Home Health and Delivery Services
What could "Home Health" and " Delivery Services" possibly have in common? In addition to enjoying the benefits of each from the comfort of your homeâ€¦plenty!
As a home health operator, would you believe that one of your largest insurance exposures that may lead to financial ruin does not involve even a single medical procedure or service? As in many delivery services, most home health employees use their personal autos to complete their daily appointments. Many insurance carriers writing professional liability coverage for Home Health Agencies do not insure this exposure.
You could be held liable for damages caused by your employees who are found legally at fault in an automobile accident. How is this so? Your employees are agents of you, the business owner. Therefore, you become subject to the exposures of an employee having inadequate limits of insurance or, worse yet, no insurance at all! It is estimated that up to 25% of all drivers in some states are driving without insurance coverage. Do you know if all of your drivers have insurance coverage in force, and if so, their limits of liability? Are these limits sufficient to protect you from loss? How can you be certain an employee who has insurance will not "accidentally" lapse their insurance by nonpayment of premium just prior to an accident?
For example, suppose your employee, while driving his owned auto either to or from an appointment, causes an accident that results in $125,000 in damages to a third party. The employee has personal insurance coverage, but only carries the state mandated minimum limits of 20/40/15. As you can readily see, damages in excess of $20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 per occurrence, or $15,000 in property damage will have to be collected elsewhere.
YOU ARE THE PARTY WITH THE DEEP POCKET WHO CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ABOVE THE LIMITS OF YOUR EMPLOYEE'S OWN POLICY!
Of course, if all of your drivers carry $1 million dollar automobile insurance limits, you probably don't have much to worry about. Unfortunately, very few drivers' carry limits that high on their personal auto insurance.
How can you protect yourself from this type of loss?
The first step is to purchase Non-Owned Automobile insurance coverage. Bunker Hill offers this valuable protection as part of our Home Health program. However, auto claims above $1,000,000 are not that uncommon. A prudent business owner would also buy higher limits in an umbrella policy.
Non-owned auto insurance covers liability arising out of autos you do not own, lease, hire, rent or borrow that are used in connection with your business. This includes autos owned by your employees and partners or members of their households, but only while used in your business or your personal affairs. It does not cover owned autos.
Just as important as obtaining the proper insurance coverage is the implementation of the following loss control measures as part of your standard operating procedures:
- Obtain a motor vehicle report from the state on each applicant. Drivers with more than two moving violations or accidents in the last three years should either not be hired or not be allowed to drive on company business. Do you really want applicants with convictions for "driving while intoxicated" or "reckless driving" working for you?
- Require proof of liability insurance. (A copy should be kept in each employee file.)
- Update each employee file on a yearly basis by running a new motor vehicle report and obtaining a current copy of proof of insurance.
DO NOT PUT YOUR BUSINESS AT RISK BY NOT TAKING THESE EASY TO FOLLOW STEPS TO LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE TO A NON-OWNED AUTO LOSS!
Another benefit of having the proper insurance coverage in place includes enhanced contract negotiations with Managed Care Providers. Many providers require certificates of insurance as part of their selection process.
Remember, no one, including the deliveryman and you, should be left out in the cold without protection.