As a business owner with more than one vehicle and hire employee drivers, you need to consider commercial auto safety practices.
Whether you’re a start-up or haven’t reviewed your driving safety and commercial auto practices in a while, you need to know how to hire drivers, develop and maintain a driving safety policy, and what to do when a collision happens...
Margins are often tight for small business owners and finding ways to cut costs is essential. For organizations who require automobile insurance, there are many effective ways to save cash and avoid the unnecessary consequences of collisions.
From driver selection to risk management, most business owners that have more than one vehicle for commercial purposes and hire employee drivers requiring auto coverage have potential to reduce collision frequency and, ultimately, lower their insurance costs with a proper driver safety program.
Take extra time to screen your drivers, such as checking accident history, conviction record, number of years licensed and continuous driving experience on similar types of vehicles in Canada or US. It’s also imperative to make sure the driver has the appropriate class of license required to operate the type of vehicle.
Hiring experienced drivers is the first step to maximizing the success of your business. It’s recommended to hire drivers 25 years or older with experience, and formal guidelines are a necessity to establish acceptable driving qualifications for any employee who regularly drives company vehicles.
Also, conviction-free drivers are entitled to a discounted rate of up to 13 per cent. Those drivers with two or more minor convictions are subject to a rate surcharge, so careful driver selection and monitoring drivers on an ongoing basis will continue to help save premium dollars.
Learn more about hiring practicesTweaking Your Coverage
Adjust your policy to fit your specific business needs - with help from your broker – to create some significant savings. Increasing your physical damage deductibles could definitely help lower your premium. Also, in some situations it’s worth removing collision coverage from older model vehicles as their values significantly depreciate.
- Loyalty to insurer -- In today’s competitive market, small business owners may feel the need to shop for a better price at renewal. To save you time and money, most insurers want to work with you by rewarding your loyalty. The longer you stay with your insurance provider, the higher the loyalty discount with them.
- Multiple lines of insurance coverage with one insurer -- Time is precious when you own a small business. Business owners with multiple insurance needs who place both their automobile and property casualty insurance with one carrier are often entitled to a multi-line discount. This saves valuable time, money and not to mention the convenience of dealing with the same insurer.
The following list should be taken into consideration when investigating insurance protection for your commercial automobiles. These are examples of the type of information you will need to share with your insurance broker when shopping for automobile insurance:
- Type of operation
- Territory in which vehicle is operated
- Radius of average daily one-day distance in kilometers
- Use of the vehicle
- Type of cargo carried
- Type of vehicle – Year/make/model/VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
- Vehicle weight (light/Heavy)
- Driver – Age/Years licensed/confirmation of years continuously insured/ accident and conviction history. Light vehicle requires minimum 3 years’ experience and for Heavy e minimum 4 years’ experience with vehicle of similar configuration
- Description of permanently attached machinery and the list price new
- List price new (for vehicles with attached machinery and vehicles >4,500 kg)
- Coverages and deductible amount
When an accident happens, your immediate priority is to ensure the safety of those involved. Secondly, you want to get back to business as quickly as possible.When An Accident Happens
We have created a form, When An Accident Happens, for you to print and keep in your company vehicles for employees to use in the event of an accident. This form outlines all the important details you need to record regarding the accident, the other vehicle, any damage that occurred, and contact information
As a best practice, your small business should create and implement formal procedures for reporting, recording and analyzing vehicle-related incidents (collisions, convictions, moving violations, etc.).
For more information on collision reporting, investigation and review, visit our collision page.Submitting A Claim
When an accident happens, you will need to start an automobile claim. Your broker will be able to assist and help you understand how the claims process works.
To help you understand what the claims process looks like, we encourage you to visit RSA’s step-by-step guide to submitting an auto claim. This process varies by insurer.
At RSA, we have a team of Claims Examiners with specific industry experience in regional offices across Canada. Our objective is to deliver the highest quality claims service with technical expertise. Some of the benefits of purchasing commercial auto insurance from RSA, through your broker, includes:
- Access to a live RSA Claims Service Representative 24/7
- $500 Service Guarantee – if we do not return a customer’s call on a new claim within 6 business hours, we will pay you $500.
- Preferred vendor guarantee.
- Access to a Fast Track program for auto damage claims under $15,000 for customers who have been with RSA at least two years and are claims free
Your insurance broker will help answer any questions you have about how to set up and maintain a driver safety management program. To find a broker near you, visit http://www.rsagroup.ca/claims/find-a-broker.