Many companies use vehicles that they do not own in their daily operations. This includes vehicles that are rented (“hired”) as well as vehicles that belong to employees (“non-owned”). The long use of these vehicles can be dangerous for many business owners that don’t realize that they are putting their business assets at risk.
Let’s jump into detail of what is Hired & Non-Owned Auto insurance and its importance:
Hired and non-owned auto insurance, also known as HNOA, covers commercial liability expenses that are triggered by accidents involving hired or borrowed vehicles for business use.
All businesses that rely on rented vehicles to facilitate transportation or ask employees to run errands in their personal vehicles should consider HNOA insurance as a wise and needed investment. In today’s highly disputative commercial auto environment, lawsuits tend to be very expensive, and insurance protection is growing more important than ever.
For example, if an employee drives his car to drop off a delivery to a client and causes an accident, the other driver can sue your business for expenses related to the crash (for example medical treatment and vehicle repair damages). HNOA insurance can cover these costs.
Many companies rent trucks for deliveries or transporting products or passengers. If an accident should occur in one of these rented vehicles, HNOA insurance can cover those liability expenses, too.
What does an HNOA policy cover?
An HNOA policy typically covers liability claims and defense costs. It can cover attorney fees, settlements or judgments, and other court costs if the business were to be sued as a result of the accident. The policy will cover errors made by full-time, temporary and even volunteer staff.
This information will vary depending on the insurance company. Policies can cover:
- Auto liability if you damage another party’s automobile
- Medical expenses for injuries sustained in a crash
- Physical damage caused by wrecks, theft, vandalism, and storms
- Uninsured motorists who cause accidents and don’t have coverage
- The coverage would apply if your business is sued for negligence due to an automobile accident.
Some does not pay for collision damages to the hired or non-owned vehicle.
You can purchase HNOA insurance as a standalone policy or add it as a rider to your general liability insurance policy. It’s possible to add this insurance as an endorsement to your general liability insurance policy.
Is personal auto insurance not enough?
If you use your personal vehicle for work, your personal auto insurance policy may not cover you. These policies generally exclude business driving from their coverage, so you would be responsible for expenses if you were to get into an accident while delivering products. Still, it’s important to check to see what your coverage entails because every personal policy and company is different.
Why You Need This Coverage
In the event of an accident, you could be found negligent for various reasons, including:
- The employee’s insurance has lapsed.
- The employee only carries the minimum limits required by the state and the amount of damages exceeds this limit.
- The employee’s vehicle is not properly maintained.
- The employee’s driving record is below standard.
- Your company does not have any fleet controls or policies in place to address these issues with employee vehicles that are used for business purposes.
The purpose of hired and non-owned auto insurance is to protect your business. Never allow any type of gap between coverages, as this puts your business assets at risk.
So, what are you waiting for? Call us today at (425) 771-9000 or visit our Quotes Online to start saving money.
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