Do you have the right controls to keep your business safe from lawsuits?
Company controls are vital to a successful operation and are often overlooked or not assessed at all. Being proactive with prevention control is not to be taken lightly. As an Insurance professional we see all too often business’s exposed to hazards which can be easily avoided. Unfortunately sometimes it’s just too late and we often acquire clients after complete financial devastation. There is no excuse for lack of proper risk assessments and implementation of proper company controls. Our most recent acquired client is incurring countless attorneys’ fees, loss of sleep and the risk of losing it all. Are they liable? Their employee, who takes home the company car on a regular basis, decides to borrow the vehicle that evening and ends up in an accident. The employee is now facing charges of vehicular homicide. Let’s not forget, the insurance follows the car, the lawsuit follows not just the driver but the registered vehicle owner. I don’t know about you but is it safe to assume one has deeper pockets than the other? Not good.
Could this happen to you? Of course, these types of scenarios are not exclusive to employees who are furnished a vehicle but to those who may drive their own vehicles during the course of business. Perhaps they are running to the bank to drop off the day’s deposit, grabbing donuts for the employees.
Reducing your risk to the many exposures which we all face is certainly realistic and obtainable. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. An employee handbook is a great start. General Policies open the dialog and confirm an understanding between employee and company. It allows us to define our expectations to include safety procedures. The handbook should be consistent and signed by all employees.
2. For those companies that have fleets and exposed too many drivers with in their company. Have your insurance agent check all MVR’s on an annual basis and certainly for all new hires being considered.
3. Again for the fleet exposures. Ask me about fleet daddy. A GPS tracking system that not just provides precise location of anyone of your vehicles at any given time, but also monitors your maintenance schedule and may provide a discount on you our auto….
4. Make sure you have regular and very through risk assessments and annual reviews with your insurance agent. Do you have hired and Non- owned auto? Not only should you know the answer to that, you should answer yes and know what it is.
5. Did you know that your insurance company will be very pleased to send their loss control unit to your place of business? They are not there to wave their finger but to assist you in providing a safe environment for all. Pointing out areas and situations of concern and what to do to improve. It is a wonderful service. And very helpful in workers compensation prevention.
Stayed tuned for part two….