When determining which of your employees should have access to a company vehicle, it’s important to consider the effect these individuals could have on your business auto insurance policies.
At-fault accidents are the most common cause of premium increases on auto policies, and most accidents are caused by driver error, according to a 2021 study. Driver error can include following too closely behind another vehicle, speeding, driving distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and more.
For that reason, it’s important to understand your employees’ driving habits and past driving records before allowing them to operate one of your vehicles.
4 Tips to Protect Your Business Auto Insurance Rates
Tip #1: Do Your Research
Always obtain an applicant’s motor vehicle record (MVR) before you make a hiring decision. Be sure to have potential employees sign a waiver permitting you to pull this report on them prior to offering the job or allowing them to use a company vehicle.
If there’s any doubt that the record is acceptable, forward it to your insurance agent or carrier for approval or disapproval before allowing the applicant to drive.
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An Expert Perspective: “While not always the case, many accidents involve drivers with several prior moving violations and/or at-fault accidents. Exercise your right to choose someone with a good record before allowing them to use your assets,” says John Carroll, commercial staff underwriter at Central Insurance. “Would you allow someone with little or no prior experience to operate a $100,000 piece of machinery? If not, why would you allow someone with several speeding tickets and a couple of at-fault accidents in the last three years to drive your new $80,000 truck in heavy urban traffic?”
Tip #2: Consider Your Current Standing
At Central, we build in discounts and special offers on business auto insurance policies based on certain key factors. These include the number of vehicles you utilize in the field, the number of claims filed in the past, loss control experience, etc.
For example, if you have a fleet (five or more power units) and good loss experience, you may have an “experienced credit” on your policy. Similarly, you may be in a less expensive company (tier) because of your company’s overall good driving record.
While these discounts are a great benefit to many organizations, the reality is it only takes one unsafe driver to ruin all your good experiences and drive your auto insurance costs up. What’s more, because experience credits may involve up to four years of data, it could take years to get credit back after a bad at-fault accident.
Tip #3: Be Familiar with Relevant Statistics
The driver’s age is one area that, statistically, might indicate the level of expected safety on the road. For example, research shows that teen and young adult drivers are more likely to be involved in at-fault accidents.
As a result, many insurance companies will be more hesitant to allow someone in that age bracket to be a driver on a commercial policy. This will be especially true if a truck weighs over 10,000 pounds.
Tip #4: Keep Families Off Commercial Insurance Policies
Personal vehicles should not be insured on a commercial policy in general, but especially not to insure young family members.
“It only takes one loss to ruin that experience and jeopardize favorable pricing on your commercial policy,” Carroll reiterates.
Instead, business owners should consider personal auto policies for their families, separate from any commercial auto insurance policies they have.
Insuring Your Commercial Vehicles With Central
Central Insurance offers a series of great commercial auto insurance policies to meet each business’s needs. Vehicles covered under these various policies include those owned or leased and include automobiles, trucks, vans, and other like vehicles.
How does Central determine how much a commercial auto policy costs?
Several factors determine the cost of your insurance coverage with Central, including
- Class of business (NAICS code)
- Business use
- Radius of operations
- Liability limit
- New cost of vehicle
What does a commercial auto policy cover?
Central offers two types of protection for businesses with commercial auto insurance—property insurance, which protects against damage to your vehicle, and liability coverage for bodily injury to others and damage to their property.
Keep in mind policies can be expanded per request to include additional protection for things like medical payments, uninsured motorists, personal injury protection, employees’ cars used in service of the employer, and more.
Did You Know: Central also offers a special Auto Dealers Insurance Policy for auto, motorcycle, truck, and equipment dealers or trailer dealerships. This policy provides additional coverage of your customers’ vehicles while in your care, custody, or control.
How do I sign up for business auto insurance with Central?
If Central’s various commercial auto policies sound like a good fit for you, get in touch with your independent insurance agent today for a quote. If you’re not sure if your agent is a Central partner, you can find one who is using this form.
The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.