Shops may be taking a risk when they drive customers home or pick up auto parts in their personal vehicles.
The Canadian Independent Automotive Association (CIAA) is cautioning its members to make sure the insurance on their work vehicles actually covers work use.
Not all insurance policies cover “occasional customer transport.”
The reminder, from the association’s most recent newsletter, comes from Bev Kaltenbruner, owner of Harold’s Auto Service in Lethbridge, Alta., who says shops may be taking a risk when they drive customers home or pick up auto parts in their personal vehicles.
“Just imagine what might happen if an accident or fatality occurred with a customer or staff member in the vehicle,” she says.
Kaltenbruner was inspired to make the comments after hearing the story of Toronto woman whose insurance policy did not cover her wrecked SUV because she occasionally makes deliveries in it.
According to a report by CTV Toronto’s Consumer Reporter Pat Foran, Adrienne Winterhelt’s Chevrolet SUV suffered significant front-end damage and two of the airbags deployed. When her insurance company – Sonnet Insurance – found out she uses her vehicle for work 30 per cent of the time, it denied her claim.
Thank you for passing my concerns along. I’ve had several conversations about this with my business broker, A J Gallagher. Gallagher offers policies designed specifically for the distinct requirements and situations found in independent and dealer shops across Canada. Gallagher offers industry specific, knowledgeable advice and tools to assist owners in defining exactly what a shop owner’s coverage needs are as opposed to a general insurance broker who doesn’t possess the same skills/knowledge.
Gallagher helped increase our shop’s overall blanket coverage from $2m to $5M with only a very slight premium increase providing great value on an unavoidable expense….and they offer cost effective coverage for personal vehicles and homes as a perk for shop owners. (…and nope, they don’t pay me to say these things! LOL)