Living in the Wheel World

Owning a business comes with built-in risks and challenges. While you are busy with the day-to-day duties, however, you also have to consider potential liabilities that may affect your business. For example, many companies own or lease vehicles that are necessary to conduct business. Practicing good risk management skills will protect your business from financial disaster and help preserve all your hard work.

If you own or lease vehicles for company business, here is a checklist of things to consider:

Make sure the limits on your business auto policy adequately protect your company. Keep in mind that if your company is underinsured, the company's assets may be on the line.

Know your policy. There are certain mandatory coverage areas such as Bodily Injury, Property Damage and Personal Injury Protection. Remember to include Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists coverage, unless the insurance company has a signed written waiver indicating that you do not want those coverages.

Know how to save money. In order to establish your premium, insurance companies look at a number of factors, including the number of miles you drive, who will be driving the vehicle, and your driving record and claims history. The liability limits and deductibles are also factors in what your rate will be.

Know your drivers. Check to make sure your drivers have valid licenses. Ask to see their driving records. Consider enrolling your drivers in a defensive training class. Keep in mind that your company is ultimately responsible for the actions of your drivers.

Know your vehicles. Perform regular inspections of your vehicles. Consider a preventative maintenance program to keep little problems from getting worse.

Know how to file a claim. Know how to contact your insurance company and report a claim. Know how to file an accident report and be sure to educate your drivers as well.