Commercial Driving Businesses Need Commercial Auto

Q: I started out driving for Uber and Lyft, but now I am opening my own limousine service in a couple of months. I have a good client list from doing ride-share, and now I own a limousine. What kind of limousine insurance am I going to need?

A: It’s great that you’re going to start your own business. You probably know all about the insurance you need as a ride-share provider, but your insurance picture as a business owner-operator is a little different. A lot of people think that commercial insurance is for larger businesses that have lots of vehicles and drivers, but small businesses need it as well – which you probably discovered as an Uber and Lyft driver. For the time being, we’ll assume you are an owner-operator with no other employees driving your vehicles.

 You need commercial insurance when:

  • You are carrying passengers for services as Lyft and Uber or delivery services (ex: Instacart, Grubhub, Doordash, or Postmates.)
  • Driving long distances to meet with clients, visit job sites, or perform work activities.
  • Picking up or dropping off materials to various job sites or locations.
  • You transport passengers in livery – such as for a limousine service, airport shuttle, or taxi.

Any time you use a vehicle for any kind of work, or as a part of your job, you need commercial insurance. Personal auto insurance only covers you when you are driving for personal reasons – taking the kids to school, driving to your job, going to the store or driving on a vacation. Personal policies often have an exclusion for business activities. Unfortunately, if you use a personal policy while engaging in any type of commercial activity, your insurance company could deny your claim if you are involved in an accident on those grounds. In short, you could be stuck paying every expense resulting from an accident – yours and the other parties’ – right up to a lawsuit.

You’re definitely starting off on the right foot by thinking ahead. Let’s face it, Florida drivers are the reason that Florida drivers need insurance. A lot of people go without the best coverage because they claim that they are good drivers, and that’s fair enough. However, insurance is not about you – it’s about the person in another car who is essentially an accident waiting to happen. It’s about the guy in a texting fight with his girlfriend or the lady who had three drinks at a one-hour Sunday brunch and drives home. It’s about the new teenaged driver who panics, hits the brakes too hard and spins out right into your driver’s side door. Come in and talk to one of our independent insurance agents about getting great coverage at an affordable price, and protect the investment that you’re making in your business.