Today, it’s not uncommon for small business owners and employees to use their personal vehicles or rented cars to conduct business, whether to travel to business meetings or deliver products to customers. However, what these business owners may not realize is that their commercial auto policy may not cover the use of non-owned or hired vehicles for business operations.

Instead of leaving their business vulnerable to liability issues in the event of a car accident, USMC Insurance encourages small business owners to purchase hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance. In this way, they will be protected if an accident occurs while a personal or rented car is used for business reasons.

HNOA insurance covers damages that occur while an employee uses a personal or rented vehicle for business operations. For example, suppose an employee runs an errand to pick up more paper for the business’s printer and gets into an accident. In that case, the policy will cover liability claims, defense costs, and settlements. By having this vital auto policy, business owners protect their company’s finances and avoid having to close their doors permanently due to unforeseen expenses.

Just as important as noting how an HNOA policy is beneficial is noting which damages will not be covered under this policy. Hired and non-owned auto insurance will not cover physical damage to a personal or rented vehicle, damage to items transported in the car, accidents occurring when the employee is driving for personal reasons, or an employee’s medical expenses. If a business owner wishes to have any of these damages covered, they will need additional liability coverage.

How much should a business owner expect to pay for HNOA coverage? The cost of hired and non-owned auto insurance depends on a number of factors. An insurance carrier will look at the company’s cost to hire (or rent) a vehicle, the number of employees using non-owned cars for business, the number of miles driven, the frequency of driving, and the radius of driving. The carrier will use this information to calculate the business’s HNOA premium.

Because small businesses are especially vulnerable to the effects of liability issues, business owners need to do everything they can to protect their companies. That’s why USMC Insurance suggests businesses that may use personal or rented vehicles in the course of business to purchase hired and non-owned auto coverage. The process of electing this coverage is simple. Business owners can visit to learn how HNOA insurance can protect employees on the road.