Are Pickup Trucks Classified as Commercial Vehicles?
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Is a Pickup Truck Considered a Commercial Vehicle?

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Ordinary vehicles are sometimes classified as commercial ones for insurance purposes. One type of vehicle that can fall into this category is a pickup truck. Simply owning a pickup doesn’t mean it will be considered a commercial vehicle, but there are some factors that can change how a vehicle is classified. Here’s what you need to know about the classification of pickup trucks when it comes to what kind of auto insurance San Diego coverage you’ll need.

How Your Pickup Is Used

A basic pickup truck isn’t automatically considered a commercial vehicle. This applies even when a pickup is used for both personal and work use, as is often the case in the construction industry. However, your pickup truck may be considered a commercial vehicle if it’s:

• Specifically owned by your business
• Leased by your business or leased for business purposes
• A personal vehicle you primarily use for work-related purposes

What a “Commercial Vehicle” Is

Should your pickup truck be classified as a commercial vehicle, it will be considered a light commercial vehicle (LCV). This determination is based on the vehicle’s weight. In general, for insurance purposes, commercial vehicles are defined as ones that transport either goods or passengers for profit.

When Things Can Get Complicated

If all you do is drive a pickup you own to and from work, it’s not a commercial vehicle. But if that same vehicle is owned by your business and used for work-related tasks, it’s commercial. However, things get a bit complicated if you have a personally owned vehicle that’s used for work, too.

When a personally owned pickup is also used for work, your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover any vehicle damage that may occur while you’re using it for work. With situations of this nature, you’ll need commercial insurance for your pickup.

Vehicle Insurance Options for Pickups

With personally owned pickups used for business, you won’t need two different policies to cover your vehicle. What you can do instead is add an endorsement to your commercial policy that covers personal use. For example, if you’re involved in an accident on your way to work, you would still be covered.

Conversely, if you opt for commercial auto insurance coverage for your own personal pickup and you reach a point where it’s no longer used for work, your insurance provider may drop you if they find out this is what’s going on. This is why it’s important to keep track of how your vehicles are used.

Determining Pickup Insurance Needs & Costs

The amount of coverage you’ll need for your pickup and how much you’ll pay for it if commercial insurance is what’s most appropriate will depend on several factors. These include:

• Whether your industry is considered high risk or low risk
• The age and condition of any pickups you’re using for work
• The current value of the pickup you need covered
• Your claims history and credit score
• The distance the pickup typically travels when it’s used 

If you aren’t sure whether your pickup would fall into the commercial vehicle classification, make sure to call your insurance agent so you don’t encounter any unwelcome surprises. For the highest-quality auto, motorcycle, homeowners, and renters insurance, San Diego residents rely on the experienced team from Altra Insurance Services. Give one of our friendly agents a call today at (800) 719-9972.

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