Keys to controlling business auto insurance costs
If you’ve got a business where employees are operating vehicles as part of their job, it’s very important to manage your liability and risk.
Insurance underwriters take into account a company’s past automobile loss experience when pricing automobile insurance. By reducing your company’s exposure to auto losses, you may be able to reduce your insurance costs. Three ways to control business auto costs are to review driver history; promote safety awareness and training; and maintain vehicles in good working order.
1: REVIEWING DRIVER HISTORY
First thing is first, know your drivers before letting them turn the key.
Carefully evaluate driver candidates prior to putting them behind the wheel.
If you’re employees are going to be driving then conducting a criminal background check and obtaining a motor vehicle report to evaluate an applicant’s driving history and license status matter a lot. Prior to conducting pre-employment checks, consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and to determine when employee releases or notices may be required. Once drivers are hired, check annually for accidents, violations and license status.
Once you’ve obtained the driver’s signed release, you can follow your state’s requirements to request an MVR through your state’s license bureau. Make sure to review MVRs from every state the employee has resided in for up to five years prior. MVRs can reveal accidents, tickets and other infractions that may weigh their ability to drive for your business and your decision to put them behind the wheel.
Analyze reports, looking at:
- Frequent or repeat accidents or moving violations. Non-traffic events, such as glass breakage, fire or flood may not be an accurate indicator of how a driver’s record could impact your business. Your company property needs to be maintained or it’s going to cost you!
- If you have equipment that needs qualified professionals then think about training programs for inexperienced candidates.
- Suspensions ̶ if a candidates license has been suspended for infractions like driving under the influence then think about if you can trust these candidates to make good decisions with your business property and liability.
Also consider the types of any violations. A study by the American Transportation Research Institute evaluated 540,000 drivers. Their MVR histories revealed that conviction for a single moving violation dramatically increases the likelihood of becoming involved in a crash to between 91 and 100 percent. The four convictions with the highest likelihood of a future crash are:
- improper or erratic lane change
- failure to yield right of way
- improper turn
- failure to maintain proper lane
2: PROMOTING SAFETY AWARENESS AND TRAINING
Road testing all driver candidates is a great practice and should be implemented, while it may require extra resources, it’s the best way to see if candidates are qualified past what they tell you to get the job. Document test results in the employee’s personnel or driver qualification file. Businesses can also benefit from these safety practices:
- Establish “Rules of the Road” which clearly define what acceptable driver behavior is while in the course and scope of your employment.
- Put in place a workplace safety competition to incentivize drivers based on clean driving records at work.
Weston Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe Insurance Group is available to consult your business auto liability needs and answer any questions you have. Give us a call or fill out a quote form below and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Find out sooner than later if you have the coverage your business needs.