Many of our restoration contractor clients have equipment attached to their vehicles like welding tanks, tool boxes, and generators. We are often asked about whether or not an auto insurance policy provides coverage for those pieces of equipment for claims involving damage to the vehicle or theft.
A standard business auto policy covers loss to a covered vehicle or its equipment. A business auto policy doesn’t actually define “equipment” within the policy itself. However, by looking within the policy under the definition of “mobile equipment” it says that vehicles with the following types of permanently attached equipment are not “mobile equipment” but will be considered part of the auto: air compressors, pumps, generators, including spraying, welding, building cleaning, geophysical exploration, lighting or well servicing equipment.
Additionally, the standard business auto policy doesn’t specify that the equipment must be part of the original vehicle. So pieces of equipment that have been added to the vehicle after should still have coverage for those pieces of equipment.
Important Items to Note:
All that being said, there are two very important items for restoration contractors to keep in mind with permanently attached equipment:
1. We recommend that large items, such as permanently mounted extractors, be covered under an Inland Marine policy. An Inland Marine policy will allow you to specifically schedule the piece of equipment on your policy and avoid any potential coverage issues down the road.
2. Equipment, such as air movers, dehumidifiers, hoses, wands, and cleaning supplies, are not covered by your auto policy. Any equipment that is not permanently attached to the should be covered under a property or inland marine insurance policy.
Please keep in mind that every policy is different and that you should refer to your specific policy, its endorsements, and exclusions to ensure you have coverage for the scenarios above.