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Is commercial car insurance needed when transporting clients to appointments or errands

I was told that if a caregiver drives my father to doctor appointments that they should have commercial car insurance. I was told that if there was an accident that regular personal car insurance may not cover any medical expenses for the passanger if the driver is providing transportation as a paid service. Does anyone know anything about this? I would rather hire and pay a caregiver than use an agency because it doesn't seem like an agencies pay a living wage and you don't get the best quality caregivers. But I've been told that there are then certain liablilites.

Answers
User in Ottawa, IL
Aug. 8, 2017

I have had this problem for the last few years with potential employers. Transporting children, paying for additional insurance, and daily installing and removing car seats. A few years back there was a family in the Midwest, I would be lying if I told you the exact state, I only remember it was the Midwest, however they had a Nanny that took care of their children and because the family did not provide a vehicle the Nanny had to use her personal vehicle for transporting the children. Needless to say, there was a horrible accident, one child died, Nanny was in the hospital for quite some time and her car was a total lose, as well she was not able to work and support herself for over a year. As horrible as it was for the family to have lost a child, one has to also think of that poor Nanny. Because she was using her private vehicle for business (getting paid) they did not cover anything. So not only could she not work due to her injuries, she had no way to get to work upon her recovery. The family went after her insurance provider who in turn sued them for the cost of her, injuries to people in other car and Nannies medical bills. It was so sad for all involved and it was all over the news in the midwest. Ever since I looked that up to confirm it became very evident that most people on this website feel it is cheaper to pay a young person 10.00 to taxi their 3 children to structured "activities" and if they respond to your query regarding the insurance they tell you via email, you are not the right person for the job. They want the young person figuring they will work cheap and they can get her to use her vehicle which expenses are to be taken out of that 10.00. They win all around. However it only takes one second and everything can change. DO NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION WITH OUT ADDITIONAL INSURANCE>

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If they want you to do pick ups/drop offs and school runs, doctors appointments etc, particularly with a passenger in the car as part of a paid service, then they should either provide you with a vehicle or should cover the extra cost to insure your car under a commercial/business insurance coverage. Would you get into an Uber or Lyft or any Taxi if those drivers did not have commercial liability coverage to drive you to your destination? God forbid something happened. Should a Taxi be insured to cover your medical expenses as a passenger in their vehicle? Yes is the answer to that of course! Its the same thing with driving children/your parents as part of a nanny / care service. By law in most states you should have personal insurance to drive your own vehicle for your own personal life, such as going to work and back, or driving to the mall, or going out with friends. That is PERSONAL INSURANCE. But if you are driving as part of your business, such as a nanny or say a realtor driving a customer to look at a house, you will need a COMMERCIAL INSURANCE COVERAGE. What if you were in an accident while taking the family's kids to school? And all you had was your personal insurance coverage? When the insurance company asks you were there any other passengers in the car and you say yes, they will then ask you are those kids yours? When you say no, you HAVE to tell them that you were transporting them to school as part of your job. If you lie they WILL find out and then their will be law suits because they will not cover for any damages. I do not know why, seemingly responsible parents, (who have jobs, a mortgage, and I assume would not get into a taxi knowing that taxi driver would not have commercial liability insurance) would even consider asking their most precious cargo to be driven around without proper insurance. I just don't get it. And yet we see these requirements from parents all the time. And when you tell them these important facts they would rather ignore it and go find a nanny who is willing to drive around without the proper paperwork. So answer to your question - yes they should provide you with a proper vehicle or pay for the out of pocket expenses you would incur for your driving around your own vehicle.

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User in Fair Oaks, CA
Oct. 26, 2015

I talked to my auto insurance and again it is required that YOU have Comercial auto coverage if you are getting paid to transport ANYONE as part of your job. When I told this to my potential employer this she was very aware of this and simply said that the caregiver just didn't say anything. This is so wrong that they are very aware of the situation they are putting their caregivers in and willing to let you be the one who gets sued and potentially ruining you life. How can they get by with not disclosing this?

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User in Milton, FL
Feb. 13, 2015

Hi Tamera, As a caregiver I had those same questions. I spoke with my car insurance company (USAA) and they agreed, that yes, the person providing transportation should have some kind of commercial license coverage. They said it is sort of a gray area between being a taxi service or being a person giving a friend a ride, but because we are paid, regular insurance may not cover any accident expenses. If you were to offer up your own car to the caregiver for the care giving appointment, that person would need to be added to your insurance and you still could run into problems as, again, the care giver is getting paid. My feeling is that no one really takes this seriously, although as caregivers and care receiving partners, we should be more active and aware of risks. Hope that helps a little, at least from what I found for the caregivers part in it.

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Lydia in Columbus, GA
June 19, 2017

It might be possible to notify the caregivers insurance company to let them know that they will have a add passanger.

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Insurances are very tricky! commercial car insurance should have liabilities because they are purposely for business, whereas, caregiver drivers insurance can only cover certain people, limitations. Ensure that the care giver insurance covers passenger as well

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Jenifer in Westwood, NJ
April 24, 2017

You need to ask each person to check with the car insurance they have. I am sure they are all different.

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User in Buffalo, NY
March 7, 2017

Driving a client around there's also a risk just like there's a risk anytime you drive. The caregiver just needs to have car ins and a good clean driving record. The caregiver doesn't need anything special to drive a client around. I drive clients around with no problem. All I do is show the family proof of car ins and my driving record.

I'm sorry but your comment seems very naive. Have you read any of these stories. Or have you seen the story about the nanny whom got into a horrible car accident and one child got killed. Her car insurance wouldn't pay for any thing and she was out of a car and no job for over a year after she recovered and had no way to drive even if she had a new job. Regardless of course the clients have no problem with u driving them. My clients all begged me as well. But it's up to u to protect urself and tell them no. Or get covered w commercial car insurance and ma me sure u know the details otherwise u could end up just like the nanny. I'm sorry but I'm just horrified about this issue bc it could of happend to me if i never researched for myself. But if course families and elderly clients have no problem bc they want to get some where and have no clue u might be risking ur job, ur license, and ur car. As well as possibly getting sued by their family!

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Yes it is because you are being paid to take clients to doctors appointments and errands.

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User in Katy, TX
Oct. 24, 2016

Ask your car insurance agent. They want your service so they will be more than happy to help with questions & have them email/mail you the specifics.

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From what I was told (I may be incorrect), if the caregiver is driving your car and you have insurance that covers anyone driving your car then if they were to get into an accident it would be covered. The only thing that wouldn't be covered would be the caregiver's medical expenses. Now, if a caregiver has basic insurance for their car, if your father gets injured there turns into the potential of having to have a lawsuit because he wouldn't be covered. In order for caregiver's to have an insurance plan that covers it, it will cost them more money to have that type of insurance. I agree hiring and paying a caregiver would be a better idea than an agency because agencies really tend to pay low. Even in a nursing home or assisted living, it is not a living wage. It is difficult to be a caregiver and also have a living wage in my experience. (Some assisted living and homes employ people that are not certified nursing assistants and pay them even lower). So, I completely understand your worry. Advice: Ask the caregiver what type of coverage for car insurance they have. Maybe pay the difference of the normal insurance to the completely covered insurance monthly in their pay(ask for a copy of the quote). Don't forget about mileage reimbursement and gas costs only for when they are transporting your father places, NOT their commute to and from your house. (I believe the mileage can be done through taxes). I hope this helps!

User in Carthage, NC
Sept. 29, 2016

Thank you. The people who have wanted to hire me to drive their kids around, never offer to pay for gas money nor help to pay for insurance. I automatically turn down any driving jobs. I contacted my insurance agency and they did say that although indeed they cover the passengers in the car, there's a potential to be suit. I always tell the parents I don't feel comfortable driving kids around and that my insurance doesn't cover it should something happen. It really isn't worth to be work and pay gasoline out of your own pocket and exposing yourself to a lawsuit.

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User in Lansing, MI
Sept. 15, 2016

I do not know much about that. I believe if the car have insurance everyone in the car should be cover.

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User in Riverside, CA
July 24, 2015

It's so sad but definitely seems to be the case. Anyone have any info about Nanny car insurance (using her own car)?

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User in Austin, TX
Dec. 11, 2015

Does anybody know how much commercial auto insurance runs compared to personal auto insurance?

User in Carthage, NC
May 18, 2016

I just got off the phone with USAA and tgey told me that since is part of your job you don't require additional insurance it it's to drive one kid to sn from school. However, if you drive three kids to appointments and activities, yes, you do need extra coverage.

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User in Katy, TX
Jan. 6, 2017

Ask your car insurance agent.

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In California caregiver or child care worker is considered a domestic worker and cannot be hired as a contractor (1099). Being that a domestic cannot be hired as a contractor, both the employee (caregiver) and employer and not covered under caregiver's personal vehicle insurance when utilizing caregiver's personal vehicle. The same goes if you try to claim you were a contractor, even an independent contractor is not covered by their own personal vehicle insurance. In California, in order to obtain Commercial Insurance coverage from an insurance provider you must be an LLC. Bottom-line ... If a domestic employee files a claim under their personal car insurance, for a vehicle you use for work, your car insurance company may deny your claim simply because some business uses violate the terms of your personal car insurance policy. Please let me know if you are aware of anything different. I would love to hear from you. I have found it very difficult in obtaining accurate information. Also, if I am incorrect, I would value direct information on what insurance company/companies DO OFFER Domestic Drivers/Employees full coverage when utilizing their own vehicle. Seeking essential advise..... var

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User in Carthage, NC
Dec. 19, 2017

I don't take jobs that require transportation. To me is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I'm up front with the parents when they ask especially if I have a baby in tow to pick up the older siblings. I rather lose the job than be entangled in a lawsuit. Not worth it

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ABSOLUTELY, if you or your father would like the caregiver to drive you MUST put them on your insurance, they could lose their license if anything were to happen and they are in the car

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