Vehicle accidents are more common than you might think. Any time an employee drives a company vehicle for business purposes, they are at risk. This risk further increases the chances of a potential vehicle accident lawsuit. According to the CDC, work-related deaths are caused by vehicle accidents more so than any other type of accident in the workplace. Motor vehicle accidents cost businesses nearly $60 billion each year. With numbers like these, you can only imagine the risk your business is in with accidents in general, and impending lawsuits from them. Be careful to follow these tips for protecting your business adequately.
Review Your Insurance Plan
The first thing you should do is take a look at the commercial auto insurance plan you currently have. If you only have basic liability, contact your insurance company and get full coverage. Aim for coverage that is at least as much as your total assets are, but preferably more. Insurance doesn’t prevent a lawsuit from a car accident, but it can help cover some of the legal costs.
Add Umbrella Insurance
While it is good to have insurance for your company vehicles, it is going to have its limits. By getting an umbrella insurance policy, you have additional coverage. The other liability policies for your business, such as General Liability, Commercial Auto, and Employers Liability, all have coverage limits. Umbrella liability insurance therefore is used to increase your liability limits for all of these risks under one policy to protect your business for claims that exceed your primary policy limits.
Verify Employee Driving History
Any time you are planning to hire an employee who will take over driving tasks, be sure you verify their driving history. Driving records can give you pertinent information when deciding if they’re a good fit. Avoid someone who has had frequent accidents, as it may be due to negligent driving and increase the chances of an accident and resulting lawsuit.
Keep Track of Driving Hours
The hours your employees are driving on any given day is important information to have. If they are working too much, they get tired and that’s when many of the work-related vehicle accidents occur. Even if an employee is asking for more hours, they might not even realize how tired they are until it’s too late. If you need additional delivery or driving duties completed, hire more employees.
Take Good Care of Vehicles
Keeping up with car maintenance is another vital way to protect your company from vehicle accident-related lawsuits. Never send a worker in a vehicle that isn’t working properly. Get all vehicles in to a mechanic on a regular basis, keeping up with tune-ups, check-ups, oil changes and general maintenance.
By following these guidelines, you can properly protect your company from lawsuits. Occasionally, they can’t be prevented, but with adequate insurance coverage, you can still cover the expenses.