Commercial auto insurance differs significantly from personal auto insurance. Coverage needs depend on a variety of factors. Here are a few tips to help determine which is right for you:
- Who is registered on the vehicle? If it is registered in the name of the business, you need commercial auto insurance.
- How is the vehicle used? If you or your employees use the vehicle for business purposes, then you need a commercial policy. Even personal cars may need commercial auto coverage if used frequently for business purposes. Although employees’ vehicles are covered by their own personal insurance, this coverage will take effect if an employee is involved in an automobile accident with damages that exceed the limits of their policy.
To ensure you have the right types of commercial auto coverage, discuss your situation with your Leavitt Group Agent.
Protect Your Company with Cell Phone Use Guidelines
If you have employees who drive as part of their job, reduce your risks and liability by having a written policy against cell phone use. If one of your employees is involved in an accident, you may incur a Workers Compensation claim, expenses of hiring and training a replacement if the employee is unable to return to work, and related out-of-pocket costs for repairing or replacing the vehicle and its contents.
If the employee injures someone, that could be another substantial economic risk.
If an employee caused the accident due to the distraction of a cell phone, you would likely be liable for any injuries or damages. Additionally, if you do not have any policies or guidelines regulating cell phone use while driving, your liability could be even greater.
Understanding applicable state and federal laws on cell phone use while driving are critical when developing guidelines and a written policy. Here are some sample statements you may choose to include:
- Cell phones are not to be used while driving a moving vehicle or operating moving machinery, as such distractions can cause accidents and injuries.
- Employees are required to comply with all state and local laws regarding the use of cell phones while driving. If cell phone use is necessary while driving, all employees must use a hands-free device.
- All text messaging, including typing or reading text messages, while operating any vehicle (employer-owned, rented, or personal) when conducting company business is prohibited.
- Any violations of this policy will subject employees to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
The safest and most conservative policy would be to prohibit any use of a cell phone while driving. If you feel your employees need to have access to a phone while driving, you should implement policies that still keep usage within safe parameters, like hands-free devices. You will lessen the potential liability for both the employees and your company.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- Approximately 390,000 Americans are injured each year due to cell phone use while driving.
- Approximately 28 percent (1.6 million) of all traffic accidents each year are caused by drivers using cell phones (talking or text messaging.).
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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