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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118658
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My insurance will not pay a claim. I am self employed, I have

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My insurance will not pay a claim. I am self employed, I have a truck that takes me to and from job site where I supervise my workers. I do not transport goods for compensation, nor do I operate giving rides for fees. They claim I am a commercial vehicle because I have advertising decals on my truck. My truck was stolen from my property at night while I was asleep. They said "According to our investigation, there may be no coverage for this loss because your insured auto was being used for business purposes at the time of this accident." The truck was not in use, it was parked, I was asleep. There was no accident, it was stolen. Any advice?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

It is not the use of the vehicle to go back and forth to work that made your vehicle commercial and requiring a commercial insurance rider. What makes your vehicle commercial and related to your business would be the fact you had your company name on the vehicle I am afraid. You need to read your policy to see what it said about commercial use, but if the truck was at your home and not on a job, then you do have grounds to argue as you state above that it was not being used at the time of the theft for any commercial purposes. You need to start by sending them a letter informing them that the car was parked in front of your residence, which is listed on the policy and was not being used for any commercial purpose at the time of the theft and their denial of your claim is bad faith based on this reason. However, if they will not pay still and depending on the exact wording of your policy about commercial use, you would then have to sue them in court for breach of your insurance contract to obtain payment out of them.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I pay a friend $100 a month for advertising for me on his truck. He is not affiliated with my business nor does he work for me. He is a banker at chase. Is that a commercial vehicle? I don't see how advertising places your vehicle as commercial.

It is advertising and taking the vehicle with you on jobs to and from jobs that can convert it to commercial use. Each policy does also define commercial use differently and you also need to read your policy to dispute the insurance company's claims and pursue hem for breach of contract.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


We will not pay for:

2. Loss to your covered auto while it is:

a. being used to carry persons for a fee; this does not apply to a share-the-expense car pool; or

b. being used to carry property for a fee, including , but not limiting to delivery or magazines, newspapers, food, pizza, or any other product; or

c. rented or leased to another; this does not apply if you or a family member lends your covered auto to another for reimbursement of operating expenses only."

Thank you for the additional information.

Based on this and if there is no other commercial exclusion, you need to write them a letter appealing their denial and telling them that their refusal to pay is bad faith and you will pursue them for not only the actual loss of the truck but punitive damages for their bad faith denial plus attorney's fees. For bad faith, if the court finds them in bad faith, you are able to collect up to 3 times the amount of the claim plus attorney's fees as a penalty for their bad faith denial. If they refuse your claim again, then you would go and sue them.
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