Employees' Use of Personal Vehicles for Business Purposes
Another problem that can arise is the employees use of their own vehicles for business purposes. Employers are being charged with negligent hiring and supervision, and courts are holding companies, including restoration contractors, responsible for not adequately reviewing MVR records or correcting improper driving behaviors.
The use of employee vehicles also presents some unique challenges. For example, employers have no control over the contents of an employee's vehicle (i.e. weapon), but they may still be held responsible for the actions of the employee with those contents.
Personal Auto Insurance
Another one of the issues presented by employees using their personal vehicles for work purposes is the amount of liability insurance the employee carries on their vehicle. This is important because if your employee is involved in an accident, his or her personal insurance will respond first. If the amount of insurance is inadequate to cover the entire claim, then the business auto policy may step in to cover the rest.
Your restoration company's business auto policy should carry a coverage entitled "Non-Owned Auto Coverage." Non-Owned Auto Coverage will step in and provide the difference on auto claims where the employee's limits are inadequate. (It's important to note this coverage is usually very cheap to add to any business auto policy. Some insurance companies will only charge a few hundred dollars a year.)
Business trips are another area where employers have potential risks, especially when employees are traveling in groups. Did you know also that your company may be held responsible for inappropriate comments made by employees to other people even while they're on business trips?
These types of inappropriate acts would be covered by an Employment Practices Liability Insurance policy. An EPLI policy provides coverage for things like sexual harassment and discrimination to both fellow employees and third parties.
As can be easily, vicarious liability is a very real danger to all types of businesses including restoration contractors. The actions of employees while away from the office can leave your company exposed to very expensive litigation. If you are concerned about vicarious liability, we recommend speaking to one of our agents to help you identity potential exposures to your company and how to protect you from them.