Hired-non-owned post of 3-4-16If your Florida business insurance policy includes so-called hired and non-owned auto coverage, please don’t assume that you’ve got a low-cost substitute for full-fledged commercial auto insurance. You don’t.

If you don’t have hired and non-owned coverage but you do occasionally ask employees to use their personal cars for company business, you should ask your agent about adding this inexpensive coverage to your policy.

In Florida hired and non-owned auto insurance covers your company’s risk of liability associated with vehicles not owned by your business when they’re used for your business.

For example, you might occasionally ask an employee to run out for coffee to fuel a meeting, pick up lunch for the office or roll over to the office-supply box store to buy printer paper. If that employee hits someone en route, hired and non-owned insurance would cover your company’s potential liability.

Hired and non-owned coverage does not cover employees and subcontractors who routinely use their personal vehicles on behalf of your business. In that case, employees and subcontractors should either amend their Florida personal auto policies to insure business use or buy their own Florida commercial auto policies.

And while they’re at it, they should list your business as an additional insured on their policies. Why? So their insurance companies can help pay your legal-defense costs when your employees hurt someone or damage property with their vehicles as they’re working for you. That and to make sure you’re notified by the insurance company, if employee and subcontractor policies are cancelled or non-renewed.

Everyone wants to save money on insurance but you’re only fooling yourself when you rely on hired and non-owned coverage as a cheap substitute for commercial-auto insurance. Insurance companies know the difference and the last time you want to hear that is in the middle of a claim.

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