Is Your Small Business Protected with Automobile Liability Coverage?
As the majority of Americans are weathering COVID-19, if you’re a business owner, you are seeing challenges that go above and beyond sheltering in place. Overseeing evolving business operations and making adjustments to resources and your business model may suddenly have your employees making deliveries or carrying out new, select tasks on behalf of your company, regularly. Whether you are using rental cars or employee-owned cars, ensuring your company is protected is vital. Your employee may have their own personal automobile insurance, but if driving has now become a part of their job, then you need to make sure you have appropriate automobility liability on top of that as well.
How do you know what type of coverage you need? And, what would happen if an employee of your small business got into an accident while on company time? Keep reading to learn more.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance (HNO)
For employees who are simply driving to or from work, you don’t need any additional coverage. But if driving a non-company owned vehicle has become a part of their job duties, then you’ll want to explore hired and non-owned auto (or HNO) insurance. HNO insurance specifically covers the business from liability arising from incidents involving an employee driving a rental car or the employee’s own car for business purposes.
Noteworthy, this does not cover business-owned vehicles, as that would already be covered on the business’ auto insurance policy. As well, HNO is only meant to cover liability and not the physical damage to the vehicles or the business property inside the vehicle. Lastly, HNO insurance covers the business for liability from a third party, not an employee. If the employee is injured, that would be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.
Risks of Not Having Automobile Liability Coverage
Many small businesses and their employees will simply assume that the employee’s auto insurance is sufficient or may not have even thought about the insurance, but avoiding having specific automobile liability insurance or simply being misinformed or overwhelmed because of these challenging times may leave you open to additional risks.
The employee’s auto insurance may cover the employee as a result of any incident, but it does not protect the business from a potential lawsuit by anyone else involved in an accident. These types of liability can be a much bigger risk than simply collision damage, so a business that regularly has employees traveling via personal or rental car must seriously consider the risks associated and protect themselves accordingly.
Extra considerations while working remotely: Vacant office spaces
Another important insurance consideration is whether your commercial property insurance has a vacancy clause. While the majority of the American workforce is working remotely, offices are left either vacant or unoccupied. If a business is vacant and there are issues with vandalized windows or graffiti, some coverages may not apply. Under certain conditions, a building cannot be vacant for more than 30 days.
The cost to insure your building is also dependent on what goes on inside, the kind of equipment you use, and more. If you want to review your current policy to make sure you’re properly protected, Schechner Lifson is happy to go over your plan, even if you’re not a client.
Do you have more questions?
Schechner Lifson Corporation can answer your questions about relevant auto insurance policies, commercial property insurance, and more. Get in touch with us today if your employees are using their own vehicles to carry out business operations, you’re unsure if you have a vacancy clause, and more. While you continue to work from home, we want to make sure you’re covered.