Employees Driving on the Job in Own Cars are Your Liability

Many business owners don’t think twice when asking a worker to run to the office supply store, to the bank or run another errand for the company while on the clock.

But as soon as that employee enters their personal vehicle on a trip for your business, you automatically become vicariously liable for their actions.

Think it’s not a big deal? There have been cases when employers have been found liable and ordered to pay up to $25 million for crashes involving employees using their cell phones while driving, according to the National Safety Council.

That means if your employee is in an accident and injures a third party, damages another car or injures themselves, your firm could be held liable.

For injuries to only your employee, your workers’ compensation insurance would handle the costs, but for injuries to others and third party property, you are liable since they were carrying out duties for your firm.

The employee’s auto insurance will be primary, but the problem arises when the coverage is insufficient. The employer can then be sued by the third party.

With that in mind, you should do all you can to reduce your exposure by writing a policy for your driving employees. Some things you might want to consider in your policy include:

  • A list of expectations you have of your driving workers.

  • No talking on a cell phone or using any functions like apps and texting.

  • Avoid other distractions by barring other activities while driving, like eating and drinking.

  • Train workers in the safe operations of vehicles.

  • Make sure that any employees who drive for you are properly licensed.

  • Requiring that they take breaks on longer trips.

  • Require that their driving record be monitored periodically.

  • Spelling out that they must buy personal auto insurance with certain minimum limits. The insurance policy should not include a business exclusion.

 

Beside having a driving policy in place, you can also make sure to hire employees who are safe drivers by checking their driving records during the hiring process.

Also, make sure that your management is on board with the policy. That means that managers should avoid texting or calling employees while they are driving on company duty. That would clash with your policy on barring cell-phone use while driving.

Insurance

Finally, you should make sure that you have proper insurance in place in case calamity strikes. And unfortunately, some employees will inevitably slack in following even best laid out policies.

Commercial auto will cover all of your workers who drive company vehicles for collisions but it won’t cover employees if they are driving their own vehicles while on the job. Such vehicles are considered non-owned autos because they are not owned by the named insured.

Employees are not insureds while driving non-owned autos, even if they are using the vehicles on company business.

But if you do have workers who use their personal vehicles for work, like sales reps, you can purchase an endorsement for your commercial auto policy: Entitled Employees as Insureds. This endorsement covers employees who drive their personal vehicles on behalf of their employer.

But it provides excess coverage only, meaning that the employee’s personal auto policy will apply first if the worker is sued after an accident involving his or her personal auto. The endorsement would apply only if the employee’s personal policy limits are breached.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, Workers Compensation Premium Recovery, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 50+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

 

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2022 – BGES Group

Employees Driving on the Job in Own Cars are Your Liability

Posted in Uncategorized.