It’s not uncommon for realtors to use their own personal vehicles to service clients, since “business hours” are hardly standard in the real estate industry. However, personal car insurance doesn’t cover business use of a personal vehicle, so other coverage must be arranged to protect the real estate agent and clients who may ride in the personal vehicle.
Car Insurance Requirements in Ontario
All vehicles using Ontario roads must have a minimum level of car insurance coverage. For personal vehicles, this includes $200,000 of third party liability coverage. Typically, personal insurance policies cover a driver for about 20,000 km of driving annually, including both commuting to and from work and other personal use. How much a person drives affects how an insurance company calculates premiums, along with many other factors.
The basic mandatory car insurance policy has no provisions for commercial driving. Whether pizza delivery or showing houses, when a car is used to earn money, it is driven in a different way and insurance companies assess risk in a different way. If a car with personal insurance is used for business and has an accident, the insurance company may not pay claims if commercial use is discovered during an accident investigation.
Commercial Use Car Insurance Endorsements
Vehicles used exclusively for business typically require commercial insurance. When a car has both personal and business duties, a special provision can be added to a personal policy. Called an endorsement or rider, it’s simply a document that extends insurance coverage to the business use of the vehicle. Adding this endorsement will increase the cost of the policy. How much depends on how often the real estate agent uses their car for business purposes.
It’s possible that a busy agent may drive so much that a full commercial policy is a more economical alternative. An agent who makes only a few trips a week, however, may well benefit by adding an endorsement. The key to successful, affordable coverage is being upfront with an insurance agent or broker about how a vehicle is driven. With the right endorsement in place, insurance will cover most any situation.
The Cost of Commercial Car Insurance Endorsements
Ontario’s car insurance system provides for a competitive market. While insurance companies are highly regulated, they are free to propose and follow their own premium calculation methods. Once these procedures become approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, an insurer must follow the methods so established. To gain a competitive edge over other companies, each insurer devises a unique blend of factors for creating car insurance premiums.
It’s possible that no two insurers have the same price for identical coverage. Therefore, comparing prices requires extensive study. One of the best ways to find affordable coverage uses Ratelab’s car insurance calculator. Start by entering your postal code below, then completing your car insurance information and needs. The calculator searches over 50 car insurance providers to return the most appropriate and affordable coverage. Armed with these quotes, you’re confident in the knowledge of the best pricing, and informed about the most aggressive insurers. Enter your postal code and get started today.