Business Automobile Insurance Basics

You've worked hard to get your business off the ground (or to keep it going). So the last thing you want to worry about is a lawsuit. Business automobile insurance is designed to protect businesses against liability and property damage claims that may result when an employee has an accident.

It's all Greek to me

Respondeat superior (also known as vicarious liability) is a legal term of art. Loosely translated, it means "let the higher up be responsible." As the employer, you're responsible for the actions of your employees (within certain limits). If you send your employee out to do something (e.g., make a delivery) and the employee causes an accident, you'll need to put your business auto policy (BAP) insurer on notice, because it's likely that any damage claims will be filed against the employer--"the higher up."

It's not that the employee is not liable; after all, the accident was the employee's fault. The injured party may hold both the employee and the employer liable, but in general, it's the employer that pays the claim. When one party (employer) agrees to (or is otherwise bound to) pay for damages caused by another party (employee), this is known as indemnification. And this is why you may want to consider business automobile insurance.

They've got you covered

Your BAP is designed to protect your business against two basic types of claims: property damage and liability. Property damage coverage pays for damage to cars involved in an accident, but it doesn't stop there. Did you know that it may also cover damage to landscape (e.g., running over flower beds) and personal items left inside the car? Liability, on the other hand, covers your business in case you or your employees injure someone. Your BAP explains in detail what is or isn't covered--check it out.

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