Cliff Leboeuf wrote:
1. I don't agree that 'vehicle' insurance covers ANYTHING that arises due to
the vehicle or its use. 'Vehicle' insurance covers things when used as a
'vehicle'... Driving accidents. Even if you have 'vehicle' insurance on a
bucket truck, you would need 'liability AND worker's compensation'
insurances to cover any personal and property from the use of the 'bucket.'
I believe that you could use a bucket truck without 'vehicle' insurance if
you had 'liability' insurance on PRIVATE property and be covered adequately.
OK, Auto insurance is designed to pay for anything that happens or arises out of the use of any vehicle listed on the policy. It does not matter whether or not the vehicle is used on private property OR a public roadway, OR if it is moving or stationary, period. Their are really 2 types of auto insurance, personal and commercial. Personal insurance is designed for the average Joe that used their car or small truck(pickup) to drive back and forth to work(Notice I didn't say "For work", very important!), take the kids to soccer practice and church on Sundays. It will even cover You if You help Your loving Mother in Law move into Your house and You bring her belongings over in the back of Your pickup, LOL!. This is what a personal use really is(At NO TIME are You making $$)

. Business Auto or commercial insurance is designed for any type of vehicle that is used in the course of activities that generate income for Yourself or a Corporation, LLC etc. It does not matter if You own the Corp. or You work for it, or You are just doing a favor for the person who does own it.One of the main things that makes business auto insurance so different is that it has to cover not only "driving" accidents, but accidents that arise from what the different types of things vehicles do in the course of their travels, as the average person does not own a vehicle with a bucket truck on it, nor do they own a tanker truck filled with Jet fuel that they drive to Church on Sundays. Personal lines coverage just deals with one thing, accidents that come from small autos hitting something else(For the most part?). Business insurance covers a very broad spectrum of things that specialized vehicles do, and there could be a very different type of exposure the insurance CO would have to pay out on a claim based on what the vehicle in question was designed to do. In almost every state, the business auto insurance covers ANYTHING that arises from the use of the vehicle, PERIOD. Whether it is a hole made in the roof from a bucket, or a stream and local pond destroyed because 50 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the fuel tanks, or the Thermo King unit took a crap and all 10,000 pds. of frozen fish got stinky really fast?, it is covered under the business auto policy and Your GL(General Liability) DOES NOT. General liability insurance is designed to pay for damages done through the course of Your normal business activities. This would include things like causing a roof to leak during an install, or one of Your employees flicking a cigarette into a pile of leaves at the customers house and the entire place burned down. Depending on how Your GL policy is written, or what state You live in, it may or may not cover SOME of the auto related claims as a secondary coverage, but secondary coverage ONLY. Most of the ones that do cover losses like this will have a paragraph in the policy itself stating that if there is no primary coverage from the business auto policy?, the GL coverage can not be used as primary. There are simply no shortcuts when it comes to buying insurance? Most states also make You carry a minimum medical coverage amount. This amount is primary even IF You have workman's Comp. So if You have $10,000 of medical coverage on Your business auto policy, and one of Your employees falls out of the bucket while it is in the air and breaks both of their legs?, Your business auto policy will pay the first $10,000 of the medical bills AND THEN workmans comp. will kick in a pay the rest. With all of the different types of insurance You mentioned Cliff in Your post above, each one has a purpose and will only pay out in a very specific instance. There is no way that You could purchase just a GL (General liability) policy and stretch it or do a little dance and hope that You are covered at the time of a loss.

2. If you have employees use their personal vehicle for business use, THEIR
protection comes from THEIR policy coverage and is meant for their
protection. If YOU, as their employer, want to be covered, you need to add
'non-owned vehicle' coverage to your liability insurance. That is what
covers YOU in the event the employee causes a loss while using their
personal vehicle for your business.

Cliff, here again, personal lines policies will only pay for something that happens when You are driving Your car or truck for personal use. If You dig out Your personal auto policy and read it, I would be willing to bet that somewhere in it, there is a paragraph that states, "There is no coverage for any type of commercial use". Tom had mentioned that he sees people delivering pizzas all the time using their own cars, and I agree, You do see that all the time, but I can tell You first hand that just because they do it does not mean it is covered. Whether You have a Volkswagen Jetta with 2 pizzas and a large ham sub in it, or You have a Kenworth with 40,000 pds. of frozen pizzas on board, they are both a for profit venture, and to the insurance CO, the type of risk is really no different. Some insurance CO's may pay for the accident if the person involved is delivering pizzas or newspapers the first time it happens, but then they will immediately cancel the policy(This may vary by state also?). Once that happens, that claim will show up every time we run that persons SSI# or their drivers license #, and You can bet that getting insurance with that on their record is going to be tough. Some insurance CO's will also allow You to put an endorsement on Your personal lines policy allowing business use, but the type of business use is usually limited to someone who is a traveling sales person that maybe has a bunch of brochures and/or samples in the car OR a person that is charge of 10 work crews, and that persons job is to drive around from site to site and make sure that the work is being done. By adding this endorsement, YOu will still NOT be covered for any other type of business use Non-owned auto coverage is for someone that has a commercial policy and they decide to rent a truck for the day, or as You mention, it will provide You with coverage in the case that a vehicle is involved in an accident that is not listed on the policy. The wording of this coverage and the way it works varies from state to state, so I highly recommend that You call Your local agent for a detailed explanation as to how it works where You live.

*Please keep this in mind:* The information I have posted here is for informational purposes only, and any questions You have should really be directed to Your local agent, as that person will be able to inform You about the coverages that You have and how the laws of Your state will affect You in the time of a loss.
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