Have you ever sent an employee out to pick up needed supplies? Offered to buy lunch for the crew and asked an employee to pick it up? Unless you only send employees who are insured to drive your company vehicles, you may be putting your business at risk. Your business may also incur liability if you travel on company business and have an accident in a rented car while traveling to meet a client or for other business-related purposes.
Why would your business be at risk? Because if there is an accident that causes damage to a third party and the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover the full costs, your company may be sued to recover the excess amount. Employees who use their personal cars are generally required by law to have insurance. But unless you hire them as drivers, you probably have no idea how much insurance coverage employees actually carry ― or even if they have insurance at all.
If you’re traveling on company business in a rental car, you’re probably covered by your personal insurance or by a policy purchased through the rental agency. But if you’re in an accident and cause damage that exceeds the amount of personal coverage you have, an attorney for the injured party would almost certainly seek damages from your company.
The good news is that there’s a simple and relatively inexpensive solution: a non-owned auto insurance policy. This type of policy protects your business if an employee gets in an accident and causes damage while running a company errand. It also protects your company if you cause damage in an accident while driving a rental car on company business.
Keep in mind that non-owned auto insurance generally doesn’t cover drivers ― its purpose is to protect the organization. Non-owned auto insurance generally does not function as primary insurance; it is designed as excess liability protection. In other words, if your employee causes damage in an accident while driving a personal car on company business, the employee’s insurance would generally pay first. But if the liability exceeds the amount of the employee’s coverage, non-owned auto insurance would protect your business from being responsible for damage costs not covered by the employee’s coverage.
The Bottom Line
Liability claims caused by vehicular damage can run into the millions of dollars. Your business could be at risk if an employee has an accident while traveling on company business. Your company could also be at risk if you or an employee has an accident while driving a rental car on business. Non-owner auto insurance can provide peace of mind ― and vital protection.