Businesses that own vehicles have to have someone to drive them. Sometimes, the business owners themselves operate the cars in question. In other cases, employees might drive the cars, either every day or as part of an infrequent duty. Other times, an employee might drive their own car for business. All the same, these drivers need to have coverage provided by commercial auto insurance. How can you make sure it applies to them?
Commercial auto insurance is a very far-reaching policy that can apply to numerous businesses, vehicles and drivers. So, if you plan to assign an employee duty behind the wheel, then it’s imperative that you include coverage for them.
Adding Employees to Commercial Auto Policies
When someone comes to work for your business, they might occasionally need to use a company car to attend to important business affairs. Or, perhaps, driving a company-owned vehicle might be part of their everyday duties. Someone might be a delivery driver, a salesperson or simply an inspector who travels from place to place to meet with clients. In all of these cases, these employee drivers need commercial auto insurance.
A commercial auto policy will always cover the named insured parties on the policy. On these policies, these are usually the business and businessowner, at minimum. Coverage applies to these parties because they are the ones who have the most to lose in cases where accidents occur. It will always apply to these parties, regardless of whether they are driving the vehicle involved in a wreck.
However, while the business and business owner might have coverage, that doesn’t mean that employee drivers won’t. In many cases, employee drivers receive coverage as permissive users under the policy. Permissive users are those who have your permission to use vehicles, and employee drivers usually fall into the category. So, as long as you are aware of which employees have your permission to use the vehicle, then your coverage will apply.
However, speak to your insurance agent about whether you need to add employee drivers, usually those who drive regularly, as additional insured parties on the policy. By doing so, you will help the insurer know better who uses the vehicles and in what capacities. Therefore, they can better analyze these drivers’ risks to ensure adequate coverage.
What Information to Check for In Driving Histories
Regardless of whether you want to add employee drivers to your commercial auto coverage, or let them be permissive users, you need to take a close look at each driver’s qualifications. You should run a driver’s license check of each driver to see their history of infractions and wrecks. First, this will give you a good idea of whether you can trust said driver with vehicle operations. Then, this can help you deduce whether to add them to your commercial auto policy.
Employees Driving Their Own Cars
When a driver uses a commercial vehicle owned by the business, they receive full insurance under the business’s commercial auto policy. What happens, however, if someone drives a car that they personally own as part of their regular business duties?
In this case, the business often remains liable for the driver and their actions. For example, if a realtor accidentally backs into a client’s car while leaving a house showing. The disgruntled client might sue the driver and the business for their losses. However, the employee’s personal car insurance policy won’t apply, because they were operating on business. As a result, commercial auto insurance might be the only way to respond.
However, to get the appropriate coverage, you must make sure that you have a non-owned vehicle liability policy in conjunction with your commercial auto policy. This coverage applies to vehicles the business does not own, but whose drivers could be responsible for an accident. An employee-owned vehicle falls into this category.
So, whenever you need to insure employee drivers, talk to your Miami insurance agent. They can help you determine the right way to insure each person and vehicle in the business appropriately.