Delivery businesses need to ensure that their products get to the right places in good shape. Also, given that drivers likely spend a lot of time on the road, the company has a duty to ensure their safety. The security of drivers and products reflect on the company's overall success, after all. Through such means as insurance and driver monitoring, companies can better safeguard delivery services. Whether you run a pizza parlor or a furniture warehouse, take some time to learn about these safety steps.
You value your employee drivers. But they need protection while they work. So, before you send them out on deliveries, make sure they have coverage.
Step 1: Provide Commercial Auto Insurance
All vehicles need insurance. Therefore, as a business, you should invest in coverage for your employee drivers. In this case, commercial auto coverage is the protection that should suffice. This policy differs from standard car insurance. It will contain coverage aimed at the business' stake in the vehicle. Most businesses cannot insure their commercial vehicles with standard coverage.
Some of the protection most commercial vehicles should carry includes:
- Liability Insurance: In the event of an accident where your driver is at fault, this coverage helps compensate an injured party for their losses. They can claim the damage on your policy. Missouri requires drivers to carry minimum coverage, valued at:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage
- Collision Coverage: This pays for damage to your company vehicles following an accident.
- Comprehensive Insurance: If vehicle damage results from an incident that's not an accident, this coverage pays. Covered incidents may include weather, fire or theft damage.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage: In the event one of your drivers get hit by an at-fault driver who doesn't have the appropriate liability insurance, this coverage can pay for the damage sustained. Again, Missouri requires drivers to carry minimum coverage valued at:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
Different vehicles will need various levels of insurance. Commercial vehicle owners should insure the value of the vehicle appropriately. Keep in mind the coverage might vary. Depending on if the company or the individual driver owns the vehicle, the policy will need to address this factor. Be upfront with your insurer about ownership to learn how coverage might apply.
Step 2: Insuring Your Cargo
The products you deliver to your clients come with a promise to get there in one piece. After all, if they don't, you'll have a dissatisfied customer, not to mention a financial loss. With insurance for these items, you'll better guarantee you can make up for any unexpected losses.
Many delivery items will have coverage under a motor truck cargo insurance policy. This coverage is often an extension of inland marine insurance, which protects products or supplies during transport. Cargo insurance can pay for damage or losses to the items. It can also provide settlements for customers.
Keep in mind, limits and deductibles will still apply with cargo coverage. Furthermore, exclusions for some items in transport might exist. For example, a pizza parlor owner might not be able to recover the cost of a single lost pie. That's often too small of a loss to claim. Businesses should ask their agent how cargo coverage will apply to specific deliveries. At the end of the day, you'll need to tailor your limits to meet the needs of the items you deliver.
Step 3: Protecting Drivers, Vehicles And Belongings
Even if you get broad commercial auto and cargo insurance, you cannot prevent all incidents of mishaps from happening. Therefore, make it a priority to prevent vehicle mishaps whenever possible.
Here are some precautionary steps to consider:
- Ensure all commercial vehicles receive regular maintenance. Oil changes, engine service, inspections and tire rotations should all occur on time. Keep a calendar to determine when it's time for a visit to the mechanic.
- Should vehicles exhibit problems, immediately take them to a mechanic. Don't let them operate without a clean bill of health.
- Keep registration, documentation of insurance and any other necessary paperwork in the vehicle.
- Vet all prospective drivers to ensure they have the appropriate credentials to drive. Make sure they receive training and can show proficiency behind the wheel.
- Drivers who have checkered driving records might need extra supervision while driving. Those who commit offenses while on dispatch should receive disciplinary action.
- Pack, ship and secure all products and deliveries according to safe handling instructions.
- Make sure all vehicles have appropriate security systems. These should include car alarms, not to mention specialty locks, such as steering wheel jams.
- Know where your drivers are at all times. Know who is driving which vehicles. You also might be able to install GPS tracking and speed monitoring devices in the car. This will help you keep an eye on drivers in the event of problems. Furthermore, it can enforce a higher degree of safety from your employees.
Don't let safety precautions deter you from getting secure commercial auto insurance. Your safety practices should work hand in hand with your insurance. Whether you are buying your first company car, or adding to your fleet, start with the appropriate coverage.
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