Finding an affordable commercial auto policy is becoming difficult in today's market. As we all know, being on the road can be a dangerous affair, and many of us have in one way or another experienced auto accidents or close calls that could've been much worse. The reality is, commercial auto insurance has only gotten more expensive since the turn of the millennia, and of course, the boom of mobile TECHNOLOGY! How can you help keep your commercial auto expenses down?
Distracted driving, is by far and away the biggest issue/factor facing your commercial auto insurance premium rates. Cell phones and similar devices are the main cause of a large portion of accidents every year, including many commercial vehicles. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year (also a worker's compensation injury claim for you to handle) from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States are caused by texting and driving.
Now what can you do and how can you control this large scale issue? Well here's the fact of the matter, if you file an auto claim, especially if your driver is at fault, you're going to see an increase in your premium rates. If your driver was texting and driving and got in a fender bender, while only a ticket in the eyes of the law, your carrier may see it as much more serious and revoke coverage for that driver in the future.
Create your own driver safety protocol and training program for EVERY new hire and continued education for all current employees. This may seem obvious, but when you're running a company and have 100 emails waiting for you, sometimes the obvious doesn't get done. Take it seriously, it's worth your time. What should your protocol be? That comes down to you and your business decisions, but we do have a sample "Employer Policy on Distracted Driving" from one of our main commercial auto insurance carriers for you to reference. This sample can be found at our website CaldwellIns.com under the "Loss/Claim Control" for Clients section. Have all of your employees sign an agreement like this.
Also, please keep in mind that not all of your employees need to be drivers, and often times your carrier will run checks on them to approve or reject them. These checks are not perfect, and sometimes the owners know much more than any MVR check could show. Use your instincts and logic, if you know a driver has a bad history, DO NOT let him drive your company vehicles. Sometimes, it's that simple.
Thank you and don't forget to reference our sample Employer Policy on Distracted Driving in our Loss/Claim Control for Clients section.
Derek I. Jimenez
Caldwell Insurance Agency Inc.