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Liability

Over the last several days, the VU has fielded several auto insurance related questions as it pertains to food delivery and the Coronavirus. These questions cannot be classed simply as personal auto or business auto questions because the most common question involves both polices.
A father’s nonresident daughter borrowed his camper trailer to be hauled by her SUV. Dad hooked the vehicles up. While the trailer was being towed, it somehow became uncoupled, and the tongue of the trailer rammed the rear of the daughter’s SUV, causing several thousand dollars damage. Dad thinks this is his fault and wants his PAP to pay. Will it?
For the personal auto insurance industry, food delivery is a big exposure. And because so many teenagers and even young adults deliver food as a primary or secondary source of income, agents are regularly asked if the PAP covers food delivery. Does the PAP extend coverage for food delivery? Well, maybe! Like so many other insurance coverage questions, the answer depends on the coverage language of the individual policy and the specifics of the activity.
A business transports people to various medical facilities such as routine doctor visits and other non-emergency appointments. How is the exposure arising from moving patients from the vehicle and into the medical facility, and vice versa, covered? Is it BAP or CGL? Is this a “loading and unloading” situation?
It is remarkable how many questions we get about exposures involving pulling trailers. Pulling personally-owned trailers with business-owned autos. Pulling business-owned trailers with personally-owned autos. Using trailers as music stages. And on and on. Here’s a very common one.
In practical application, the PAP extends coverage for the business use of a “your covered auto” provided it’s not used to carry people or property for a fee (i.e., Uber or Lyft). Absent material misrepresentation in the application regarding the use of the vehicle, the PAP responds to an incident arising from business use. But some carrier’s apply specific business use exclusions few ever pay attention to, until it’s too late.
Opinions vary regarding the widespread availability and ultimate acceptance in the US of fully autonomous vehicles. Some foresee widespread adoption of fully autonomous vehicles within the next “automotive generation” (within 12 years); others believe fully autonomous vehicles won’t be the “rule” for at least two or three automotive generations (24 to 36 years). Both sides have credible arguments, but only one can be correct. Regardless who is correct, how is legal liability altered during the transition to full autonomy?
Company cars present a serious coverage gap under the Personal Auto Policy, an exposure that exists for a very high percentage of your insureds. Fortunately, in most cases, this exposure can be treated. This article explores two options for addressing this issue.
After years of instructing personal auto seminars, probably the question that comes up most often (except, perhaps, for rental car issues) is whether or not the ISO PAP covers claims that arise out of the use of a personal auto for pizza delivery. Here's my opinion (along with that of several courts)....
The current ISO PAP excludes the use of an auto as a public or livery conveyance. Older ISO versions excluded transporting property for a fee. However, some company forms exclude 'delivery.' Depending on the precise wording of the exclusion and the interpretation of the word 'delivery,' these policies may exclude far more than the ISO forms.
Between gasoline prices and roadways becoming more and more congested, it can be expected that car pooling will become increasingly popular, if not necessary, in many areas. In this article, I'll explore how car pools are treated in several editions of the ISO Personal Auto Policy.
'The Fast and the Furious' is a movie often viewed with delight by teenagers and adult adolescents everywhere. Perhaps it's no coincidence that since the movie's rlelease we've since had 'Ask an Expert' questions regarding Personal Auto Policy (PAP) coverage for accidents arising out of street racing, including one denied claim.
The ISO PAP excludes vehicles being used as a public or livery conveyance for liability, medical payments, and physical damage. This exclusion pops up in scenarios ranging from airport shuttles to pizza delivery. This article takes a quick look at the background of this exclusion then focuses on a particular application to a recent 'Ask an Expert' question.
Commonly referred to as the 'company car exclusion,' the 'furnished or available for your regular use' exclusion can apply to a lot more than that. In addition, what constitutes 'regular'? For example, if you rent a car on vacation for a week, is that 'regular'? How about a month-long rental? How about 90 days? At what point is the vehicle available for your regular use? In this article, we'll examine this issue in the light of several court decisions and offer a simple and inexpensive solution to the exposure.
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Alexandria VA 22314
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