If you are spending your working day behind the wheel of a delivery vehicle you will need to be sure that you have the right insurance coverage to reflect the risk you face on a daily basis of being involved in some sort of accident.
In addition to that, it would also be a big advantage to know exactly what your insurance covers you for and what will happen if you make a claim before anything actually happens on the road.
Here are some insights on the sort of insurance needs you should have in place if you are using a vehicle for business and delivery purposes. Including, a checklist to determine if you actually need specific commercial auto insurance, plus a look at some situations where you might not have the cover you thought was in place.
More than just commuting
A good starting point would be to clarify exactly when it is necessary to arrange commercial auto insurance rather than rely on the basic coverage that regular drivers have.
When you call to find out if you have a case after being involved in an auto accident you don’t want to discover that you are excluded from getting some of the help you need as a result of not having the right coverage in place.
If you are using your vehicle to transport goods or people in return for a fee, or use your vehicle as part of the service you supply in your business, these are two examples of when a commercial policy is needed.
Other scenarios where you might not be so sure about your requirements include if the nature of your work is considered to be an occupation that requires you to have a higher level of liability in place, or if you are regularly transporting a heavy load in the form tools and equipment, or towing a trailer.
The fundamental point to take on board is that you shouldn’t guess about your coverage as that could present a problem when you come to make a claim.
Always ask your insurer beforehand and tell them exactly what you are going to be using the vehicle for so that there are no surprises with a lack of coverage when it’s too late to fix.
Expensive pizza delivery
A classic scenario where confusion can be costly is when a delivery driver such as someone working part-time delivering pizzas for some extra cash, discovers that their auto insurance policy doesn’t cover them when they are involved in an accident.
What you will find is that the majority of standard auto insurance policies specifically exclude commercial use, which includes doing work like delivering pizzas.
The result of this exclusion is that if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident in your car while you are doing some sort of task that could be viewed as business use, such as making a delivery, you are highly likely to find that your insurance company will tell you that you are not insured for the damage caused after an accident.
You might have a personal liability
Another compelling reason to ensure that you arrange the right sort of insurance coverage is the fact that if you use a personal vehicle for a commercial purpose and are involved in an accident, you could end up being financially responsible for any damage to goods or passenger injuries caused.
Having to pay for the damage to goods in transit or someone else’s property is bad enough but if there is a personal injury claim you could be in the frame for paying a claim.
The prospect of fighting a claim for medical bills should be all the incentive you need to ensure you arrange the right level of insurance cover in the first place.
Ask for special coverage
If you work as a delivery driver, for example, you can get specialty coverage to provide the extra insurance required to allow you to get through the day’s work without worrying whether you are covered in the event of an accident.
Ask about a commercial auto insurance policy and check whether what you are using your vehicle for is covered, before it’s too late to do anything about.
It is never a good idea to assume that you have the right coverage, so run through a list of tasks that you and others might be using for the vehicle and then arrange an insurance policy that covers all the usual eventualities.
Allowing you to concentrate on doing your job in the knowledge that you are properly insured if you do get involved in an accident.
Jonathan Naylor runs a pizza delivery business. He loves to give new business owners helpful advice by posting his insights on various small business blogs.