There are many situations in which a technician or office employee may drive their personal vehicle to perform a business related task or activity: a technician may use their own vehicle to service clients, an employee might use their own auto to pick up the mail, visit the bank or run errands for the office, or you may rent a car while on a business trip. It is important to consider the risk you assume in these everyday occurrences.
Driving a personal auto in lieu of a company owned vehicle may seem to minimize an employer’s liability, but companies can be held liable for damages in the event of an accident. If it is found that the individual was driving for business, action can be taken against the employer.
Your business can be held accountable and sued based on an employee’s use of a personal vehicle. Generally, the basic automobile policy only covers employees while operating a company owned vehicle for business. When an employee drives their own car for work, there are several actions you can take as an employer to mitigate the risk.
Purchase Hired and Non-Owned Coverage
Any pest control company that allows or requires its technicians to use their personal vehicles for business should either purchase non-owned and hired insurance coverage or add it to an existing automobile policy.
Hired coverage protects the company against liability from bodily injury and property damage caused by a vehicle you hire, including rented or borrowed vehicles, whereas non-owned coverage protects the company against liability caused by non-owned vehicles, including those owned by technicians and used for work-related travel.
In the event of an accident, this coverage supplements the technician’s personal auto policy, which is typically triggered first. This coverage provides vital protection to the company if your business is found legally liable as a result of an accident and mitigates your exposure if the employee’s personal policy has lapsed.
By Gary Shapiro, Senior Vice President, Weisburger Insurance Brokerage