"May you live in interesting times" goes the old saying. Some claim it's a curse rather than a blessing. One thing is for certain: you live in interesting times today.
For example, there are all sorts of new ways to earn a living that challenge the concepts of private versus commercial enterprise. People who rideshare, using their personal vehicles as taxis to make a living, are finding that their individual auto policies won't cover their driving activities. Others who rent out occasional rooms to website contacts are jeopardizing the status of their homeowners insurance policies.
Business owners in the vicinities of recent nationwide protests may not have adequate commercial insurance to cover losses due to looting or government-restricted access to their locations. Clearly, commercial insurance needs are changing as a result of these and other new developments.
You can't be an über secret driver and a safe driver at the same time.
Taxi drivers in many major cities have been complaining bitterly about the competition they're getting from many of the new ridesharing services that have popped up around the country. That's because officially licensed taxi drivers must pay for expensive taxi medallions as well as for high dollar commercial insurance to protect their paying passengers.
Meanwhile, the ridesharing drivers are clearing far more profit in many cases by skirting the medallion fees and by relying only on their personal auto insurance policies to cover any mishaps. Such policies, however, can be declared invalid if the auto policy holder is using their covered vehicle for business reasons.
While some ridesharing companies offer additional coverage to their drivers because of these constraints, it's often unclear how adequate these policies really are.
New legislation in many towns, such as San Antonio, mandate the purchase of commercial insurance for those who offer taxi service using their personal vehicles. Other cities expect a licensing or registration fee along with the purchase of commercial coverage. Some carriers predict these regulations will become standard policy for ridesharing businesses across the nation in order to protect drivers and their passengers.
Homeowners insurance can be up in the air if you rent out a room.
Travelers searching via smartphones or online for low-cost rooms for the night are now being matched with homeowners offering local room rentals in their personal residences. These collaborations are a great last-minute solution for weary folks on long journeys, especially when graduations, ball games and holiday travel eat up all of a town's affordable, available hotel rooms.
The websites and apps responsible for connecting renters with nearby rooms also offer struggling homeowners a way to earn additional income with a minimum investment of time and money.
The problem is, some insurance companies will cancel your policy if you rent rooms. Yikes.
Some insurance companies are fine with an occasional renter, but will often limit their coverage to those renters who earn under a set income cap from this sideline business. If you do choose to rent a room from time to time, and your insurance agent assures you you're covered, get that assurance in writing.
Check that your current business coverage can meet protest demands.
You may not be able to change the world, but you can check to be certain that any business losses you incur due to the consequences of protest marches - or subsequent government action - are covered in your commercial insurance policy.
Now is the time to go over your commercial policy with your insurance provider to determine if you have the correct level of property damage coverage. Discuss your coverage for loss of income as well. If your street or section of town is under curfew, blocked off or otherwise made inaccessible by law enforcement, you may be entitled to recoup revenue lost when your customers lacked access.
Find out if you're riding that risky fine line between needing personal or needing commercial insurance coverage. Your insurance professional will be happy to explain the difference in price and coverage for your activities.
It's never a bad time to review your home, business and auto insurance coverage, even if you think your own life is not that interesting. For more information, contact Adanac Insurance Services Ltd. or a similar company.