Commercial Auto Symbols


Have you ever, during a particularly wild moment, closely examined the insurance policy that covers your business vehicles? If so, you may have noticed the little numbers that appear next to each coverage. Hopefully you’re familiar with these numbers and their meaning. If the symbols mystify you, then by all means keep reading.

Covered Auto Designation Symbols

Those little numbers on your policy’s cover page are called covered auto designation symbols or, to their friends, just symbols. Each symbol has a special meaning as they represent the type of vehicle that is protected by the applicable liability or physical damage insurance limit. As you read the symbol definitions, it’s important to remember two things. The first is that the symbol may apply to either a particular kind of vehicle OR the vehicle’s ownership status. The second item is that "auto" is a defined term, so you must be familiar with your policy’s definitions. Also notice that the symbols differ depending on whether the coverage is for liability or physical damage.

Liability Coverage Auto Symbols

1 = ANY "AUTO". This is the broadest symbol designation and covers any "auto."

2 = OWNED "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers any "auto" owned by an insured, including any "auto" that is acquired after the policy begins. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by an owned vehicle.

3 = OWNED PRIVATE PASSENGER "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers only private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

4 = OWNED "AUTOS" OTHER THAN PRIVATE PASSENGER "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers all "autos" other than private passenger type "autos" (vans, trucks, motorized equipment) owned by an insured, including such vehicles that may be acquired after the policy begins. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by an owned vehicle.

5 = OWNED "AUTOS" SUBJECT TO NO-FAULT. Any "auto" owned by an insured that is garaged or licensed in a state where no-fault benefit laws exists. This symbol also applies to any "auto" acquired after the policy begins.

6 = OWNED "AUTOS" SUBJECT TO A COMPULSORY UNINSURED MOTORIST LAW. Any "auto" owned by an insured that is garaged or licensed in a state where drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This symbol also applies to any "auto" acquired after the policy begins.

7 = SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBED "AUTOS". Only those "autos" that are specifically listed on the policy are covered. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by a listed vehicle.

8 = HIRED "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers only those "autos" that an insured leases, hires, rents, or borrows. HOWEVER, it does NOT include "autos" leased, hired, rented, or borrowed from an employee, partner, or member of an insured’s household.

9 = NONOWNED "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers only those "autos" an insured does not own, lease, hire, rent, or borrow that are used in the insured’s business, including "autos" owned by employees, partners, or members of an insured’s household, but only while those non-owned "autos" are used either in the insured’s business or personal affairs.

Physical Damage Coverage Auto Symbols

1 = OWNED "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers any "auto" owned by an insured, including any "auto" that is acquired after the policy begins.

2 = OWNED PRIVATE PASSENGER "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers only private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

3 = OWNED "AUTOS" OTHER THAN PRIVATE PASSENGER "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers all "autos" other than private passenger type "autos" owned by the insured, including any "autos" other than any private passenger type that may be acquired after the policy begins.

4 = SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBED "AUTOS". Only those "autos" that are specifically listed on the policy are covered. The symbol also applies to any "trailer" while it is towed by a listed vehicle.

5 = HIRED "AUTOS" ONLY. This symbol covers only those "autos" that an insured leases, hires, rents, or borrows, unless the "auto" is leased, hired, rented, or borrowed from an employee, partner, or member of the insured’s household.

Manuscript Symbols

In some instances, a particular insurance company may agree to provide coverage for an auto situation that is not described in the above symbols. When this occurs, a special symbol, such as 10 for liability or 7 for physical damage coverage, is used and added to the policy by an endorsement. The endorsement must contain a complete explanation/description of what the symbol means. Then, that number must appear next to the applicable coverage(s).

If you have a question about any of these symbols or how coverage applies under your policy, the answers lie with the nearest insurance professional. Call them; they’re eager to help you understand your protection.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2002

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