Warning to Drivers of Company Cars: Don’t Rent or Borrow a Car Without Looking Into This

January 6, 2015

insurance renting or borrowing cars

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If you are the named insured on a personal auto policy, you own one of the broadest liability policies you can buy. It not only has coverages for you and your family in your cars, but also if you’re driving another person’s car, a rental car, or even if you’re a struck by a car as a pedestrian.

But what if you’re an officer of a corporation and you drive a company car? Most likely, the company car is insured in the corporate name on a Commercial Auto Policy. That’s a wonderful perk as an officer of the company, but the problem is the Commercial Auto Policy is not as broad as a Personal Auto policy.

Here’s the thing, if the only car you use is the corporate car, there could be times where you might get into some trouble.

Say you fly down to Myrtle Beach in early spring to get a head start on the upcoming golf season. You’ve got your tee times all set with a number of courses and you and the rest of your group are excited to play a different course every day. You’ve rented a vehicle in your name to travel to each course.

If you have an accident in the rental car and are sued personally, you would have coverage if you had a Personal Auto Policy, but you do not have any coverage on a standard Commercial Auto Policy.

Or say one of your foursome drives down to Myrtle Beach and you borrow his car to check out one of the huge golf equipment stores down there. You have an accident and are sued. Your friend’s car insurance will cover him, but not you. Again, you’d be okay if you had a Personal Auto Policy, but there’s nothing for you on your Commercial policy.

How To Fill in the Gaps to Protect Yourself on the Commercial Auto Policy

Call us and we’ll add an endorsement to your corporate auto policy called Drive Other Car Coverage. This endorsement is inexpensive and easy to add. We like to call it, “a mini-personal auto policy.”

It will pick up coverage in the situations above. This includes liability, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and may include physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) for the personal use of a non-owned automobile (rental or friend’s car as in above) in the name of the individual listed on the endorsement.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, we add the same coverages with an Individual Named Insured endorsement.

Upshot: the problem of personal liability and physical damage coverage only applies when you do not have a Personal Auto Policy. Most of our clients do have a family auto and don’t drive just the corporate auto. But, maybe you’re single with only a corporate car and no other insurance. Or you’re an employer concerned about your employees.

If you’re unsure as to your situation, Gary and Steve and the rest of the Commercial Lines Department at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig are here to help you. Just call us anytime and we’ll discuss your auto insurance and exposures.

Until next time,
The SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agency. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. You’ll be glad you did.