"One of the area's most respected and sought-after legal minds"
and "One of Washington's best - most honest
and effective - lawyers who sue."
As part of my continuing effort to keep my clients and friends informed, I am including Chapter 4, “Company Vehicles” from my handbook entitled Don’t Get Sued! A Guide to Help Reduce Your Business’s Exposure to Lawsuits, which reads as follows:
There are lots of types of businesses which need to offer their employees use of company owned vehicles. Often, employees use these vehicles while outside the scope of employment. Regardless of whether or not the employee is working for you, or is on a personal errand, typically, most contracts of insurance, as will likely cover your work vehicles, provide that your business’s automobile policy is primary. This means that your coverage is first in line to pay a third party’s claim if your employee negligently injures someone else or causes property damage while driving your company’s vehicle. With this in mind, in order to attempt to reduce your premiums, I would urge you to speak with your agent about making the coverage which is available on your business vehicle, secondary coverage in situations where your client is not acting within the scope of employment. Such coverage should offer insulation for your business, and help keep your rates in check.
Also, consider waiving any available medical payment (med-pay) benefits, sometimes referred to as personal injury protection (pip) coverage. Medical expenses, and sometimes wage loss (under pip only) paid under such claims are secondary to worker’s compensation benefits. So waiving the coverage on a work vehicle may make sense and reduce your premiums.