Your company’s vehicles are one of your biggest investments as well as a critical component of your operations. Protecting your company vehicles is important. In this article, we’ll walk you through measures to protect your company vehicles as well as using insurance to cover you if the worst happens.
How to Protect Your Company Vehicles from Damage
Here are some things you can do to mitigate damage or prevent it from happening to your company’s vehicles:
- Schedule and carry out routine maintenance on all company vehicles
- Park company vehicles or under cover, if possible
- Park company vehicles as securely as possible – good lighting, gated or secure access, with cameras is ideal
- Track your vehicles
- Have clear policies and rules for your drivers and ensure they are properly and regularly trained
- Install security and necessary safety equipment
- Hire good drivers
- Have an emergency plan for different scenarios (shutdown, flood, et cetera)
- Have proper insurance coverage
Routine maintenance is an important factor in protecting your company vehicles. A well-maintained vehicle contributes to its performance, safety, longevity and reduces your costs long-term. Keeping records of your maintenance is also important for your commercial vehicle insurance.
Park Company Vehicles Under Cover
Parking your vehicles indoors or under cover can help protect them from hail damage. It can also keep potential vandals and thieves away.
Park Company Vehicles Securely
Park your company vehicle as securely as possible. If you can park in a secure lot (fenced and gated or patrolled by security), you should. If not, a well-lit area is best. Security cameras are also a good asset to have to protect your company vehicles. Whether you have them or not, you should post signage warning about security cameras.
Remember to not leave visible equipment or goods in the vehicle. Even a mobile phone or some change can encourage a thief to break into a vehicle.
Track Your Vehicles
Tracking your vehicles can help you monitor harmful driving behaviours and confirm your vehicle’s location as well as other operations benefits. There are many different technologies that can do this. Which one you select will depend on your needs and budget.
Have Clear Policies for Employees and Train Regularly
It’s important to establish a clear set of rules for any employees who drive. You should also provide a regular refresher on these rules.
Rules for company vehicle operation may include:
- Zero tolerance for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Employees must wear a seatbelt when in the vehicle as well as any other necessary safety equipment
- Employees are expected to follow all driving and traffic laws, including distracted driving laws and speed limits
- Employees should not drive if fatigued
- No smoking in company vehicles
- Do not allow unauthorized people to drive the company vehicle
- Always park the vehicle in a secure location (if possible) and lock it
- Employees must monitor fluid, gas, and tire pressure levels
Don’t forget to define personal use and what activities your employees are allowed to do if they’re operating a company vehicle. You should also outline who will pay for a ticket if a driver receives one while driving a company vehicle. Remember – tickets can increase your commercial vehicle insurance rates.
The rules and policies your company requires will depend on your business operations and commercial vehicles. Talk to your broker if you need guidance.
Install Security and Safety Equipment
Security features include:
- Alarms (trigger a noise from movement, glass breaking, or ignition)
- Immobilizers (stop the engine unless the right key is in the vehicle)
- Steering wheel locks
- Wheel clamps
- VIN etching
- GPS tracking
Some insurance companies offer discounts for certain security features. Talk to your broker for more information.
You may need to install safety equipment to your commercial vehicle, depending on the vehicle, what it’s used for and your business operations. Ensure this is done if it is required.
Some examples of general safety equipment include:
- Additional airbags
- Brake assist or emergency braking systems
- Collision and blind-spot warning systems
- Active head restraints
Hire Good Drivers
Hiring good drivers is critical to protecting your company vehicles and keeping commercial vehicle insurance rates low.
Here are some tips for hiring good drivers:
- Pull a driving abstract
- Complete a road test with the driver
- Call references
- Offer competitive pay and benefits
Never let someone operate a company vehicle if they have not provided you with a copy of their driver’s license.
Have an Emergency Plan
It’s important to have a response plan to a wide variety of emergencies. This can help you mitigate damage or prevent damage to your company’s vehicles. Consider emergencies such as a flood, fire, storm, and anything else that could interrupt your operations or cause damage to your company’s vehicles.
- What steps can you take to protect your vehicles?
- Where could you relocate your vehicles, if necessary?
- Who is responsible for taking those steps?
- What happens if you cannot relocate your vehicles?
- What is needed to access, relocate, or protect your vehicles?
Ensure you communicate your emergency plan to all employees and prepare them ahead of time.
Have Proper Commercial Vehicle Insurance
It’s important to have the right commercial vehicle insurance in the event your company’s vehicles are damaged. There are three main areas of coverage:
- Third-party liability and accident benefits: covers medical expenses and the cost of repairing or replacing property that has been damaged in the event a company driver is at-fault in an accident. It also covers your legal expenses if you’re sued after an accident.
- Collision: covers damage to your company vehicle if a driver is at-fault in an accident.
- Comprehensive: covers damage to your company vehicle from perils like hail, fire, theft and vandalism.
There are also many other additional protections. What your business requires will depend on your operations and vehicles. Work with one of our experienced commercial vehicle insurance brokers to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.