This policy provides liability coverage for accidents involving personal, leased, or rented vehicles used by your business.
Commercial auto insurance only covers business-owned vehicles. Hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) protects vehicles that your business uses but doesn’t own.
Hired and non-owned auto insurance keeps you and your employees from paying for auto liability lawsuits on your own. This type of lawsuit can be extremely expensive, especially if someone is injured.
Your insurance company might not allow you to use personal auto insurance for work-related accidents. That means you could be personally liable for non-owned auto liability lawsuits unless you have HNOA insurance coverage.
HNOA insurance helps cover liability expenses, including lawsuits, related to car accidents that occur in your personal, rented, or leased car that you use for business purposes.
Specifically, HNOA insurance coverage includes:
If you or one of your employees gets into an accident with their personal, rented or leased car and it damages another vehicle or someone else's property, hired and non-owned auto insurance can help cover your legal costs.
HNOA insurance can help cover the cost of a lawsuit if a personal, rented, or leased vehicle driven for your business injures someone.
Many businesses add hired and non-owned auto coverage to their general liability insurance policy. You can also purchase HNOA insurance separately, but sometimes buying the policies together can lower your insurance rates.
If your small business has higher than average non-owned auto liabilities, you can increase your coverage limit with commercial umbrella insurance. Umbrella insurance increases your maximum policy limit, meaning your insurance company can cover more expensive lawsuits.
Non-owned auto insurance benefits a variety of small business owners that utilize personal, leased or rented vehicles for their business.
You might consider a HNOA insurance policy if:
Small businesses often need this coverage without realizing it. You might not think it’s a big deal to occasionally ask employees to use their own vehicles for work errands. But that can lead to auto liability issues.
For example, an employee might be involved in an accident while driving their car to meet a client. Because personal auto insurance doesn’t cover work driving, the other party could sue to recoup medical costs or other expenses.
If you're an independent contractor or self-employed, your personal auto insurance won't provide protection if you're in an accident while completing a work errand. HNOA insurance would provide the same coverage to you as if you're an employee.
If your business rents vehicles, including trucks or vans, HNOA insurance would protection for your rented automobiles.
For example, if you or an employee has an accident while driving a rented vehicle during a delivery run, HNOA insurance covers the costs of any resulting lawsuits.
While non-owned auto insurance does provide coverage for several liabilities, it does not provide all the protection that a small business might need.
For instance, a HNOA policy does not cover:
Hired and non-owned auto insurance only includes liability protection. It will not pay for vehicle damage or theft.
You should look to your personal auto insurance policy or rental agreement for coverage. However, this option might not be included in a standard policy.
Commercial auto insurance, not hired and non-owned auto insurance, helps pay for medical bills and property damage related to an accident in a business-owned vehicle.
A commercial auto policy also covers vehicle theft and other types of damage to a business-owned vehicle. Read more to learn the difference between commercial auto and non-owned insurance.
Hired auto insurance only covers accidents that take place while you’re using a personal or rented vehicle for work purposes. It doesn’t cover accidents that happen while you’re using the vehicle for personal reasons, which includes your commute to and from work.
If you purchase a non-business vehicle and it's not yet covered by your HNOA policy, you would be responsible for any liabilities that may occur to the vehicle.
In order to protect any recently purchased non-business vehicles, you should get any auto liability insurance which offers a temporary extension of your hired and non-owned auto coverage.
Personal auto insurance policies only cover claims related to personal use, including your commute and travel unrelated to work. They have lower limits and usually cost less.
If you’re involved in an accident while driving your personal car for work, your insurance company might refuse your claim. That’s why small business owners who own a car used for work should consider commercial auto insurance or HNOA coverage.
If you’re uncertain which policy you need, check with an insurance agent.
Read more about the difference between personal and HNOA insurance.
HNOA insurance limits can be defined as the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay. These limits are set when purchasing your HNOA policy and often match the limits of your general liability policy.
HNOA coverage often applies when you exceed the limits of your personal auto insurance. For example, if you’re driving a rental vehicle and rear end another car, then HNOA coverage would kick in if damages or medical bills exceed your personal auto policy limits.
Business owners can usually get proof of insurance online on the same day that they start a small business insurance policy through Insureon.
It can take several weeks for a traditional insurance agency to send a certificate of liability insurance to new customers. That’s an issue for business owners who need immediate proof of insurance.
With Insureon, you can quickly provide proof before a vehicle is used for business purposes. If your bank or lessor requires other proof of insurance, you can contact an agent for more information.
If you want to learn more about this policy, you can find additional answers in our frequently asked questions about hired and non-owned auto insurance.
If there are any additional questions you have about coverage, you can also contact an Insureon agent.