Commercial Car Insurance in Oregon USA
September 25, 2014 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Just moved to Oregon and picked up a PT courier job, using my own car. Changing my insurance and registration over from out of state, the car insurance provider told me I need to have commercial insurance since I'll be using my car for work. She said pizza delivery drivers and I have this in common. The quote is 3X that of personal car insurance, and makes me think this part time job is not worth it. Asking y'all what the deal is.

I'm looking to do the right thing here. I'm thinking there's no way that *all* food delivery people, newspaper deliverers, couriers, etc., actually switched their insurance policy to commercial upon being hired for their part time position, so what's the real deal? Do I really need commercial? And, when I seek other quotes I want to tell them I don't use my car for work all that much. How true does this statement have to be? (Again, I want to do the right thing, ultimately, I'm just wondering what's really going on here.)

Seriously, I'm not out to scam the system. Just wondering if I'm understanding correctly what the system is. If a kid is delivering a sandwich and gets into a wreck, but doesn't have commercial car insurance, and a large claim is made, the kid might not be covered because the kid had the wrong insurance?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried asking elsewhere for other quotes?

But basically -- if your insurer finds out you have been using the vehicle in violation of whatever rules apply to your policy, yes, they will deny a claim. You should check the actual written policy, as it's what's going to count when it matters.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:32 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Most people who do this sort of thing don't tell their insurance company. These people (perhaps unknowingly) are committing insurance fraud.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:48 PM on September 25, 2014

What did your employer say when you asked them for their advice?
posted by oceanjesse at 4:17 AM on September 26, 2014

Large companies, and franchisees of large companies, all have insurance policies which cover the driving done in personally-owned vehicles by their employees. In general those policies require that the employee still have their own standard personal insurance -- this protects the company from liability for the commute to and from work (which is usually not covered as "work driving" by the corporate policies) and also enables the corporate insurers to outsource to the personal carriers screening for drivers so bad that they are not insurable.
posted by MattD at 4:35 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

... to add to what MattD said, most companies who have insurance that covers employees in personal cars do NOT have insurance that covers damage to your car, but insures your liability only. In other words, if you crash your car into a tree, you're out a car. If you crash your car into someone else's car, the company's insurance may cover your liability, but you're still out a car. This is why, whenever I drive for my company, I rent a car. I could theoretically crash rental cars all day without much (financial, to me) consequence.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:13 AM on September 26, 2014

Just wondering if I'm understanding correctly what the system is.

I think you understand the system just fine. The system is designed to protect corporations, not individuals. In this case, your company protects itself by outsourcing the cost of vehicles and insurance to its couriers, thereby decreasing their risk and financial investment and increasing yours. The insurance company protects itself by requiring commercial insurance for drivers that do commercial driving (i.e. that are more likely to have accidents), thereby decreasing their risk and financial investment and increasing yours.

It's that simple. Your choices are to drive without the proper insurance and assume that risk and liability, or to pay for the proper insurance and take that as a cut in your pay, which it essentially is.
posted by epanalepsis at 7:31 AM on September 26, 2014

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