Helping our clients prevent workplace accidents is a critical task that we take on eagerly, in fact we consider it a core mission. That said, each of our clients share that responsibility with us. Clients make themselves more “insurable” to the extent they do all they can to create and maintain a safe working environment. Some businesses struggle with this task, particularly those facing frequent financial problems. If a company is often short on cash, they may put off any safety expenditure even though they may save down the road by avoiding insurance premium hikes. These businesses can easily get caught in a difficult cycle-- paying more for insurance coverage or being placed into the assigned risk pool due to a poor safety record but unable to make the necessary investments to reverse the spiral.
Fortunately, not all accident prevention strategies require an out-of-pocket investment. Some cost no more than some extra time to rethink procedures that may contribute to more accidents.
A case in point. We insure many restaurants and all face cash flow issues from time to time. If they offer delivery service, insurance coverage for their drivers presents a challenge unless they take some simple steps. Background checks including motor vehicle reports (MVRs) should be conducted on any prospective driver. Beyond that, however, we also recommend strongly they eliminate delivery time guarantees. Customers want prompt service, however added pressure on drivers to perform regardless of weather and traffic conditions can lead to accidents. If drivers are being asked to make up for delays in the kitchen, that’s an attempt to solve one problem by creating another one.
Drivers should also be required to know the neighborhoods in which they operate and where possible, deliveries should be coordinated to cut down drive times.
Much of accident prevention is rooted in common sense. We work closely with our clients to find ways to reduce both accident frequency and severity but our best clients make this task an ongoing mission, just as we do.
*Patriot Underwriters, Inc. conducts insurance business in all of its licensed states as PUI INSURANCE AGENCY