Fleet Basics – How to Better Balance Your Risks
Likely we have all experienced the continued focus on fleet programs as we renew our auto policies. As the challenge of finding qualified employees remains high, it is even more difficult seeking qualified candidates that do not present increased risk due to their driving histories.
Most employers with employees required to drive on company business have encountered an ever-increasing scrutiny from the insurance carriers. Insurance carriers’ focus is to ensure they are not insuring companies that may be negligent in their driver selection/retention process.
Employers face carriers’ concern when:
- Their driver has a poor history of moving violations and/or accidents.
- Their driver has poor driving behaviors.
To overcome or better balance their risks, employers should take steps to entrust their employees to drive on their behalf. The practices for success include the following:
- Written Company Programs. The employer should have a written program that outlines their requirements for authorizing employees to drive on company business. Note: Whether the vehicle is company or employee (or otherwise leased, borrowed, etc.) the exposure is created when that employee is driving on company business.
Written program should address the following:
- Acceptable driving history as verified by current Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs)
- Driver acknowledgement of their responsibilities and company expectations
- Rules for cell phones, texting, making calls, etc.
- Obeyance of all applicable laws, policies, procedures
- Assessment of the driver (can they adequately operate the vehicle(s) being driven?)
- Training (defensive/distracted driving, additional skill sets for the vehicle being operated, company rules/expectations)
- Monitoring of driver behaviors (call in # for complaints by the public, telematics, other) along with correction of undesirable/unacceptable behaviors.
- Suspension or termination of driving on company business privileges
- Journey/Trip management and driver fatigue
In the not-so-distant past, the items mentioned above were considered to be optional and were implemented by employers who wanted to decrease their risk. Today these items are considered to be mandatory by insurance carriers and litigators who your business may be contending with post incident.
Contact your Innovise Risk Team for assistance with your fleet exposures and programs.