Auto accidents account for some of the largest claim payouts in the insurance industry because they can involve several people and the injury to each person can be very serious. The more an insurance company pays in losses, the more premium they will need to charge. That is why the Habitat for Humanity Affiliate Insurance Program wants to make sure you understand your auto-related risks and that you take measures to prevent accidents from happening. Below are some risk management tips that we would encourage your affiliate to adopt in order to minimize your exposure. We are also providing you with a few auto claim examples that have occurred within the program.
As a Habitat affiliate, there are two auto-related exposures you may be exposed to: owned auto exposures and a non-owned auto exposures. Owned auto exposures lie with ReStores who own trucks or vans to pick up items from donors or to deliver products to customers. Owned auto exposures also arise for affiliates who own a vehicle that is used in conjunction with their construction sites. Non-owned auto exposures exist when a volunteer or employee drives his/her own vehicle on behalf of your affiliate. If he/she causes an accident and serious injuries result, the individual will likely not have enough coverage under their own personal auto policy to cover the loss, so a suit would likely be brought against your affiliate who could become liable for the remaining amount of the claim.
Auto Risk Management Techniques:
- Check motor vehicle records annually for any employees or volunteers who drive company owned vehicles or drive their own vehicle for affiliate business, and only allow those with good records to drive on your behalf.
- Require regular drivers for the affiliate to take a driver safety course.
- Periodically inspect vehicles to ensure they are being maintained and in good working condition.
- Implement and enforce a mandatory seatbelt policy.
- Do not allow use of cell phones when driving and require them to pull over before taking a call.
- Prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Limit night driving or driving at rush hour.
- Plan outings by getting directions ahead of time, and do not allow unnecessary stops.
- Allow plenty of time so drivers do not feel rushed or the need to speed to a destination.
- Limit the number of passengers by only allowing those who are on affiliate business.
- Ensure that vehicles are parked in a secure place overnight to prevent theft or vandalism.
- Follow DOT requirements for trucks with GVW > 10,000.
- Two car collision – serious injuries to individuals in both cars. The claim recently settled for almost $400,000.
- We have seen a number of losses from drivers backing into other vehicles.
- There have been several liability claims filed due to product or equipment falling off trucks, so make sure that items are secure once they are loaded.
Call our Account Management team if you have questions related to your auto insurance.