One of the most easily overlooked areas of a commercial insurance policy is in regards to auto insurance. “But Adam, my business doesn’t own any vehicles” one might object. Here lies the problem. Most of us assume that because the vehicle is not owned by the business, that it creates no exposure for the business. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Let’s look at a few potential gaps in coverage, and then the solution:
Gaps in Coverage
Your business owns no vehicles
Even if your business doesn’t own any vehicles, you and your employees might use your own personal vehicles to conduct business. Your sales associates might be constantly on the road meeting with your clients, or your maintenance man makes frequent trips to the hardware store for office repairs. Did you know that your business can be named in a lawsuit brought against one of your employees, should they be involved in a work-related accident?
You rent a vehicle to go to a conference
If the right coverage is not in place, you can be responsible for liability claims, physical damage caused to the rental vehicle, and loss of use if the rental company loses income while their damaged vehicle is in the shop.
You hire a firm to transport people or things
Many organizations will hire transportation companies to haul large groups of people to and from a destination. If an accident were to occur, both your organization and the hired transportation firm would be likely candidates for a lawsuit.
What is the solution? I’m glad you asked. I recommend that every company consider purchasing Hired & Non-Owned liability (HNO). Here is why:
- HNO protects your business from liability lawsuits brought on by an accident caused by you, or any of your employees while operating their own vehicle on behalf of the business, as well as a rental vehicle.
- HNO often provides some coverage for property damage to the vehicle that you are renting. The coverage limit varies between insurance companies, and not all insurance companies provide this coverage, so be sure to ask your agent.
- HNO will sometimes provide coverage for loss of use. The most common example would be if you were to crash a rental car. The rental company would not be able to make money off of the vehicle while it is in the shop, and they will often try and stick you with the loss of use bill. HNO insurance is a great way to protect yourself from that exposure.
Auto liability is a big exposure for any business, regardless of whether or not your own vehicles. Call your local independent agent today to discuss Hired & Non-Owned coverage.