Archive for the ‘Personal Automobile Insurance’ Category

Business Use of MY “Auto”?

Many of our Insureds use their auto in business and are insured under a personal auto policy.  We have told them “no problem” because of the way the “personal auto”  “business use” exclusion is written.

It has recently been a problem for agents as “business use” does not include “livery”.  Carrying persons or property for a “fee” IS excluded!

Be cautious about your advice to your clients as this could hand them an uninsured loss!   It could also hand you a handsome E & O claim, agents!

Personal Insurance and Foreign Travel

This time of year Insurance Agents get calls, “I am going to “St. John” (or other locale) on vacation. Am I (the client) insured for THIS foreign travel?” If this happens in your agency, the ISO Homeowners territory is worldwide, YOU NEED TO CHECK THE UMBRELLA OR EXCESS COVERAGE TERRITORY, and the ISO auto policy insures in the “US, Territories, possessions and Canada. What ARE the US Possessions? Here is a quick, unverified, list for reference purposes.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico


The U.S. Virgin Islands

American Samoa

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands (CNMI)

The Midway Islands

Wake Island

Kingman Reef

Navassa Island

Johnston Atoll (an atoll is a coral island)

Palmyra Atoll

Baker, Howland and Jarvis Islands

end of list

If you use Insurers who use non ISO forms you will need to check the company’s form.

Agent… Never trust an Insured…

Don’t get me wrong here and please see the humor in my statement…

Insureds are not “dishonest”, I do not mean they will “lie” to you, but the problem is, the owner never “really” knows what is going on with their business (or family, for that matter)!

Business owners, particularly, never really know how the vehicles will be used or what will happen during the course of use.   One case I was an expert in, involved Care Custody and Control of equipment on “My Agency Client’s”, “Insured’s” truck.  My client’s insured is an excavator.    In the interview the Agent asked the Insured, “do you ever haul equipment for anyone else?”  Easy question, easy answer, “No, I never haul other people’s equipment.”    The Agent wrote no Care Custody & Control coverage for this contractor.

Subsequently on a rainy day (no pun intended) the owner told the truck driver to take the excavator to the dealer approximately 70 miles away to have the tracks re-pinned.    The truck driver unloaded the excavator at the dealer’s premises and the manager of the premises sais to the driver, “Hey…   We have your bosses buddies excavator here and his tracks are all re-pinned.   Would you mind taking it back with you rather than deadheading back?”   The answer (No.. we don’t have any insurance coverage for that”)  Not this driver…   “Sure I will!”   It’s my bosses friend, after all!   What can it hurt.   They loaded the excavator and the driver said, “it looks kind of high,” so the dealership employees said “we’ll check it.”   The driver went in the facility, finished his coffee, and took off with the excavator, assuming the employees had checked…. they had not.    He wedged the excavator under the railroad bridge about a half mile down the road and guess what… No insurance coverage for the excavator!

Agents… Always set your policies up to allow for lack of knowledge on the part of the people who actually do the job!    They didn’t buy the insurance, the owner did, so they don’t understand you just can’t go and do something that is beyond the insurance coverage!   The moral of the story… NEVER Trust an Insured!