most. Furthermore, the fact that you have your name and not your company’s name on the title won’t protect you.
Why Do You Need Commercial Auto Insurance
As a building owner, you should obtain a commercial auto insurance policy if your vehicle has a snowplow, equipment racks, toolboxes, or other business-related attachments or if it is used for
- Delivery of goods, including food, newspapers, or any wholesale or retail products
- Visit job sites
- Driving clients or employees
- Carrying equipment or tools
- Rendering a service that you’re paid for, including taxi (Uber, Lyft, etc.) or limousine service
- Charge a fee to haul goods in your vehicle
- Towing a trailer used for business
- Transport of flammable or hazardous materials
Interestingly, a commercial auto insurance policy is generally a tax write-off as a legitimate business expense. It can also provide an avenue to add a rider to your personal policy.