Does being self employed affect my car insurance?

13 April 2023

Are you one of the 2.2 million Aussies who work for themselves?1 Chances are you might occasionally use your car for your business. But how does this affect your car insurance?

Using your car for private or business use

When taking out a car insurance policy, you’ll have to specify whether the car is mostly used for business or private use. This may also change during the course of your policy, so keep your details up to date.

Private use refers to things like the following:

  • Your everyday commute – such as to and from work, the shops, or school pickups.
  • Holidaying.
  • Driving occasionally in connection with your work – but if you start using the vehicle regularly for business-related driving you’ll need to consider listing business use on your policy to have coverage.

Business use refers to these sorts of things:

  • Specific work related driving – such as on-road sales or driving to and from tradie jobs.
  • Ridesharing or deliveries.

Driving occasionally for private use doesn’t mean you can’t specify that your car is used primarily for business. You should answer according to the car’s primary use.

If you’re self-employed and you use your vehicle as part of your business, you need to advise your insurer. Your premium calculation will take into account a number of factors including:

  • the way you use your vehicle – such as transporting heavy items
  • the additional risks you and your vehicle may face – things like regular driving along unpaved roads
  • the extra time you may spend on the road, and
  • your exposure to things like potential theft of equipment.

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Choosing the right insurance cover for business use

This will depend on several factors, including the type of work that you do and how often you use your vehicle for your business.

Comprehensive vs Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance

Having Comprehensive Car Insurance can cover damage caused to your vehicle and liability for damage caused to other people’s vehicles and property.

Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance will only cover liability for damage to other people’s property, meaning you’ll have to pay for any repairs to your own car out of your own pocket.

So review your circumstances and choose the right option for you.

If you’re a tradie and keep tools of trade inside or fitted to your car, Suncorp’s Comprehensive Car Insurance as well as Third Party Fire & Theft Insurance offers cover for tools of trade when your car is damaged in an accident or stolen, for up to $1,500. To claim under this additional cover you must have told us your car is used for business purpose and this is shown on your certificate of insurance. See the PDS for the full conditions, limitations and exclusions.

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Optional covers

There are also some optional covers that may be beneficial to you. Suncorp Insurance provides an optional Windscreen and Window glass cover – so if you’re driving to meet your next client and a stone chips your windscreen, it can be replaced or repaired without needing to pay an excess. We offer one excess free damaged windscreen replacement every period of insurance.

If you drive regularly or over long distances as part of your work, Suncorp Roadside Assist can provide you cover for things such as a flat tyre, running out of fuel or even when you need a battery restart. Terms and conditions apply.

Ways to save on car insurance if you’re self-employed

Using your car for your business may in some cases affect your premium, but there are some things you can do that may help you save.

Keeping a log of your driving for tax purposes

Logging the number of kilometres you drive for business errands – think meeting suppliers and clients or going to trade events and markets – may allow you to claim on fuel costs come tax time and in some cases help offset the higher premium that may apply to your car being used for business.

On your tax return you may also be able to claim other things like:

  • your car’s registration
  • depreciation (decline in value) of your vehicle, and
  • a portion of your insurance premium.

Make sure to consult a professional tax agent to review what you can claim based on your circumstances.

Qualify for a multi-policy discount?

If you use your home as a base, you’ll probably want cover for the essential things to run your business, such as your laptop and equipment. By having multiple policies with Suncorp Insurance – like your Home, Contents and Car Insurance – we can help you save on Suncorp policies. We offer a multi-policy discount if you have three or more eligible policies – giving you 15% off each policy.*

Claims Free Driver Rewards

By maintaining a good driver record, you can benefit from our Claims Free Driver Rewards on Comprehensive Insurance. For each consecutive year you stay comprehensively insured with Suncorp and don’t make an excess payable claim, we’ll reward you with a percentage of the premium you paid as a credit on your next renewal.**

You can learn more about ways to save on your Suncorp Insurance policy here.

Read more:

1 Self-Employed Australia

*Some optional covers are not discounted, like Suncorp Roadside Assist. Discount applies before taxes and charges are added. Combine three or more paid eligible personal insurance products with us and you could qualify for our multi policy discount.

**You cannot have Rating 1 for Life and Claims Free Driver Rewards on the same car. Claims Free Driver Rewards is not redeemable or payable as cash. Refer to the PDS for details.

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.