BUSRide recently spoke with Tim O’Bryan, president of Service Insurance Agency, to discuss the myriad ways in which insurance coverage affects public and private employees. In turn, he also spotlights the ways those employees can affect insurance coverage and premiums – for good and ill.
How can employees affect the insurance coverage and premiums of their operation?
There are safety issues that may not actually be directly insurance related, but will have effects on coverage and premium down the road. The example that I’m seeing now includes drivers getting tickets when they get pulled over for something in their personal lives, and they don’t have their seatbelt on. They receive a citation for that, and that’s a huge violation that also appears on their safety management scores. It’s totally preventable, but higher safety management scores make your operation less desirable for insurance companies.
Workers Comp also affects the employees. If they get hurt on the job, Workers Comp is really the sole remedy for an employee’s injuries.
Furthermore, all drivers, mechanics, dispatchers and staff need to be thinking about safety. Those actions and creating that culture of safety will ultimately help insurance costs in the long term. Without that, you can see insurance costs go up based on poor scores, poor habits, and more claims. If you’re having more claims, your premium is going to go up. All safety claims are inherently related to the ultimate price of insurance.
What can employers do to take a proactive approach toward reducing the negative affect employees may have on their bottom line?
Always do pre-employment screenings – take a hard look at employee work history, and make sure there’s nothing hiding in their record. Look at a driver’s motor vehicle record, from the standpoint of searching for red flags. Are there violations, or a pattern of behavior that might tip you off? Even if it’s in their personal vehicles, habits are habits.
For current employees, check their motor vehicle records twice per year – not just once. It’s important to do your due diligence, even in the driver shortages.
More than anything, you need to ask yourself – am I hiring my next claim?
Tim O’Bryan serves as president of Service Insurance Agency.