Business owner's occasional deliveries voids her insurance policy for wrecked car
A Toronto woman’s insurance claim for her totalled SUV has been denied because the company says the occasional deliveries she makes for her small company voids her policy.
“I was in shock because I didn’t think I did anything wrong,” said Adrienne Winterhelt, who was in an accident about two weeks ago on Hwy. 401 while on the way to visit a friend.
Her small Chevrolet SUV suffered significant front-end damage and two of the airbags deployed.
Winterhelt told CTV Toronto’s Consumer Reporter Pat Foran that she has paid insurance premiums for 30 years without an accident but recently changed to an online insurance company to try to save money.
“I’m a widow with three kids. I’ve got to watch my pennies, so it seemed like a good idea to get better insurance rates.”
When she signed up for auto insurance with Sonnet Insurance, she says she revealed that she uses her vehicle for work 30 per cent of the time. Winterhelt owns a small business selling heaters to kill bedbugs.
She was shocked when the company told her: “Your policy has been voided…there will be no payout for this claim.”
A spokesperson for Sonnet told CTV: “If you use your vehicle for business, you may cover it under your personal policy as long as it doesn’t have commercial plates and isn’t used for deliveries, carrying passengers for hire, renting to others or as an emergency vehicle.”
Because Winterhelt occasionally drops off heaters at customers’ homes, the company denied her claim.
“Nobody ever asked me to clarify what my business use was,” said Winterhelt.
She wants the company to pay for her van and reinstate her insurance.
“I truly believed I had insurance at the time.”
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Consumer Reporter Pat Foran