Fleet Liability - Risk Management

​Assess potential risks, develop policies and procedures, and involve your drivers in managing risks for the vehicles they operate. Remember, you can insure only vehicles that you own on your fleet policy.

​Ways to Proactively Manage Fleet Risks​​

  1. Determine the experience of your fleet’s losses (i.e., types, causes, sources, number and cost of losses)
    1. Identify the frequency and severity of risks.
    2. Look for trends
    3. Benchmark by comparing your losses with those of others within your industry.
  2. Implement a preventive maintenance program that includes a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. Follow your vehicles’ operating manuals for maintenance routines. Document and record all service carried out on each vehicle in the fleet.
  3. Create fleet policies and procedures that include:
    1. motor vehicle safety policy​ that establishes the organization’s safety philosophy and how drivers are expected to perform
    2. A vehicle selection and acquisition policy that establishes the minimum safety requirements for new vehicle purchases
    3. Preventive maintenance and vehicle disposal instructions (to ensure that ownership is properly transferred)
    4. Driver screening and hiring policies (these may include minimum years of related experience, a maximum number of traffic violations and other standards)
    5. A detailed list of unauthorized activities, such as:
      1. Driving while impaired due to drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, medical issues, fatigue, etc.
      2. Personal use of company vehicles
      3. Driving outside of specific geographical areas
    6. A night driving policy that addresses issues of fatigue and stimulants.
    7. Maximum allowable speeds as well as safe following distances
    8. Directions for proper fuel storage and disposal
    9. Procedures around parking and reversing.
  4. Involve drivers in managing risk by providing them with a fleet safety manual and a pocket manual with key points for quick reference. Ask each driver to read all provided documentation and abide by all company policies and procedures. Ensure all drivers:
    1. Receive updates on any policy or procedure changes
    2. Sign to acknowledge that they understand and will abide by all documented standards
    3. Are asked to give feedback and suggestions on how to improve fleet safety
    4. Receive regular training and refresher courses
    5. Are recognized and potentially rewarded for maintaining safe driving records
    6. Know what do to if they are involved in an incident
    7. Have emergency supplies in their vehicles, such as a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, a shovel, a tow rope, booster cables, a tool kit, fuel-line antifreeze, a flashlight, blankets, candles and matches
    8. Have phone numbers for their supervisor and emergency services.
  5. ​Ensure vehicles are stored in a safe place after hours to prevent theft. Be proactive:
    1. Install vehicle alarm systems.
    2. Lock vehicle doors.
    3. Do not leave valuables in plain view.
    4. Ensure that indoor storage of vehicles is safe. Confirm that ventilation and fire suppression systems, fire alarms and other safeguards are in place. Give consideration to the potential risk of losing several or all vehicles in one incident and how that risk might be mitigated. For instance, you may separate vehicles by using different buildings or storage locations.​

Non-Owned Vehicles

Employees or volunteers who use a personal vehicle for your organization’s purposes must secure their own car insurance. You can reimburse them for some or all of their expenses. If your employees or volunteers are required to use their vehicles for your business, you could incur liabilities as a result.

Consider how to protect your organization, employees and volunteers from losses arising from using non-owned vehicles by: 

  1. ​Implementing a formal non-owned vehicle policy or procedure that addresses:​
    1. If and how employees/volunteers will be compensated for using their vehicles.
    2. The mandatory liability insurance you require that employees/volunteers carry and how you want them to prove they have it – for example, you might make an annual request that they show proof of insurance thatcovers business/volunteer use.
    3. How employees/volunteers use vehicles.
  2. Check with your insurance representative for more information about your current business coverage. She or he can confirm if you will be covered in the event that an employee/volunteer is not insured or is inadequately insured and is involved in an incident or collision while conducting your business.