Honk for Minimizing Employee Auto Risks!
In the senior living world, auto insurance is not always on everyone’s radar. Of course, you buy it because you know you’re supposed to have it, and that’s a good first step. But the important second step is to understand why you need that coverage and auto liability risks as it relates to your senior living community.
For senior communities that have owned or leased vehicles, the risks are pretty clear. Let’s say you have a bus used to transport residents on shopping trips and outings, or you have a maintenance truck used to complete small jobs around your facilities and run errands. Those vehicles need to have commercial auto insurance in order to drive on the road. If an accident occurs in a vehicle registered to the senior living community or management company, the commercial auto policy would respond for a covered claim.
For those that may not own or lease any vehicles, the risks become less clear. These communities would likely have hired and non-owned coverage only as part of their commercial insurance program. So why would I need this and how does it apply?
Let’s address a few questions:
- Do any employees drive their personal vehicles on company business? This could be as little as driving from one location to another or running an errand at the request of management.
- Do any employees rent vehicles for company business? Perhaps a group of employees travels out of town for a conference or training session, and they need to rent a vehicle to get from the airport to the hotel or conference venues.
- Do any employees transport residents in their personal vehicles? While we would advise strongly against this practice, it's still important to know if it is happening.
If in any of the situations listed above an employee is involved in an auto accident, the facility and/or management company could be held liable. While the employee’s personal auto insurance should provide primary insurance for both the employee and for the employer, hired and non-owned auto insurance would respond if and when the employee’s personal auto limits are exhausted. Without this insurance in place, facilities and management companies could be exposed to potentially costly risk.
Lastly, the final step to understanding potential auto liability risks is knowing who’s driving your vehicles or their own vehicle at your request. Pulling a Motor Vehicle Record, or MVR, is the quickest way to give you a snapshot of an employee’s driving history. This allows you to determine if there's anything in the past that they’ve done (excessive speeding, accidents, DUI’s, reckless driving of any type) that would make you think twice about allowing them to drive your vehicles or their own vehicle on company business. MVR’s are often pulled as part of a background check during the hiring process and, per your request, we can pull those at Assurance. Additionally, the insurance carrier that writes your commercial auto insurance will ask you to provide a list of drivers at renewal, so they can pull and review MVRs to determine if the drivers are acceptable to insure.
It’s important for senior living communities and the management company to understand auto liability risks and steps they can take to mitigate these risks. This understanding must be company-wide from the top all the way down. All employees should be involved in regular safe-driver training and be educated on the policies for driving a company car or a personal car on company business. This is the first step to reducing your overall auto liability risk and keeping your insurance costs in check.
Assurance will work with you to determine if the most appropriate auto coverage is in place, as well as provide additional resources such as risk management best practices, fleet safety programs, driver training programs and the development of driver safety committees.
Chat with a member of our ‘A’ Team to learn more about auto liability.
- Four Ways to Reduce Business Auto Risk
- Pimp My Ride Insurance Style
- 2017 Industry Outlook Video: Senior Living
ABOUT THE AUTHOR