WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
No one wants to think of an employee stealing from them, but it’s unfortunate risk that all businessowners have to consider. Even with the most strict background checks, the unexpected can happen. If an employee does decide to steal a work vehicle, that vehicle should be covered as long as you have the right insurance.
Commercial auto insurance comes with a lot of different facets of coverage. The main type of coverage is liability, which is required by most states. Liability covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause someone else.
It is the optional coverages, however, that can prove invaluable to your company. Employee theft won’t be covered by basic liability coverage. Just like with personal auto insurance, theft is covered under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides compensation to your business in case a work vehicle is lost or damaged to fire, hail, wind, theft and vandalism. Thankfully, theft under comprehensive coverage does cover employee theft.
There are a few reasons an employee might steal the vehicle. Some disgruntled employees may hold the vehicle “hostage” and refuse to return it until their demands are met. Other employees may simply not have another mode of transportation, so they refuse to return the vehicle. In a few cases, especially with ex-employees who believe themselves to be wrongfully fired, the employee may steal the company vehicle simply out of anger or spite. Whatever the case, it’s important to notify police if an employee refuses to turn a work vehicle. If the employee causes damage to the vehicle either on purpose or on accident, the damages should be covered under your commercial auto insurance’s comprehensive coverage.
You can hope that your company will never have to deal with this, but it’s best to be prepared no matter the case.
Other optional coverage available under commercial auto insurance includes:
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation if the vehicle is damaged due to a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage provides compensation if the driver crashes with a motorist who isn’t carrying auto insurance.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage provides compensation for medical bills for the driver and their passengers no matter who caused the accident.
- Hired and Non-Owned Coverage: This provides coverage for vehicles hired, leased or borrowed by the company in case they are damaged in an accident.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Commercial auto insurance is one of the most valuable investments a company can make for their asset. It is generally a must-have financial tool. Yet, when you can file a claim depends on a variety of factors. If a fire occurs, the cause of that fire plays an important role in determining if you have coverage for it. Here is a look at when you have coverage.
What Caused the Fire?
Imagine a commercial vehicle catching on fire on a highway. The damage is significant. Your employee may be okay, but the vehicle is a total loss. This is a big loss for most companies. Will your commercial auto insurance help?
That depends on the cause of the fire and the type of coverage you have. Specifically, fires fall under comprehensive auto coverage. Verify that you have this type of non-collision coverage.
Commercial auto insurance never covers neglect of maintenance and upkeep. It does not cover damage brought on by normal wear and tear, either. In other cases, it can help. Here are a few examples:
The vehicle’s electrical system catches on fire. There’s no known reason for this to happen in terms of maintenance.
Lightning strikes the vehicle during a storm. It creates an instant fire and damage to the vehicle. If you have comprehensive coverage, it may cover these losses.
- A fire occurs as a result of an act of vandalism. Coverage generally applies in this situation.
What happens if the engine’s overall health was the cause of the fire? In this case, the commercial auto insurance may deny a claim. It may not cover any instance in which the cause was due to poor upkeep.
What happens if your driver is in an accident that causes a fire? In this case, several things can happen. If your driver caused the accident, your policy may help cover the losses. This is the case if you have collision insurance. There are limits here (such as the employee’s action and use of the car). If the other driver caused the accident, that driver’s liability insurance should provide financial compensation.
What to Do if an Incident Occurs
If there is such an incident, call the police. Get help immediately. Then, call your business insurance agent. Discuss what happened, why, and what claim options are available. Your agent will need information about the fire to file the claim.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019
The goal of commercial auto insurance is to minimize your risks. You use it to help if there is an incident. However, it is up to you to make sure your drivers are safe. With new tech, there are increasing ways to improve your overall safety and to reduce risks. GPS tracking is one of those tools. It allows companies to have far more protection in place. How can it help you?
Minimizing Driver Risks
Today, many drivers are spending more hours on the road than ever. If you are a trucking company, your drivers may have to abide by laws that require on-and-off time.
However, even if you just have delivery drivers, you need to consider drive time. The more hours an employee is behind the wheel, the higher the risk is for injuries and accidents.
With GPS tracking, you gain some insight into this. Some units allow you to track how long your driver is moving – such as driving. It can provide you with insight into whether drivers are operating the vehicle for too many hours at a time. This can help you to know if they are taking breaks or sleeping long enough between long shifts.
If the driver gets to a destination too soon, that could indicate he or she is speeding. It could also signal your driver is operating without enough breaks or caution. This increases your risks.
Tracking Movements of Your Vehicle
A GPS tracking device can also provide you with insight into where your vehicle is. As noted, this can help to ensure the driver is operating in a safe manner. It also helps in managing your equipment.
With this type of unit in place, you know where your truck is at all times. If your driver reports someone stole the vehicle, you can work with the police to pinpoint its location. This safeguards your vehicle and the contents.
Also important, you can track how the driver is transferring the material. Are they not going where they should? Did the driver stop somewhere he or she should not? This can help you manage your employees while also managing your vehicle.
GPS tracking for commercial vehicles is growing in common use. New systems give you more insight and control. Use this information to prove to your commercial auto insurance company how responsible and safe your drivers are and that your vehicles are safe.
Want to learn about insurance coverage options for your fleet? Call Insurance Planning Services today at 800-220-5582.
Saving on Your Commercial Auto Insurance During The Business Off-Season
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2018
You have work to do. You rely on your vehicle to make it happen. When you are hauling valuable, special, or high-risk equipment, be sure you have a commercial auto policy that protects it. Your policy should represent the types of risks you face. It should also meet any requirements for transport. Here is how to choose coverage.
Why What Is On Board Matters
Your commercial auto insurance covers the value of your vehicle. It can also sometimes cover the value of the contents of the vehicle. However, you’ll need to specialize coverage for vehicle contents. Depending on the type of car, you may need coverage designed for your load. The value of the items you plan to carry plays a role in how much coverage you need. Here are a few examples.
#1: Your company transports people to and from locations. You carry just the people and their personal belongings. Here, you generally do not have any added contents to worry about. A basic policy usually applies.
#2: Your company transports expensive manufacturing materials to and from locations. They may not be large components, but they are very valuable. An accident could be high risk. Here, those valuable items need protection.
#3: Another example occurs for companies using equipment for their work. For example, your truck contains equipment to allow you to handle tasks at customer homes. Here, your coverage needs to be enough to cover damage to those items.
For those hauling large loads in trucks, where the specific task is just moving the equipment, special trucking policies offer load protection. Still, you may need to adjust how much coverage you have here.
What to Do About Coverage
Talk to your business insurance agent. Gather insight into how much contents coverage your policy currently offers – some may not offer any contents coverage upfront. Discuss the valuables you routinely haul. Do you need more protection? Do you need to add a cargo rider to your policy? If so, your team can help you to obtain it. Additional coverage is possible to cover specific items on your truck. Or, you may just need different property insurance from your general commercial insurance.
Commercial auto insurance is flexible. This is why it is so important that your agent understands your business. Be open about how you operate. What do you do? What do you haul? How frequently do you do so? This information allows your agent to provide specific protections. It can make all of the difference if an accident occurs. It may be essential for your company.
Also Read: Insuring Trailers Used by Your Business
FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014
We run across many companies that believe a trailer is covered along with their other contractors’ equipment.
Most insurance policies intended to cover contractors’ tools and equipment have specific exclusions for trailers or anything that is licensed for road use. The reason for this exclusion is that the most appropriate form of insurance for a trailer is found on the business auto policy that also covers the towing vehicle(s).
In spite of this exclusion, we still find instances where an insurance company adds a trailer to an equipment policy. In the event of loss, the policyholder runs the risk of having their claim denied – even though the trailer is described as an insured piece of equipment and a premium is charged. Why? Describing an object and payment of a premium does not change the language contained within the policy. The exclusion still exists.
There are two areas of concern when it comes to insurance for a trailer; physical damage and liability.
Above, we have talked about risks of physical damage or loss to the trailer itself. This includes things like collision, theft, and falling objects, and is often thought to be the biggest, if not the only, concern. Protection against physical damage exposures is addressed by the comprehensive and collision coverage on a business auto policy in the same way they would apply to motorized vehicles.
The larger danger is with liability risks. For example, imagine a trailer breaking loose from the towing car or truck and running into something causing damage, or into somebody causing serious injury. A business auto policy automatically extends liability coverage from the towing vehicle to a trailer when the trailer’s load capacity is less than 2,000 pounds. If the trailer's load capacity exceeds 2,000 pounds liability coverage is provided in exchange for a small premium charge.
Don’t rely on a contractor’s equipment policy to cover a trailer! There is NO liability protection available under a contractors’ equipment policy form and there is a good chance the policy excludes trailers for physical damage.
Image Courtesy of Haulmark Trailers