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Editor’s Note: Raise your insurance IQ with this new regular feature of Working RE. David Brauner is Senior Broker at OREP and has been serving the insurance needs of appraisers for over 20 years.
Insurance IQ: Driving to Work
by David Brauner, Senior Broker OREP
I recently received the following question from an OREP insured. My expertise is E&O insurance, not auto, but I have a few thoughts that may be of value to you.
The OREP insured asks, “We have an appraisal assistant who helps measure (never without me), fill forms and do research (with considerable guidance). She often drives me in our car. I want to cover her in case of car accident. Do you cover that or which kind of policy should I get?”
Even if you don’t have any assistants, the question is a good one that most appraisers probably never fully consider. The answer for the OREP insured and probably you too is that you should look into a commercial auto policy to properly cover that risk. Your first call should be to your current auto insurance agent to see what your personal policy covers: some policies may provide coverage or allow you to expand your current personal policy to cover commercial use. Some may require a whole new policy.
It’s important to understand that if you use your personal auto as your business vehicle and don’t have the proper commercial coverage, you may have a gap in your insurance. Your vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle if you use it for work. Insurance companies consider commercial auto and personal auto insurance to be two very different types of policies due to the differences in liability and risk.
If you file a claim on your personal car insurance for a vehicle you use for work, your car insurance company may deny your claim simply because some business uses violate the terms of your personal car insurance policy. I recommend you check with your agent.
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In general, if a vehicle is used in tasks related to the operator’s occupation, profession or business (other than commuting), a commercial policy is necessary. But not all business use requires a commercial insurance policy. Some forms of business uses are covered by a personal auto policy by certain insurers, such as real estate agents. Let your insurance agent know so they can help you get the proper coverage.
When you want help with your E&O coverage or are shopping coverage and premium, give OREP a call. We can help!
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About the Author
David Brauner is Publisher of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at OREP, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 49 states (OREP.org). He has provided E&O insurance to appraisers for over 20 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 347-5273. Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873. OREP–Organization of Real Estate Professionals Insurance Services, LLC. Calif. Lic. #0K99465
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