Does your company own vehicles? Make sure it's covered in all situations.
If you own a business with vehicles, you most likely have a business auto policy. A commercial auto policy will protect your business in the event that you or one of your employees has an accident in a business owned vehicle. Auto accidents are perhaps the most common of business insurance claims, and when you or one of your employees has an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage, your business could be sued for millions of dollars. Constructing a business auto policy can be complicated, and business owners often have gaps or omitted endorsements that leave their business open to financial disaster. Working with a knowledgeable commercial insurance agent is your next step to ensuring the survival of your business.
Many business owners primarily drive a company owned vehicle throughout their day. In fact, often business owners do not even own a vehicle personally, which while a common scenario, can leave the business owner and his or her family at risk. When a business owner’s household does not have a ‘personal insurance policy’, members of that household jeopardize their liability when driving others’ vehicles. In such a scenario, if a borrowed or rented vehicle’s insurance limits are exhausted, a commercial insurance policy will not extend to the use of another’s personal vehicle or rented vehicle.
If you are a business owner who only drives a company owned vehicle, and you have no personal auto insurance policy, you need an endorsement on your business auto policy called 'Drive Other Car' coverage. This endorsement provides you and your spouse with insurance coverage for the use of a vehicle not listed on your business auto policy. Even with this endorsement, other members of your household (other than you and your spouse) will still not have insurance coverage for the use of another’s vehicle unless you specifically add them to your business auto policy. At Boynton Insurance Group, our business auto specialists can help you restructure your commercial auto policy to include this crucial coverage. Whether your business owns vehicles or not, you may require an endorsement called Hired and Non-Owned Auto coverage. This endorsement provides liability protection when a vehicle owned by an individual other than the business is used on the company’s behalf. Common examples of businesses that utilize this important coverage include real estate agencies or companies with traveling salespeople, restaurants with delivery drivers, and the main street business that sends an administrator to the bank or post office in their own personal vehicle. This endorsement can extend liability coverage for vehicles your business rents or borrows. If an accident occurs on company time, your business could be held liable for the loss.
Your business may have only one vehicle, or a fleet of 5 or more. In any event, even one accident can cripple your business’ financial well-being. A prudent business owner acknowledges the potential risk of auto related accidents and acts accordingly. From a risk management perspective, a wise business owner will follow common guidelines; select drivers carefully with reference and motor vehicle records checks, express a management attitude encouraging safety and provide incentives to safe drivers, frequently train employees on driving rules and route hazards, properly maintain all vehicles, keep accurate vehicle and driver records, and be aware of accident procedures and emergency plans.
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Businesses of all types have a need for property insurance, but not all policies provide coverage for the hazards that threaten your business specifically. Do you know if your current policy requires you to value your property with one of the aforementioned valuation methods? In many cases, if your policy has a coverage limit that is less than 80% of the accurate value, you could recieve far less than you would expect at the time of a loss (coinsurance clause). As a prudent business owner, we welcome you to a free personal consultation with one of our industry specialist insurance agents. Your agent will learn about your business, discuss concerns, and identify the risks that could impact your business. Boynton Insurance Group will help guide you to an insurance carrier with a program specifically for your type of business, and an agent will help you customize your insurance coverage to best protect your company from major property loss and business interruption.
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