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What Do You Need to Cover Business Auto Use?

If your business regularly uses autos for business needs, you likely have risks. Whether it’s a fleet of vehicles or just one, and whether it is vehicles you own, lease, or your employees own – having the right coverages for business-use autos is critical.

Employer-Owned Vehicles

If your business owns autos for business use, you likely need a Commercial Auto policy. This will usually provide you coverage for liability damages, collision, or comprehensive auto property damage, bodily injury coverage, and property damage for other vehicles/property.

Additional coverages may include reimbursement for rental vehicles, under/uninsured motorist coverage, and/or medical payments coverage. Personal use of the vehicle may also be covered, but typically not by others (such as family members using the auto).

Non-Owned Vehicles

There are plenty of scenarios where your business may be using vehicles it doesn’t own. Maybe you’ve rented, leased, or borrowed a vehicle. Maybe your employees are using their own vehicles. For these situations, the risks are different, as you likely need coverage for property damage or bodily injury that your business is at fault for in an accident.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto coverage is often the solution here. The “hired” coverage provides protection for your business when you’ve rented, leased, or borrowed a vehicle. The “non-owned” coverage extends protection from and for your business over the employee’s personal auto policy. This likely adds to the limit that could be paid in the cases of property damage or bodily injury.

However, this is typically a “liability” only coverage, and doesn’t coverage damage to the non-owned property (the auto itself). That’s why it’s important to understand the underlying property coverages, such as the employee’s personal auto policy or the auto’s rental agreement coverage.

HNOA coverage might be available to add your business’s general liability policy, or it might be available to purchase separately as a “standalone” policy.

Additional Coverages

If you have greater risk potential for your business’s use of autos, you may want to consider adding a commercial umbrella. This type of policy may give you higher limits that could be paid on a claim for property damage, legal costs, medical bills, or even legal settlement payments. A variation of this may be excess liability that is specifically added for commercial auto coverage.

Whatever auto use your business has, it is important to understand the risks and coverage options available for you. This is also a scenario where understanding the exclusions of policies is extremely important.

Contact Brandon Patterson from our team at or 865.453.1414 to discuss your options for covering business autos.