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An employee drives off the conveyor and loses control, damaging two vehicles: $40,000 paid out. An employee can’t stop a car coming off the conveyor and hits a wall: $30,000 paid out.
An employee pulls out of a detail bay and runs into another car: $60,000 paid in property damage and bodily injury.
These are just a few of the hundreds of claims that indicate a major crisis is emerging as a result of rising claims associated with accidents from workers operating vehicles on wash owners’ properties.
In response to this increase in incidents, more and more insurance companies have begun to decline renewing, or in some cases writing new, accounts with this exposure.
The unforeseen cost
However, if owners take the time to analyze the costs to the business associated with this kind of claim, most would be shocked at the amount.
For instance, a recent study concluded that $1 paid in losses equates to $5 when indirect costs are factored in.
Along with that study, it was calculated that it would take approximately $500,000 of sales to compensate for losses of $25,000.
Staggering, isn’t it? Here are just a few examples of the indirect or hidden costs:
When you consider all of these items, even assuming the losses are covered by insurance, can a business really afford to have an accident at onsite?
As these conditions begin to improve, the last thing the industry needs is to allow the insurance companies to believe this is an uncontrollable aspect of the business. Once we lose those that are still interested, it will be difficult to get them back.
It is important that all operators with driving exposures understand some of the potential problems and use the guidelines available to help prevent the continued rise in claims.
After reviewing several recent losses, the following recommendations were established to aid in adopting a proactive plan to minimize these occurrences:
Keep in mind that this is by no means an all-inclusive list, wash owners may have other ideas that are unique to their operations. Any proactive plan is a good one.
Other contributing factors
Busy times are also a major contributor to employee-related accidents. Often, this is when substitute drivers are used and people tend to be less cautious.
It is therefore imperative that managers use their training to enforce a strict policy for their drivers.
The nice by-product to implementing this type of approach is the benefit of providing a safer business for both customers and employees.
A formal process can make a significant impact in the quest to keep these markets open and competitively priced. And best of all, help to keep everyone involved safer.