Auto insurance is mandatory in most regions of Canada. But having an insurance policy doesn’t necessarily mean you have the right coverage. For instance, if you use your vehicle for business purposes, you may be required to purchase commercial auto insurance.
Factors to consider
Don’t worry, it isn’t rocket science! Three main factors determine if you should consider purchasing commercial auto insurance:
1. Use of the vehicle
This is the most important factor. Commercial vehicles generally serve specific purposes, like transporting people, merchandise or tools, and are therefore exposed to different types of risk than personal vehicles. If your commercial use is only occasional and doesn’t involve deliveries, commercial auto insurance may not be necessary. Conversely, if you make daily trips to visit clients, transport merchandise or make deliveries, then it’s probably best to have it.
Did you know?
If you use your personal vehicle as part of the Uber ridesharing service in Quebec, Ontario or Alberta, you’re automatically covered by Intact Insurance from the moment you make yourself available to accept a ride request, to the moment you drop off the last passenger. Regardless of which insurer your own policy is with.
2. Type of vehicle
Some vehicles, such as tool vehicles and heavy trucks, cost more to repair or replace, and can cause extensive damage in case of an accident. Commercial auto insurance is therefore necessary.
3. Vehicle owner
If you’re the sole owner of the vehicle, personal auto insurance may be enough. However, if the vehicle belongs to a business or to your employer, commercial auto insurance is probably required. There are some exceptions, but this is generally a good rule to follow.
Psst! Check the licence plate!
In ONTARIO, commercial vehicles plates use black letters and numbers, whereas car, motorcycles and trailer plates use blue.
In ALBERTA, if “Class 1,” “Class 2” or “Class 3” appears on a plate, it means the car is used for commercial purposes.
In QUEBEC, a licence plate number that starts with F indicates a vehicle used for business or commercial purposes by a company or self-employed individual.
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You’re now a bit better informed when it comes to commercial auto insurance. Still have questions? Contact a broker to find out which policy is best for you, or ask for an online quote to get an estimate of your premiums.