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Adding Personal Effects Auto Coverage

Anyone who is in the market for commercial auto insurance coverage for their business will quickly find that beyond the basic types of coverage available, there are also several optional endorsements to choose from in a policy, some of which they may not have previously thought of adding. Personal effects coverage is one such option that can be added to your commercial auto policy. Whether you have a whole fleet of business vehicles or just a single car to get coverage on, you might want to take a little time to think about adding personal effects coverage to your small business commercial insurance policy.

Protect Personal Belongings against Loss

Personal effects coverage is an elective coverage option available on many commercial auto insurance plans. It can also be found as an option on certain personal policies, something not to be overlooked for those who travel frequently or keep personal belongings in their vehicles while they are out and about, but who still maintain personal rather than commercial coverage on their vehicle. It is much more common to see personal effects protection offered as a rider or elective endorsement on a commercial policy than on a standard personal auto policy, however. This article focuses in on personal effects coverage as it pertains to your commercial auto coverage.

In some cases, personal effects coverage is offered as a component of your commercial coverage if you elect to include comprehensive coverage on your policy. In these cases, you do not even have to add this coverage; it is included if you choose comprehensive coverage. The limits of personal effects coverage in these cases are determined by the insurer [1].

In most cases, personal effects coverage is not offered as a standard feature of commercial auto policies; an exception exists in cases where this type of upgrade in protection is used to entice customers to go with one company ahead of the others vying for their business. In an increasingly competitive auto insurance market, with online providers putting more pressure on the rest of the industry to keep margins low and premiums affordable for customers, many companies have gone to this strategy of selling value-added policies as their base standard offerings to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be a very positive move benefiting both the insurer and the customer; since it is next to impossible to ascertain that your company will come in the lowest when customers go out and get quotes for coverage, one way to counteract sticker shock is to add intrinsic value to your base of coverage. And adding personal effects coverage certainly does that, making a commercial policy for a small business that much more valuable to the policy holder.

Valuable Part of Commercial Insurance

Adding personal effects coverage to your commercial auto insurance plan can add value to the plan. Personal effects coverage adds a dimension to your insurance protection that it would otherwise lack. Many people do not realize that auto comprehensive coverage, in both commercial and personal policies, excludes protection of personal items. It is possible that these things are protected against loss by coverage included in your homeowners or renters insurance plan. It's a good idea to check with your provider to look into this possibility to save yourself from the risk of paying for the same coverage twice.

One other important thing to note is that in many cases, the protection afforded to policy holders by their personal effects coverage is limited to cases of total theft loss-in other words, situations when a vehicle is stolen and never recovered. Before making any kind of decision regarding including this coverage to your commercial auto policy, be sure you have a correct understanding of the specifics of the coverage being offered. Every insurance provider is different, and each of them has different ways of wording language framing coverage for extras such as this. Personal effects coverage can be a valuable part of your commercial auto insurance policy, but only if it represents the kind of coverage you need to see to justify the additional cost to you (except in cases where it is included free of charge).

Multiple Personal Effects Coverage Options

For any business person who does a lot of traveling by car, personal effects coverage represents an added coverage element well worth considering. There are multiple ways to get this kind of coverage added to your policy. The most direct way is to simply add personal effects coverage as a rider or coverage endorsement on the comprehensive portion of your commercial insurance policy. Choosing this option gives you coverage for your belongings in the event of theft. If your vehicle is stolen, your comprehensive coverage already will be at work to take care of your loss for the car itself, less deductible. Personal effects coverage adds compensation for the things you may have had inside the vehicle when it was stolen, from laptops to briefcases and their contents to clothing and other items.

Personal effects coverage purchased under a business auto insurance policy can also extend coverage under business property insurance to include personal effects owned by the insured, partners of the business, or employees. Any employee of the business who had personal property in the vehicle at the time of the loss can be compensated under this policy [2]. That makes the value of this coverage higher for business owners purchasing commercial insurance plans, because the protection it affords is widespread to include virtually anyone who might use the vehicle for business purposes. Specifically, the personal effects coverage can include provisions for personal luggage and its contents, clothing and other personal effects [3] as well as business-owned materials and supplies.

In addition to including this coverage option as an endorsement on your business auto insurance comprehensive coverage, you could also get personal effects coverage in a few other ways. They both have to with insurance options you have for rental or non owned vehicles you might use while you are out of town own business. One additional option is to include non owned vehicle protection on your commercial policy, which gives you coverage for rental cars you might need while you are away from home. It includes personal effects coverage as a general rule. The other option is to simply purchase rental car insurance from your car rental company, which can come with personal effects coverage. But for frequent travelers who have more than an occasional need for rental cars, non owned coverage on your commercial auto insurance plan tends to be more reasonable in price than the cost of taking out rental coverage every time you rent.

Adding personal effects coverage to your business' commercial auto insurance policy is a great way to defend yourself from the loss of personal property for you and your employees, particularly in situations when you are away from home. Adding this coverage is cheap and it can add a great deal of value to your commercial auto policy without raising premiums substantially. Contact your commercial auto insurance provider about adding personal effects coverage to your auto policy.

[1] http://www.allstate.com/business-insurance/Business-Auto-Coverage-Features.aspx Retrieved 2010-01-10.
[2] http://www.farmersutah.com/Business Glossary.htm Retrieved 2010-01-10.
[3] http://www.alfaaic.net/Products_Personal_Auto.asp Retrieved 2010-01-10.

 

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