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Are you driving your personal car for business?

Woman_driving_2 Have you ever been in your vehicle and noticed someone talking on their cell phone, writing things down, and piles of samples packed into the back seat of the car?  If you have not, then you are paying way too much attention to the road while driving.

Imagine this …

Acme Plumbing Company employs multiple sales representatives who use their own autos to make sales calls at customers’ premises.  This could be a business premise or an individual premise, the location does not matter.   

It’s how they are getting there that matters.

While driving to a customer’s factory, John, one of Acme’s sales reps, carelessly changed lanes on the Interstate while talking on his cell phone, running another auto off the road and severely injuring the driver and passenger.  Since John was on the phone, he is not aware of what has happened. 

Can a claim be made?

Of course!  But who is going to be sued? 

The victims made claim against both John and Acme Plumbing Company.  Acme Plumbing Company’s business auto policy provides coverage for “any auto” for liability coverage.  Will this auto policy cover Acme Plumbing as well as John against the described claim?

Who’s covered?

Unless Acme’s business auto policy has been modified to include the employees as insured endorsement, it will cover Acme Plumbing only. 

John, you are on your own.  John, have you started to worry yet? 

One victim in this case is in need of a wheelchair for the rest of their life. 

Where does John turn?

Hopefully John has a personal auto policy that is paid up and in good standing.  The one thing John has done is tell his insurance company he drives his car to work 3 miles. John has heard that his premium will be less if he only drives his car to work and John is all for paying less premium. 

Can the company deny this claim? John uses his car for business sales calls but didn’t tell his insurance company. 

Is the agent now responsible?  Oh, I forgot to mention, John purchases all his insurance over the internet. 

I hope things work out for John. 

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Regardless who owns the car the driver has to be on the insurance policy.

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