VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Did you know that one of the singularly 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 drycleaning company could be directly in the line of fire for a liability suit.
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 you need to protect your business and keeping your costs low.
So how can you master the balancing act of protecting your business, training your drivers, and keeping your costs low?
Check out these top tips to get the coverage you need to protect your fabricare business and help maximize the discounts on your cleaning business’ auto policy.
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 trainings.
Having documented training on file not only provides discounts for your auto policy, it also helps establish a documented trail of accountability for your drivers.
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.
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 employed at your drycleaning operation, such as storage, tracking, and these other tips, to your insurance agent.
To read Part 1, go HERE.