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Question about Car insurance policy for home health nurses

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Chris308 Chris308 (New) New

I'm working as a home health nurse in California and this year my auto insurance rate just doubled. My insurance says that my car's usage designation was changed from "work usage" to "Business usage" because I'm driving around to see patients. I was told that if I was working at an office driving to a single location for work then it would be considered "work usage" which has a much cheaper coverage.

I'm curious if anyone else have the same experience.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 10 years experience.

How do they know what you are doing/where you are going?

They ask me if I drive from patient to patient and I said yes

They asked me if I use my car to drive from patient to patient and I said yes

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 10 years experience.

They didn't ask what kind of nursing I do and I didn't volunteer the info. But some insurance companies will classify that as business others as excessive use. Try contacting a local agent to negotiate a new policy on your behalf. The carriers pay the commission

I've never been asked what I use my car for, other than the broad definition of personal use, going to and from work. It sounds to me as if an agent in your office discovered a new way to gouge money from nurses who work for home health agencies. I would look around for a new insurance agency if I were you.

Thanks. I will do that.

greenerpastures

Has 5 years experience.

As a former insurance adjuster, I can tell you that you should have a business policy if you are using your car for work and being reimbursed mileage, etc, for more than 2 trips a week. If you get in an accident, they can refuse to provide coverage under a regular policy for a violation of your terms of agreement. It's in the fine print no one ever reads. If I hadn't done adjusting, I wouldn't know.

The flip side is, if you don't have a business policy, and then you get in an accident, sometimes they deduct the difference they should have been charging your from any claims you can make. I.E. Your claim is $2500 on a personal policy, but you should have had a business policy that was $1000 more. The company will change you to a business policy and only pay $1500 of your claim.

Read the fine print of your personal policy, then talk to your agent.

RiskManager

Specializes in Healthcare risk management and liability.

Greenerpastures hit the highlights. Tasks such as driving around to see patients, courier duty, pizza delivery and the like in your personal auto may very well not be covered by your personal auto policy. They are considered business use of the personal auto, and there is an exclusion for coverage in your auto policy for this. This is not unique to the OP's insurance agency or auto policy carrier; all of the auto insurance companies do this.

When I was the risk manager for our healthcare system's hospice and home health service lines, I required our nurses to provide me with proof of coverage for business use of their personal auto, either with a business auto policy, or an endorsement on their personal auto policy providing coverage for use of the auto for patient visits. The 54 cents per mile that you are getting reimbursed for using your personal auto is intended to cover gas, maintenance, insurance and other incidental costs for using the vehicle.

Unfortunately, many people are not aware of this until they are involved in a collision, and then find out afterwards that their personal auto policy will not cover them for the claim. If you are not an insurance expert, you need to talk to one. If you are not covered by insurance, you will be paying for the claim out of pocket. If you do purchase the business auto policy and have a claim, note also that you will be paying the deductible out of pocket, so choose the deductible amount wisely.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Am reading this late.

to greenerpastures and RiskManager - thank you BIG TIME.. My guess is that only a very, very small population of nurses know and understand this issue. My cousin was my insurance agent and he saw to it that I was properly covered.

Nurses also need to know that the rules may be different if they are transporting someone in their personal car also. Another reason for nurses/HHAs to avoid the pt chauffering duties unless they are VERY certain re accurate coverage. Again they may not be covered.

Thank you for input

Thank you for this important information