Does Being Self Employed Affect Car Insurance?

Self-employment may not directly affect car insurance rates, but factors like mileage and coverage needs can indirectly influence the cost of coverage. If your private car is not used for business purposes, being self-employed should not directly impact your car insurance premiums. However, the nature of your work, how you adjust your vehicle or what you carry in it and how much you travel can indirectly affect rates.

If your trade heavily relies on private vehicle usage, it is important to inform your insurer so that your policy can be adjusted to adequately cover your specific needs. Understanding the indirect impact of self-employment on car insurance premiums allows you to have meaningful discussions with your agent or insurer, ensuring that your coverage aligns with your requirements and offers appropriate protection for both your business and personal use of the vehicle.

Being self-employed can have an impact on your car insurance premiums due to several factors related to your occupation and work arrangements. These factors and other considerations are discussed below:

  1. Business use: If you use your vehicle extensively for business purposes, such as making deliveries, transporting goods, or visiting clients, your insurance premiums are likely to be higher compared to someone who uses their vehicle solely for personal commuting. The increased mileage and exposure to potential risks associated with business activities can lead to higher auto insurance premiums.
  2. Type of profession: Certain professions are considered higher risk by vehicle insurers, and being self-employed in these occupations can result in higher premiums. For example, occupations that involve frequent travel, such as sales representatives or consultants, may be charged higher rates due to increased exposure to accidents and higher mileage.
  3. Commercial vehicles: If your self-employment requires the use of commercial vehicles, such as trucks or vans, you will need a separate commercial auto insurance policy. Commercial vehicles typically have higher insurance premiums due to the increased liability and potential for accidents associated with their use. So, you may need to determine which vehicles need a commercial policy, which ones need to have business use added to the policy and which ones can just have a standard private auto insurance policy.
  4. Vehicle modifications: As a self-employed individual, you may modify your vehicle to accommodate specific business needs. These modifications, such as adding equipment or customizations for your trade, can impact your insurance rates. It’s important to inform your insurer about any modifications to ensure adequate coverage and accurate premium calculations.
  5. Business location: The location of your business can also affect your car insurance premiums. If your business operates in an area with higher traffic congestion, crime rates, or a higher incidence of accidents, insurers may consider it a higher risk location, resulting in higher premiums.
  6. Personal credit history: In some cases, being self-employed may impact your car insurance premiums indirectly through factors like your credit history. Companies often use credit-based insurance scores to determine rates, and self-employed individuals may face challenges if they don’t have a consistent income or a well-established credit history.
  7. No employer group discounts: Typically, employed individuals may have access to group insurance plans offered by their employers, which often provide discounted rates. As a self-employed individual, you may not have access to these discounts, resulting in potentially losing out on discounts compared to someone in a traditional employment arrangement.
  8. You may need additional coverage: In addition to considering the impact of self-employment on car insurance premiums, it’s essential to think about potential consequences in the event of a car accident that leaves you unable to work for a period of time. Unlike traditional employees who may receive paid sick leave or disability benefits, self-employed individuals typically do not have the same financial safety nets. Therefore, it is important to consider adding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to your policy. PIP coverage can provide compensation for loss of earnings in case of injuries sustained in a car accident, helping to safeguard your financial well-being during your recovery period.

It’s important to note that insurance companies consider various risk factors when calculating premiums, and being self-employed introduces additional variables that may impact the rates you are quoted. To ensure you have appropriate coverage at the best possible rates, it’s advisable to discuss your specific self-employment situation with insurers or agents and compare vehicle insurance quotes from multiple companies.