Your job can have a major impact on your auto insurance needs. Not only can your career choice affect your personal car insurance rates, how you use your personal car could make you ineligible for a standard car insurance policy altogether. Finding cheap car insurance for transporting clients, however, can prove difficult. We’re here to help.
There are several careers that can require transporting clients. For example, some social workers are responsible for transporting clients. If this is one of your duties at work, it can cause major hiccups in your insurance portfolio if your policy is not structured right. So, you may ask yourself: Where do I find commercial car insurance for transporting clients, and what does a commercial auto policy cover? Is there special insurance for transporting people?
Some carriers will cover transporting clients and others have very strict limitations. Before learning more about how to buy car insurance for transporting clients, use our FREE tool below to compare car insurance quotes, and find the best company to insure you.
Are you using your car solely for business?
You may own your car but that doesn’t mean it’s technically a personal auto. One of the first ways to address your insurance needs is to define how you’re using your car. Do you need car insurance for a company car, or do you use your personal vehicle? Do you need auto insurance for business travel?
What does commercial traveling mean in insurance? It’s the type of coverage you may need if driving is a permanent part of your job. Does my personal auto insurance cover business use? It covers some business use, but if you use the car mainly for business, your personal policy may not apply.
If you find that almost all of your time in the vehicle is spent conducting business, chances are you need a business auto insurance policy instead of a personal one.
Does my personal car insurance cover business use?
Most people who use their own cars for business also use the vehicle for personal errands or commuting. Business use of personal vehicle insurance is something you should speak to your insurance agent about.
If you’re using the car for your own personal needs in addition to driving the car for business, e.g., driving clients in your personal vehicle, you may be able to secure a personal auto policy for all of the protection that you need.
Before you run to speak with a standard insurance agent for a quote, you do need to know that not all types of business usage are covered.
It’s easy to ask insurance companies about “transporting clients in personal vehicles policy,” but there are other things to consider. You can drive to and from customer appointments or to and from different job sites and that will be classified as business use. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the use must be incidental and not excessive.
For more on commercial auto insurance, check out this video from Travelers.
When business use gets excessive, you need a commercial policy. Learn more in the section below.
What is the definition of excessive business use?
If you skim through your contract, you might see a section that says that only approved activities that are incidental to your business will be covered under a personal policy form. Go over the business use of your personal vehicle with your insurance company.
Unfortunately, when a definition of incidental isn’t given, what is and isn’t considered acceptable is up for interpretation.
Primary business use isn’t going to be covered because it’s too much of a risk to the company. It becomes excessive and not incidental when you’re driving 100 or more miles per day or 500 miles per week for business.
It’s worth noting that insurance rates can differ based on your commute. For example, check out the averages based on commute distance in Georgia in the table below.
|Companies||Average Annual Rates for|
10 Mile Commute
6,000 Annual Miles
|Average Annual Rates for|
25 Mile Commute
12,000 Annual Miles
Get Your Rates Quote Now
As you can see, USAA offers the lowest rates based on commute distance. If driving to different locations becomes a full-time job, it’s excessive. At that point, commercial insurance on a personal vehicle is the answer.
Can you transport clients under your personal insurance?
There are mileage restrictions for business use, but those aren’t the only restrictions. You could fall into an incidental mileage range and still not qualify for personal car insurance because of what you do while you’re driving for work.
If you are paid to transport clients in your personal car, that will automatically exclude you from coverage if there’s a claim. You can’t receive a wage or a fare for driving people from one destination to another in your car.
By definition, transporting clients is considered livery services, and these services are specifically excluded from your policy. Examples of this would include:
- Acting as a taxi or car-sharing service provider and accepting money
- Working as a caregiver and driving your client to and from doctor’s appointments
- Working as a daycare provider and picking children up from school in your personal car
If you have a caregiver driving your car frequently, you should probably ask your insurance company about adding the caregiver to your auto insurance or ask about other car insurance for caregivers.
Some Types of Transport Aren’t Excluded
If you’re earning an hourly wage and your job duty is to transport a client, you need special commercial auto insurance. There are, however, times where you’re allowed to drive clients around. As long as you’re driving clients in your car but you’re not specifically paid to do so, it’s acceptable. Some examples include:
- An insurance agent driving their client to their home after a car accident
- A real estate agent driving potential buyers to a home for a viewing
- A lawyer driving a client they are representing to court for an appearance
- A doctor driving their patient to a different facility
- A home health care worker who only transports their patient occasionally in the event of an emergency
Again, these are all things you should discuss with your insurance company beforehand. Learn more about registering your car the proper way in the next section.
How is the car registered?
If you own your own business, you have to decide if you’re going to register the car in your business name or your name. When a car is owned by the business, you automatically need business insurance to protect the entity from large lawsuits. You can’t cover a car registered to a business under a personal car insurance plan.
What happens if you have the wrong policy?
If you have a personal auto policy when you should have a business one, you may be left paying for damages on your own. The insurer has the right to deny claims made against your business because the business isn’t insured. While the use is restricted, if an injured party who isn’t in your car files a lawsuit against you, the claim will probably be paid.
First-party claims for damage or medical bills, however, will be denied because of the exclusions on the policy.
If you want to impress a client or you want to attract new business by offering transport, think of how it will affect your car insurance. Buying commercial insurance could cost you more, but the difference could be insignificant if you’re earning more for the service.
Is commercial auto insurance expensive? Now that you know more about affordable car insurance for transporting clients, enter your ZIP code in our free tool below to get quotes near you.