Small business owners have specific needs when it comes to car insurance. Whether you are unfamiliar with the details of automobile insurance or think you know all there is to know about your policy, following a few tips can save you a possible runaround with your insurance company when you need them most.
1. Make sure you are covered for your business driving.
Believe it or not, running to the bank to withdraw funds for your business cash drawer can be considered business use. If business use is something you do on a rare occasion, chances are your policy will cover you if anything happens while you are driving your car for work. If you drive your truck or car on a regular basis for work, contact your insurance agent and ask if you are covered for your use on a personal auto policy or if you need a business policy.
2. Let your insurance company know about any modifications to your vehicle.
Modifications on your vehicle can make your car insurance more expensive, leading many people to believe they should avoid mentioning customizations to their insurance company. On the other hand, if you have an accident your built-in tool box might not be covered, and anything that alters your vehicle’s performance might void your policy all together. Be on the safe side and mention these changes to your company to make sure you are covered if anything happens.
3. Keep clients out of your car.
Whether your clients are daycare children or marketing partners, it is better to let them drive their own vehicle and keep them out of yours. Driving business clients increases your liability, and your client can sue you if you have an accident while he is riding with you. If your business includes driving clients on a regular basis, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on both your automobile insurance and your business insurance.
4. Cover expensive business tools somewhere else.
Automobile insurance is designed to protect your car and those items that are permanently attached to it. If you carry any business tools such as a work laptop or construction tools, you should be sure they are covered on another policy. Homeowners policies and business policies are your best bet, since automobile policies usually only cover a couple hundred dollars worth of personal items.
5. Tell your company how your car title is listed.
If you list your vehicle’s title in your business name, or even if there is simply a co-owner listed, be sure to let your auto insurance company know. If you have an accident and the insurance company needs to write off your vehicle as a total loss, you will be grateful you did. Having business partnerships listed on the car’s title can cause a delay in receiving your money from the insurance company if they have to track down your partner for a signature. Having everything prepared beforehand will save everyone from future headaches.
When it comes to automobile insurance, honesty is usually the best policy. Be up front with your insurance agent about how your vehicle is used for your business to make sure you are covered the way you should be as a small business owner.