The answer isn’t always entirely clear…
Plenty of car owners wonder if they should go with commuter versus pleasure car insurance for their ride. The prevailing assumption is you’ll pay less for a pleasure-only vehicle versus a commuter. However, the reality is a little more complicated.
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According to Progressive, it doesn’t offer commuter or pleasure car insurance policies. Instead, when you get a policy you answer what the primary use of the vehicle is, that is just one of many factors which affect the quote and rate you get. In other words, at least some insurance companies won’t tell you straight-up which is cheaper because the way they calculate things is complicated. If that seems like a non-answer, you’re probably not alone.
However, if you say a vehicle is used just for pleasure driving and you get into an accident during a commute to work you might be in a bit of a pickle. Again, insurance companies don’t want to be entirely direct about what might happen, but it’s possible your insurance claim is rejected and you’re left holding the bag. Also, Progressive makes it clear that lying about the primary use of your vehicle can be considered insurance fraud. Chew on that for a moment.
Car insurance companies say commuter coverage is necessary even if you don’t use your vehicle to drive back and forth to and from work each day. You need it if you’re driving to and from campus if you’re going to school, if you’re driving your kids to school every day, you give rides to a family member daily, or you’re out driving regularly.
Even though insurance providers might want to pretend that commuter coverage doesn’t necessarily affect insurance rates, the reality is it won’t make your policy cheaper. After all, the more you’re on the road every day the more likely you’ll be involved in an accident, whether your fault or not. This is why you’re asked about vehicle usage.
Some insurers have an annual mileage cap for pleasure driving policies. You might have to ask what it is, but some insurance companies are very clear about that limit. If you get such a policy, you’ll have to closely monitor your mileage or risk the consequences which might include having to switch to a commuter policy.
Another thing to consider: if you’re using a car to make deliveries or for a ride-sharing service like Uber, you might need commercial auto insurance. Most people probably don’t consider that, but if you’re involved in an incident and your insurance carrier or the other party’s becomes aware the reason you were out was to deliver food or ferry people from one spot to another for money, you might be facing a very uncomfortable series of events.
Sources: Progressive, Capital One
Image via Taras Makarenko