business vehicle 3People using their personal vehicles for business has been happening since ice routes. Well maybe not that long ago, but certainly since documents needed to be sent by messenger and pizza needed to be delivered.  Certainly since telecommuting fell into vogue as another way of doing business and home offices became a deduction on your 1040 form. But what about your car? How much is it a business tool and not your personal vehicle? Where does insurance paly into it?

The most obvious indicator that you are driving a company car is the registration. If you are leasing (or own) in the company’s name, you very likely need a commercial auto policy. Just using it to driver to and from work, with an occasional delivery or client visit, probably just requires a personal policy. If it is dual-use – for both business and personal use – you should keep trip and mileage records. If your business use is over 50 percent, you should look into a commercial policy or at least an endorsement on your personal insurance.

Making deliveries with your vehicle as a primary job is another issue. If you use your car for a primary delivery vehicle, you will likely need to obtain a commercial policy. If it is a delivery-heavy business, like a pizza place, the shop may have a liability policy that covers its drivers. Of course, that doesn’t cover your vehicle. There are commercial policies for delivery drivers. If you are using your car and getting reimbursed by your company for upkeep and mileage, how does that impact your insurance responsibility?

Travelling on company business – to a convention, business meeting, even a company-sponsored retreat – could be another area of contention with your insurance company.  Say you get into an accident between the convention hall and your hotel room. Does the company bear the liability or do you? What if you dropped by the local sports bar in between to catch the last part of the game? Then what?

If you are an Uber or Lyft driver you need additional insurance. No need to go any further.

There is no need to guess wrong and have a claim denied. Meet with your insurance professional and look at what kind of liability you may be incurring by using your car for business reasons. Talk about your situation and get the protection you need.