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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Rented and Personal Vehicles

Rented and Personal Vehicles: Are Your Risks Covered?

Are you familiar with hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance? If your business involves vehicle use in any way, this coverage could be crucial for your operations.

 

Here are the FAQs.

What is HNOA insurance?

Hired and non-owned auto insurance provides coverage if an employee uses a personal or rented vehicle for business purposes.

If an employee in these circumstances is in an accident, the company for which they were driving could be held liable for damages. HNOA insurance covers this liability.

Who needs HNOA insurance?

Business owners may assume that if their employees don’t use company vehicles, they don’t have to worry about insurance coverage. This isn’t necessarily true.

The employee’s personal insurance may not always cover the full liability, in which case the litigators may go after the business for which the employee was driving at the time. This makes it important for any business with exposure to this risk to maintain HNOA insurance.

While HNOA insurance is most commonly associated with food delivery tasks, the need for HNOA goes beyond pizza and sandwich delivery. Home health care providers, consultants, contractors, and anyone else who uses their own vehicles or rented vehicles for business-related tasks or travel have HNOA exposure.

Of course, a company with a fleet of inexperienced teens delivering dinners will have a higher risk than a small business with two professionals who attend occasional client meetings. Still, the risk is there, and it should be addressed.

What can business owners do to reduce HNOA exposure?

To reduce their risk, business owners can take several steps. First, they can conduct motor vehicle record checks on employees. This task can be completed twice a year to monitor employee driving. Second, business owners can establish guidelines for who is considered an acceptable driver. The employer can use driving experience, age, and driving records as parameters to set these guidelines.

Modern technology allows for a third method that could be worthwhile for some businesses. This solution is telematics. Using this technology, an employer can monitor the activity of a vehicle and the driver’s performance. The data will reveal whether drivers speed, how they brake, and other information that can be helpful in determining risk. Because they are being monitored, employees may make greater effort to drive safely. Employers can also create reward programs based on telematics data to further incentivize safe driving among employees.

Is HNOA coverage provided by a standard commercial auto insurance policy?

Business owners who have a commercial auto insurance policy may or may not be covered for HNOA situations. Previously, this coverage was often a standard part of commercial auto policies, but the rising frequency and cost of litigation have forced many providers to make it a separate policy. Business owners should check with their carriers to see what coverage is included and what is available.

What’s the next step?

If you’re unsure about your HNOA exposure and insurance needs, contact our office. We can provide a quick review of your policies and risks and make sure you have appropriate coverage.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Proactive Steps to Protect Your Business

Do you have a Natural Disaster Plan?

If disaster strikes, you have insurance to cover your costs. This is a great first step in disaster preparedness.

To take your preparations to the next level, it’s important to put proactive measures in place. A proactive approach will aid in the recovery of your business beyond simple financial reimbursement.

Consider what else is on the line when claim-worthy situations arise. Money probably won’t be your only concern.

Would you lose crucial data? Would you be able to organize employees to relocate your business? What steps do you need to take to protect your business from additional loss, crippling chaos, or potential shutdown after a disaster?

To minimize your losses and ensure your doors stay open after a catastrophic event, use the following proactive methods.

Back It Up

What record-keeping system do you use for your company data? If you have paper files, do you have a digital backup? If you have digital files, do you have backup copies or web-based servers in case the files become corrupted or lost?

Everything from customer information to billing to personnel records can be lost in an instant if you don’t have backups of all files.

Make a Plan

Do you know what you would do if you could no longer use your current location to conduct business? Could you establish communication with employees if you needed to relocate?

These are important questions to consider before disaster hits. Have a plan in place for communicating with employees after a disaster, designating responsibilities, and creating a temporary home for your business.

Run a Drill

Employee safety must be a top priority. Would your staff know what to do in an emergency?

Create a disaster response plan, including an evacuation plan, and make sure everyone is familiar with it. Include disaster response as part of standard employee training, and conduct drills twice a year to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Build a Kit

Store emergency supplies at your business. Create an emergency kit that includes flashlights, batteries, water, a fire extinguisher, nonperishable food, a first-aid kit, a whistle, and blankets. If feasible, it may also be helpful to include a generator.

Take an Inventory

If you need to report losses to your insurance carrier, do you have a list of company inventory you could provide?

This goes beyond the products that you sell. Would you be able to recall what is in every room of your office, facility, or store?

Create an inventory of all furniture, equipment, tools, and other items that you would have to replace in the event of a full-scale disaster. Maintain this inventory list, with photos and receipts, at an off-site location for safekeeping.

Place a Call

Do you know exactly what insurance coverage you have in place? Do you know how to file a claim if the need arises?

Remember to keep your insurance agent’s contact information in a place where it can be easily accessed after a disaster. Contact us to discuss your current policies and potential needs so we can help you plan for the unexpected.

 

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