Running your Pillar To Post franchise requires employees to drive from inspection to inspection. As a franchisee, consider implementing policies and guidelines surrounding vehicle use. By minimizing auto liability risks, you can reduce the number of auto-related insurance claims filed against your business.
Company Driver Guidelines
As a franchise owner, you should have a clear set of guidelines around who is allowed to drive for your organization as well as guidelines for approved drivers to follow while operating vehicles. Most importantly, those policies need to match up with the actual practice.
Questions to consider when deciding who drives one of your vehicles or their own personal vehicle for business:
- Have you researched this person’s driving record?
- Is there anything about this person’s background that would make them a risky choice as an approved driver?
- Do they have a valid driver’s license and their own vehicle?
- Have you established a contract with all employees who drive for work purposes?
Your policies for vehicle operation may include:
- Prohibit activities while driving, such as using a cell phone.
- Require seat belt use.
- Prohibit alcohol and drug use while on duty.
- Accident and violation reporting requirements.
- Require driver training.
- Penalties for violating any of the policies.
Because your franchise is liable for any accidents or incidents involving vehicles it owns and potentially even those you don’t, you need to ensure you are not negligent when selecting approved drivers.
Protect Your Business with Commercial Auto Insurance
Along with minimizing your auto liability risks, consider insurance. Because vehicles are part of your everyday business operations, Commercial Auto Liability coverage should be included in your insurance program.
Commercial Auto Liability Insurance provides coverage for vehicles in the event they incur physical damage, cause physical damage or bodily injury to others.
If you allow your employees to drive their own vehicles for work purposes, you also need Non-Owned Auto Liability coverage. This coverage protects from claims for damages involving bodily injury or property damage caused by employees in their own vehicles.
Together, Commercial Auto Insurance and Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability Insurance will protect your business from legal fees and damages as a result of accidents that occur. It’s important to remember that you are running a business, with all the risks that entails. It may seem like no big deal to let an unapproved driver use the vehicle “just this once,” but that can expose you to more liability and expense than it’s worth.