Question: My wife has a car and she works with an accountancy firm. Normally, her job doesn’t require client visits and even it does she can take a taxi or public transport if she has to. My question is would it be alright if she goes to client visits with it once in a blue moon? Does she have to call the insurance company and add business use?
Answer: When you start carrying trade related people (like employees or customers) and trade goods or equipment in your car you should seriously consider adding business use. Liabilities requirements of a business and a person is generally different. For example, your customers who are injured in a car accident in your car can sue you or choose to sue the business. This would cause serious headaches for you. So, you need to get it right.
Another important point to look at is how your car is insured currently. Some cars may be insured leisure only (because it is cheaper) that doesn’t include any business use or even commute to work depending on the wording. You must make sure that you have a standard policy (not leisure use only). Standard policies would have certain level of flexibility in terms of business use in the way you described.
The last point to look at is if your wife declaring any mileage on the car for business use. If that is the case, it should have a business use element on your policy. You cannot tell the tax man that you are using your car for business and not tell your insurer, in my opinion.
Still depending on where you live, the insurer you are with and the policy wordings, there are various automatic business uses allowed with private auto policies. For example, it was ruled in one state (cannot remember which one) that doing pizza delivery with your private car would not require you to have a business auto insurance. So, check your policy. You can ask these things to your broker and they will be able to check it for you.
From what you described and assuming you have a standard policy I would not worry about it if I were you. But mind the points especially carrying customers.