What if I Crash the Company Car?
Having a company car or vehicle is common for many businesses. For some, it can be essential to the success of your company. But, unfortunately sometimes accidents do happen. When they do, it can be nerve wracking. In the event of an accident involving the company vehicle, these are the steps that you should take:
Right After the Accident
Make sure that everyone is okay. If the crash is more serious, you may want to call the police and have them involved. Additionally, if needed, call an ambulance. Everyone’s wellbeing is the most important thing to consider after getting into an accident. The number one priority should be making sure all parties involved are okay. Right after the crash, you may want to take photos or videos of the accident as a record of what happened.
Who is Responsible
The employer is usually held responsible for the accident, not the employee. Therefore, if one of your employees crashes your car, your company would be the liable party. Keep in mind, this is only applicable if the driver of the car was not being negligent. As long as the car was being used for work purposes, then the company’s insurance policy should kick in.
There could be times where the company is not responsible for its employees’ actions. For instance, if an employee was driving the company car while doing a criminal or illegal activity not related to work, then the driver (not the company) is responsible. Other times where the company is not responsible for the accident include: using the car for personal activities or if the driver is an independent contractor. It is important to establish rules and guidelines for use of company vehicles and clearly communicate them to your employees, before an accident occurs! Make sure that your employees are aware of the potential consequences of using the company car for non-work related activities.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If your company has a car (or other company vehicle), then you should have a commercial auto insurance policy in place. This type of coverage helps protect your company in the event of a vehicle accident. There can be varying amounts of coverage based on the type of coverage your company has. Some of the most popular types of commercial auto insurance coverages include:
- Bodily injury liability.
- Property damage.
- Medical payments.
- Personal injury protection (PIP).
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Depending on what state your company is located, you may be required to have some or all of these coverages. Be sure to talk to your agent about your commercial auto insurance. They can help you figure out what coverage and limits your company needs to be adequately protected.
Although preventing accidents is the best option, sometimes accidents still happen. When they do, make sure that you have coverage that will help protect you, your company, and your employees! Talk to your insurance agent about the right commercial auto insurance policy for your small business!