Business use vehicle insurance – to buy or not to buy

The majority of car insurance policies will only cover your car for ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ and commuting. If you intend to use your car for anything business related such as attending business meetings or running errands for a boss then it is likely that you will not be covered by a normal car insurance policy and for this you will need specific business cover. I spoke to someone who has recently added ‘Private and business use’, which will cover you for personal use and commuting as well as business use.

“I was teaching at a college of drama and performing arts and for the majority of my working life I left the car in the staff car park until it was time to drive home. I never did feel the need to include business use insurance, as this would have increased my premium unnecessarily.
When for example, on occasion I had to visit the nearby university or to travel over to the theatre to visit colleagues who were helping me with a student project etc, I never felt this was substantial enough to need business insurance. It wasn’t until one such occasion, that I was involved in an accident (a car crashed into my side door – no one was injured but I needed a new door and it was clearly the other drivers fault who pulled out without looking) I began to feel the dread of a looming issue regarding my claim! The accident had occurred during my work hours and at a point where I was driving between different work locations. Whilst I eventually did manage to sort out the situation, it wasn’t easy and I have since considered occasional business use, an essential expense.”

There are over a quarter of a million road traffic accidents and 300,000 road related casualties in Britain every year and it is said that between 25 and 33 per cent of serious accidents involved a victim that was ‘at work’ at the time. So ensuring your vehicle is appropriately covered should be a priority. In Britain you must, by law, have third party insurance, which covers your legal liability for injury to others, and damage to their property. In addition to this basic level of cover policies typically include a fire and theft provision cover. Alternatively fully comprehensive cover will cover you against all damage to your vehicle. The cost of all this will be relative to a number of factors for example, the history of the driver, the make of car, and the location where it usually is kept etc.

There are some additional considerations to bear in mind if you need business use insurance. If you use your car for work, as well as for personal trips, then you need to make sure that your insurance certificate covers both types of usage. So, for example, if your policy only covers ‘social, domestic and pleasure’, you will not be insured when using your vehicle for work purposes. If you want to be insured to drive your car for business use, you are going to need to make sure your policy is extended to include the appropriate levels of insurance.

Class One and Two business vehicle insurance will cover you for most business use, with the exception of ‘commercial travelling’ which is defined as travelling from place to place in search of custom, but each insurance company will have its own exact definition. If you do need cover for commercial travelling your policy will have to be increased to Class Three.

Remember that if your employer ‘asks you’ to use your car to travel whilst at work, then you will need to consider upgrading your insurance to cover this (some particularly supportive employers may be able to support you should you need to upgrade your cover to include business use). Remember that no matter how infrequent, if you drive whilst at work and in connection with your work, then effective insurance cover for an accident that occurs at that moment will need to include some form of business use insurance.

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