Business Insurance

What Car Insurance Does an Accountant Need?

Depending on where an accountant sees clients, they might need to upgrade their personal car insurance. Here's how to know when this applies, and how to get the right car insurance if you're an accountant.

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Many accountants use their personal car to commute between home and work, to travel to and from client sites, or both. What kind of driving do you do for work—and more importantly, do you have the right insurance for it? To find out, let's first look at what 'class of use' means in car insurance.

Class of Use

All car insurance policies stipulate what kind of driving is permitted under the terms of the contract, whether that's personal driving only or including commuting or business use. There are six class codes of use, and your certificate of motor insurance will list which type of use is allowed and covered under your policy. Here are the six classes of use:

Car Insurance Classes of Use

  1. Social, domestic and pleasure
  2. Social, domestic, pleasure and commuting
  3. Business use by you (Business Class 1)
  4. Business use by you and spouse (Business Class 1)
  5. Business use for named drivers (Business Class 2)
  6. Commercial travelling (Business Class 3)

It's critical to declare and be accepted for the correct class of use, because driving outside of your class can invalidate your car insurance policy. For example, if your certificate of motor insurance lists only the social, domestic and pleasure class then you cannot use your car for business use.

What is business use?

Business car insurance can cover your privately-owned car when you drive to visit clients, travel between different work locations and/or make sales calls. The type of business driving allowed depends on the specific class of use. Here we define the three classes of 'business use' so you can see if your accountancy driving constitutes business use for car insurance purposes:

  • Business Class 1. Covers business driving away from your regular office to multiple work sites or to visit clients or customers. Many insurers let you include your spouse in the coverage so long as their business driving is for your business (not, for example, for their own job). You should also be covered for regular day-to-day driving (e.g., for social, domestic and pleasure driving and commuting to/from your permanent place of work).
  • Business Class 2. The same work-related driving coverage as Business Class 1, but expanded to cover an additional named driver, for instance an employee or co-worker.
  • Business Class 3. Covers long-distance use to make business calls without prearranged appointments (e.g., a travelling salesperson). This class is also referred to as 'commercial travelling'.

Business Class 3 is unlikely to apply to an accountant, since accountants don't cold call.

Three questions to help you decide your class of accountant car insurance

Getting the right car insurance coverage is critical for an accountant, and is one of the key steps in getting your accountancy insurance lined up for your business (along with accountant professional indemnity and other forms of business insurance). Answer these questions to help decide which type of car insurance you need for your accountancy driving.

Do you only use your car for personal use?

If you only drive your car for personal reasons (e.g., driving to the grocery store, to a friend's house, to the park, etc.) and you never drive to work or to visit clients, then the 'social, domestic and pleasure' class of car insurance is likely to be sufficient. This is the cheapest class of car insurance.

Do you also use your car to commute to and from work?

If you use your car for personal reasons and also for driving between home and work, then the 'social, domestic, pleasure and commuting' class of use would probably be appropriate. This class is typically more expensive than 'social, domestic and pleasure' because it means you'll be driving during rush hours when the roads are busy, creating a higher risk of an accident claim. Under this class of use you're only permitted to drive to and from one place of work; you would not be covered for visiting client sites.

Do you ever visit clients at their home or place of work?

If you're an accountant and you drive your personal car to visit clients (in addition to driving for personal use and commuting), then to be covered legally a 'business use' class of use would need to be declared to the insurer and accepted. Business Class 1 would be covers one driver on work-related trips only; if you are teamed up with a coworker who sometimes drives your car, or an employee, then Business Class 2 could cover this driving.

How to Get Accountant Car Insurance

The easiest way to expand your car insurance coverage to include 'business use' driving is probably to call up your existing car insurer—ask for a new quote, but before you accept it do some research to decide if it's competitive or not. It's possible that your current insurer is not very competitive when it comes to business use insurance, so you'll want to compare the premium to the market before you accept the quote.

Of course, if you are happy with the price (e.g., it's a marginal increase over your current rate) then you might opt to skip this step and just take the upgrade with your existing provider. Note: not all car insurance providers offer 'business use' driving, but most do.

To get an idea of prices for 'business use' coverage for your accountancy driving, you can click below where you'll first fill out a short quote form. Our partner QuoteZone's comparison engine will then match you up with potential providers and let you know how much you'd need to pay:

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Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.