Hiring Commercial Drivers
If you’re a business owner, you may have already noticed how hard it’s been lately to get a new driver added to your insurance policy.
Whether you’re running a large transportation company hiring professional drivers or a small company that requires your employees to use company vehicles, you’ll likely run into some pushback from your insurance company when it comes time to add a new driver.
Why is this happening?
When insurance companies develop their policies, procedures and rates, they rely heavily on historical data – where, when and why did claims happen and in this case the biggest factor – the who? When they analyze the data they can see that a larger number of past claims were caused by underage drivers, drivers with less experience, newly licensed drivers and drivers with poor driving records. Since the past is a predictor of the future, insurance companies have created policies, rules and procedures that lead to heavier scrutiny for driver approval.
So what can be done?
In short the best answer is to be proactive. One area that is often overlooked when hiring an employee is their driving record. Just like ensuring the new employee has the skills for the job, it’s equally important that they have an acceptable driving record to be able to use the company vehicles. Requesting a copy of their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) will allow your broker to give you an indication of whether this employee has a “clean driving record” and avoid any roadblocks before trying to add this new driver.
Also ask if they will be able to provide a letter of experience. Many insurers will not add a commercial driver without three documented years of experience on a similar truck.
What about existing employees?
Insurance companies will periodically pull MVR reports on your drivers to confirm they still have a clean driving record. If they run an MVR that has issues you could get some pushback on an existing driver. One way to reduce the risk of this happening is to set up a driver maintenance program. This can be as simple as checking annually with employees if they’ve gotten any tickets or accidents in the last year with either their personal or company vehicles. Is their license still valid or does it need to be renewed? Any other concerns related to their driving?
Your best option is to contact your insurance broker to have a conversation before hiring that new driver.