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When is the Right Time to Get Business Vehicle Insurance?

Now is the time to insure your business vehicle! If you use your car or a fleet of vehicles for business, then you need Business vehicle insurance from the get-go. Disturbingly only 3 in 10 vehicles on South African roads are insured, whether for personal or business use. That’s just 65% – 70% of the estimated 12 million vehicles on our roads. The reality is that there are many Personal vehicle insurance and Business vehicle insurance options available – it is possible to find the right one for your needs that will work within your budget.

Often the line between Personal vehicle insurance and Business vehicle insurance can become blurred. You use your car to fetch and carry the kids and for weekend road-tripping, but recently a few business-related trips have crept in. For instance, entrepreneurs may gradually start to use their personal vehicle to drop off products ordered off their new online store. That is no longer personal use, and you cannot risk the delay in signing up for Business vehicle insurance. Taxi insurance, for example, becomes essential as soon as you offer transport services to the public. That shiny new taxi is now your business, and you need to protect this vital source of income. Other taxi services like Uber and Taxify require owners to take out Taxify insurance and Uber insurance, that not only covers your vehicle but includes Liability insurance too.

NOW is the time to take out Business vehicle insurance:

  1. Personal vehicle insurance is not enough

The insurance industry is not just being difficult. Business vehicle and Personal vehicle is significantly different. Personal time spent on the road is fairly predictable. It is likely your car is used predominantly to get to and from work, with perhaps a quick trip at midday to fetch the kids from school. Your policy has been costed accordingly. Business vehicle use, on the other hand, may require more time behind the wheel. This is deemed as riskier, as you are spending more time on the road. This increases your risk of accidents and incurring damage to your car.

It is best to seek the advice of reputable insurers who can recommend the best Business vehicle insurance option for your business. If your business use is minimal, an insurer may suggest adding a designation to your policy, that acknowledges this. Insurers may have the right to dispute your claim if an incident occurs while your ‘personal’ vehicle was being used for business. No one wants that nasty surprise.

  1. Speaking to the right insurer is essential

The type of business you’re in will affect the kind of Business vehicle insurance you require. It is essential that you are afforded the right advice for the right cover to avoid financial misfortune. Also, be proactive and look at ways to reduce risk to business vehicles by:

–    Ensuring seatbelts are worn

–    Instilling a zero tolerance policy in terms of alcohol consumption (or drugs)

–    Removing potential distractions, such as cell phones

–    Checking employees’ driving record and references

–    Providing regular training for driving safety tips

–    Ensuring employees have adequate time to get to their destination

–    Ensuring vehicles are securely locked away when not in use

You would need to discuss with a potential insurer which of the below apply to your specific business’s cover needs:

–       Comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive car insurance will vary between insurers, but in general terms, your business will be covered for highjacking, theft, fires, acts of nature and accident damage.

–       Limited car insurance for company cars

It is important to note that Limited car insurance does not cover your business for accident damage or acts of nature. It does, however, cover incidents of highjacking, theft, fire, and liability to other parties.

–       Liability insurance

Uber insurance has partnered with respected names in the insurance world to offer tailored cover for Uber business owners. This cover includes not just the obvious areas of hijackings, theft, and damages, but also includes Third Party Liability cover, Passenger liability cover and personal accident cover for passengers.

The area of liability can have a significant negative impact on your business if you don’t have the right cover in place. Although it may seem unlikely to a small business owner that a liability claim could head their way, it can be disastrous if it does. Receiving insurance quotes through businessinsurance.co.za gives small business owners the opportunity to interact with a professional insurer. A needs analysis may be something you thank them for one day.

  1. Take ownership of your Business vehicle insurance policy.

As a business owner, you need to take ownership of what is stipulated in your Business vehicle insurance. For the most part, your insurer is on your side, but it is not sufficient to make assumptions. Take the time to read your contract, and forward any queries to your insurer for clarity.

An insurance contract usually requires that the owner of a vehicle be named in the policy.  You may need to indicate whether the car (or fleet) is yours personally, or whether the business owns it.  This will avoid unnecessary confusion should a claim need to be filed by yourself or a third party.

In most instances, an employee’s private vehicle insurance won’t cover company car use. If your employees drive their personal vehicles for your business needs, then your business could end up liable for unforeseen incidents that were the employee’s fault. Ensure you contact a reputable and knowledgeable insurer via businessinsurance.co.za to ascertain precisely which cover you need if employees do utilise your company vehicle for personal use.

So get out those spectacles, turn your cell phone to silent, and take the time to read through your Business vehicle insurance policy mindfully. Often, business owners aren’t aware of their exposure on an insurance policy. It would be best if you considered your specific scenarios, like your employee deciding to quickly drop off some products with a client with their private car on the way home. You didn’t think of that, right?

These 3 points to consider around Business vehicle insurance may not seem like much until you’re on the receiving end of a disputed claim Liability or Taxi insurance claim. True, Business vehicle insurance is higher than personal vehicle insurance, but we’ve highlighted some of the reasons why. So, when is the right time to take out Business vehicle insurance? You know the answer: now!

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