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Commercial Lines Insurance Checkup

Commercial Lines Insurance Checkup

No matter when your annual insurance policies begin or end, the new calendar year is always a good time for an insurance checkup. Pull out your policies, get your broker on speed dial, and consider these questions: Did You Hire Any New Employees? New employees can affect your insurance policies in many different ways: Workers compensation payroll may be increased, resulting in an increase in premium at audit. Auto insurance: while most new employees don’t affect your insurance premium, a new driver with a questionable or bad driving record could increase your premium or put your coverage in jeopardy. All new employees should be added as drivers to your policy upon hire, even if you don’t think they will be driving. General Liability: more employees means more work completed, which could result in more revenue. This could increase your premium at audit. Did You Move? If your office moved, did you inform your broker or insurance company? A larger or smaller premises may affect your liability insurance premium. The materials and construction of your office structure have an effect on your insurance premium, so it is important to inform your broker if you have moved. Real property coverage is not transferable so if the wrong location address is on your property insurance policy you may be paying for coverage on a building and business personal property that will not be valid in the event of a claim. Flood insurance is also not transferable, so you will need to cancel your old policy and purchase new coverage on the current location. Other types of nontransferrable coverage include boiler and machinery...
Ins & Outs of Personal Trailer Insurance

Ins & Outs of Personal Trailer Insurance

There are few things more handy that a utility trailer. You purchase an inexpensive one, attach it to the ball hitch on your personal vehicle and then you’re free to haul things to your home, away from your home, and around the country. But where does insurance for that trailer come in? If it hits someone or something while you are towing it, where is the coverage? If the trailer itself is damaged, is there coverage for that? You have questions, we have answers. Liability May Be Automatic The ISO Personal Auto Policy (PP 00 01) describes covered autos to include “any ‘trailer’ you own”. As long as your personal trailer is attached to your personal vehicle, liability insurance coverage is typically extended to the trailer attached to or being towed by the insured vehicle. In fact, many of the exclusions applied to liability coverage for personal vehicles do not apply to trailers within the coverage form. Check your policy or speak with your broker to verify coverage, as some policies may exclude this coverage as a cost-saving measure. Physical Damage To Trailers Isn’t Covered While auto liability coverage does extend to an attached trailer, physical damage (also known as comprehensive and/or collision coverage) does not automatically extend to the trailer. In fact, the personal auto policy specifically excludes this coverage with the following wording: We will not pay for: 7. Loss to: a. A “trailer”, camper body or motor home which is not shown in the Declarations; or b. Facilities or equipment used with such “trailer”, camper body or motor home. In many cases this coverage may not...
Commercial Auto By The Numbers

Commercial Auto By The Numbers

Commercial auto insurance is different from other types of policies in many ways. There is one aspect that stands out: the use and application of a Covered Auto Symbol to each line of coverage within the policy. These Covered Auto Symbols may be different on each line, but the number itself means the same thing no matter which insurance company you choose. Your commercial auto insurance policy will include a Business Auto Coverage Form (more than likely some version of the CA0001) that includes a Description Of Covered Auto Designation Symbols which breaks down the definition of each numeric symbol that may be included on the policy. These symbols will be included on your declarations page, and the position of the covered auto symbol is just as important as the definition. For the purposes of this article we will include symbols 1-9 as described by the Business Auto Coverage Form. Symbol 1 “Any Auto”. This symbol is usually included on the first box of the declarations page under “Liability” and is the most broad of any symbol. This means that the coverage applies to ANY AUTO used by the policyholder, period. The only limitation to this coverage is that it must be an auto as defined by the policy, which, under the Business Auto Coverage Form (CA0001) is: “Auto” means: A land motor vehicle, “trailer” or semitrailer designed for travel on public roads; or Any other land vehicle that is subject to a compulsory or financial responsibility law or other motor vehicle insurance law where it is licensed or principally garaged. However, “auto” does not include “mobile equipment”. This...
Commercial vs Personal Auto Insurance

Commercial vs Personal Auto Insurance

It would seem that an auto insurance policy is an auto policy is an auto policy. As long as you have auto insurance, does it really matter who owns the vehicle or the usage of the vehicle? In a word: yes. Insurance companies rate policies based on vehicle information, driver age and driving record, location and usage. Properly insuring your vehicle can actually save you money in the long run, since improperly insured vehicles can result in cancelled policies or lower-than-expected claim payouts.  Here is what you need to know to insure your vehicle properly.. Personal Vehicles Used Commercially If you own a vehicle and have it insured under a Personal Auto Policy (PAP) you should be aware of your policy exclusions. In the standard Personal Auto Policy (PP0001) coverage form there are the following exclusions: A.6. We do not provide Liability coverage for any insured…while employed or engaged in the business of selling, repairing, servicing, storing or parking vehicles designed for use on public roadways. A.7. Maintaining or using any vehicle while that insured is employed or otherwise engaged in any business (other than farming or ranching) There is a small amount of giveback on the policy for point two, but only under these conditions: This Exclusion (A.7.) does not apply to the maintenance or use of a: Private passenger auto; Pickup or van; or “Trailer” used with a vehicle described in a. or b. above. While most PAPs are based on the PP0001, some include additional exclusions or conditions, including amount of usage per period (week, month, policy term) and vehicle size. Read your policy and talk...