As a business owner you are juggling a lot of exposure to your business. Often it’s a struggle to master the balance between getting the coverage that you need to protect your business and keeping your costs low. Did you know that one of the singular largest liability exposures to your company is your Business Auto exposure? Think about it: you have various employees driving your vehicles when you are not around. They may be tired, driving distracted, impacted by weather conditions or countless other distractions. However, if they cause an accident and cause injury to other people’s property, person, or vehicles……..your company could be directly in the line of fire for a liability suite.
So how can you master the balancing act of protecting your business, training your drivers, and keeping your costs low? Great question! Check out these top tips to get the coverage you need to protect your business and help maximize the discounts on your Business Auto policy.
1-) Employee Manuals and Texting Safety. Across the board, without exceptions, all business owners that have a business auto component should have an employee safety manual that is reviewed and signed off on by all employees who will be driving. Included in this manual should be a disclaimer that there is a zero tolerance rule for texting and driving. Some businesses choose to install a mobile dead-zone device in all business vehicles. This ensures that while the vehicle is in drive, no texts messages are able to be received or sent and all calls are blocked. The owner of the account is able to adjust security settings to accommodate the employee’s role with the company. Ask your insurance agent if discounts are given for mobile-blocking devices.
2-) Do A Background Check On All New Drivers: All employees that are going to be driving should have a driving back-ground check conducted before employment. If this is not part of the current hiring process, business owners should consider making this mandatory. Insurance companies will do a driving background report on all drivers that are added to your policy. If you have hired and are utilizing drivers that have a poor driving history, this can drastically increase your auto insurance rates. Some business owners even call their insurance company to get a price check on adding a particular driver before hiring is finalized. Check with your agent on what process works best for adding new hires to your business auto policy.
3-) Establish Consistent Safety Procedures: If you have business vehicles, you should conduct periodic training with your team on safe driving practices. Some businesses bring in OSHA safety teams once a quarter to conduct safe driving workshops. Others require their drivers to watch training videos on safe driving practices and sign off on the training. Having documented training on file can not only provide discounts for your auto policy, it also helps establish a documented trail of accountability for your drivers.
4-) Document Vehicle Maintenance. Your vehicles should have a routine maintenance program to check the overall safety and function on the vehicles. This not only helps ensure the safety of your drivers, it also can provide discounts on your auto policy. There should be a routine, documented maintenance checklist for all vehicles to include mileage logs, oil changes, tire pressure checks, tire changes, and overall “health” of the vehicle. Many owners have logs in each vehicle and part of their safety procedures is that before leaving each day, the employee driving the vehicle has to log various points such as mileage, test the lights and turn signals, brake lights, tire pressure, etc. and sign off before starting their route. OSHA can be a great resource for safety procedure templates as can your insurance agent.
5-) GPS Safety And Safe Storage. Many business owners choose to install GPS tracking devices on their vehicles so that in the event of a theft it is easier to re-claim their autos. A GPS can also be helpful to track employee routes and increase efficiency. Many insurance companies have partner vendors for GPS devices and may offer a discount for autos that have this equipment installed. If vehicles are taken home each night by employees, a GPS can help ensure that the auto is being used only for business purposes which can also help add savings to your policy. If vehicles are stored at a central location and taken out each day by employees, be sure that the vehicles are stored in a well-lit, secure location. If your business has access to a gated, fenced area that can be locked at night, it is ideal to store the vehicles in this location. Be sure to mention safety practices such as storage, tracking, and the other above points to your insurance agent.
To get the tailored policy coverage that you need for your home, valuables, auto, LIFE, or business, call The CHOICE Insurance Team today at 757-416-5100 and ask for a free, comprehensive review. Give us a call today!
All the Best,
The CHOICE Team
In 2008 Choice Insurance Agency was created out of the former Realty Consultants Insurance Agency founded in 1980 by George Ayers Capt. USN Ret. Since 2008 the Choice Insurance Agency has more than tripled in size and is continue on a track of rapid growth. The Choice Insurance Agency focuses on four areas of expertise: Private Client Group, Coastal Coverage, Senior Programs and Commercial/Business Insurance. Our business model has allowed us to expand into all of the states on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Florida including Pennsylvania and DC to better serve our ever-growing client base. As an Insurance brokerage stationed in Hampton Roads with access to well over 40+ insurance carriers, the Choice Insurance Agency is able to shop for the best rates, cover those picky coastal zones and create a tailored plan to fit your insurance needs. The Choice Insurance Agency. Call us today and see why we are the top “CHOICE” in Hampton Roads.