A Driving Force: Selecting Safe Drivers for Your Business

Anyone behind the wheel – for any purpose, whether the employer or employee owns, rents, or leases the vehicle – during work hours is considered a driver for the company.  It remains imperative, then, for employers to do everything possible to ensure that every driver operates those vehicles safely, to limit liability and losses.

Those individuals hired as drivers are easy to identify, of course.  The occasional driver, though, can easily be overlooked as companies consider the risks associated with their fleets.

Safe drivers translate into savings related to losses.  The National Safety Council confirms that the cost of losses related to vehicle accidents can be substantial.

Safe drivers mean lower liability in case of loss.  Screening, training, and monitoring performance comes heavily into play here.

Safe drivers also can burnish your image with customers and the general public.  Vehicles are visibly unavoidable on the highway.  As a visual representation of an organization, drivers operating those vehicles safely and smartly can tell a positive story about the company they represent.

Some general tips for hiring safe drivers include:

  • Establish and clearly communicate a set of consistent standards for all drivers.
  • Spend the time to accurately verify and validate the employee’s work history and safety record.
  • Conduct thorough background checks.
  • Retrieve and evaluate motor vehicle records (MVRs) for any past violations.
  • Put the employee through driving-related tests, both written and on-road.
  • Verify any special certifications related to the ability and authorization to operate certain vehicle classifications.
  • Be sure that all applicable commercial vehicle driver qualification rules have been met and documented.

The professionals at The Reschini Group can help your organization get a fleet safety program in place that works for your specific needs.  Contact us to talk more about this important consideration.

Copyright 2019 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

Plugging the Gap: The Need for Drive-Other-Car Coverage

By The Reschini Group

If you take five seconds to think about it, the number of vehicles on the road at any given moment is absolutely staggering.  Then Fill the Gaps red sign with sun backgroundthink of the various types of drivers, the owners of those vehicles, the accidents that remain an ever-present possibility, and it becomes clear that car insurance is, by necessity, a very complex industry.

Here’s just one unique slice of that complex world.  If an employee of a company were provided with a company vehicle – and if that employee does not own a car of his or her own, and subsequently has no personal automobile insurance – then the employer has a real and potential liability exposure, should that vehicle be involved in an accident.

Drive-Other-Car coverage closes that particular gap for employees who do not have their own personal automobile insurance policy, when they are driving a “non-owned” vehicle for personal use.  The insured (the company that owns the vehicle) is not at risk; it is actually the employee without automobile insurance who is at risk, and this endorsement provides them with protection.  The full technical definition is as follows: Drive Other Car endorsement is a commercial auto endorsement designed to provide non-owned auto coverage under a commercial auto policy similar to that which would be provided under a personal auto policy.  A Drive Other Car coverage (broadened coverage for named individuals) endorsement is commonly used when an executive officer, for example, does not carry personal auto insurance because he or she is furnished a company auto. Coverage under the endorsement would come into play in the event the individual designated in the endorsement (including his or her resident spouse) is driving a non-owned auto for personal use. Coverage under the endorsement does not apply if the auto in question is owned by that individual or by any member of his or her household; or the auto is used by either of these individuals while working in a business of selling, servicing, repairing, or parking autos.

The best scenario, of course, is for any employee who may be driving a company-owned vehicle to carry his or her own personal automobile policy.  For those who don’t, however, Drive-Other-Car coverage can include coverage of liability, medical payments, uninsured motorist and physical damage.

Be sure about your coverage.  The professionals at The Reschini Group are well versed in these questions and how you can be adequately covered in any situation – including the myriad combinations of factors surrounding car insurance.  Contact us to learn more.

The idea, after all, is to get behind the wheel without getting behind the 8-ball.  And to do that, you need to plug all the gaps.

Copyright 2016 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

Getting Short-Sheeted: Reviewing MSAs for Coverage Gaps

By The Reschini Group

Don't get short-sheeted on your insurance coverage.
Don’t get short-sheeted on your insurance coverage.

Hurrying through the department store, you grab a set of bedsheets on sale, only to get home and realize they’re queen-size sheets and you have a king-size bed.  You paid for sheets, all right, but they don’t provide sufficient coverage for your needs.

In like manner, businesses are asked to sign Master Service Agreements when contracting with other businesses.  These MSAs delineate the terms under which the two parties will conduct their business, including insurance coverages.  The stipulations may be properly in order, or there may be discrepancies and differences that should be addressed.

For this reason, all MSAs should be carefully reviewed by insurance professionals, to prevent either a lack of coverage, or to identify a situation where insurance in excess of actual need may be unnecessarily imposed.

As an example, a subcontractor signs an MSA requiring insurance to be able to work with a general contractor.  The MSA includes insurance addendums and attachments.  The subcontractor in this instance would be well advised to seek an independent opinion about the terms included in those documents.  Which insurance-related items are really needed?  Which ones are not applicable to the work to be provided?

Sometimes, the insurance coverage a subcontractor already has in place may be sufficient, saving the added cost of expanded insurance requirements in the proposed MSA.

Hashing out these details makes sense from every angle.  Without carrying the proper level of insurance, a subcontractor will not be hired.  But without making sure the insurance-related requirements are fair and appropriate, the subcontractor may be caught short or overpay.

Bottom line – bring the MSA and any insurance addendums and attachments to a professional insurance consultant.  That way, all parties involved in the business relationship can move forward with confidence.  The team at The Reschini Group provides this service, and encourages all of its clients to take full advantage of it.

Because the last thing anyone needs is to get short-sheeted on his or her insurance.

Copyright 2016 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.


Watch Those Assumptions

Understanding Excess vs. Umbrella Coverage


By Kitti Peters, The Reschini Group

Assumptions can be tricky. You really need to slow down, look at the situation, and make sure you fully understand all the signals before taking action. Otherwise, you could be facing a problem down the road.

Even things that would appear on the surface to be so obvious, so apparent, so unmistakable, can turn out to be the very things that trip you up later.

A great example of the dangers of assuming? Appreciating the difference between “excess” and “umbrella” insurance coverage. They may sound synonymous – and it’s easy to make that mistake, as many people do at first blush – but important differences, in fact, exist.

The danger arises in getting caught with a policy that’s restrictive, meaning you may not have the protection you assumed.

In its most general definition, an “umbrella” policy can extend to coverage that includes general liability, automobile, and employees – but it is not automatically all-encompassing. Again, generally speaking, an “excess” policy provides additional coverage to specified areas of exposure.

Each option has its own specific features and benefits, its own limitations and guidelines. But worse than possibly simply misunderstanding what each coverage option provides, acting on this faulty assumption could prove costly should an event require such a policy to become engaged. In other words, you may not be as well covered as you thought, because the rules of engagement are not necessarily as simple as they might sound.

Assuming the difference between “umbrella” and “excess” coverage may, at first glance, sound logical, but never assume. Be sure. Let the experts at The Reschini Group help you make the best choice for your particular situation, so that you have the broadest possible coverage necessary.

Copyright 2016 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.