Combatting the Snow and Ice When You Manage Fleets
Right here in the Midwest, we’ve entered into the time of year when snow is almost a certainty: however, how much and when it falls can be unpredictable. Businesses in Iowa, whether a retail operation with increased foot traffic or an office building with the consistent drumbeat of employees coming and going, need to be prepared to combat the snow and ice.
Holmes Murphy recommends a snow plow contract is in place, insurance requirements are met, and timing protocol is agreed upon. These steps can help address risk management and any insurance issues that could arise, specifically premises liability.
The contract portion should include an indemnity agreement where the snow plow contractor holds harmless the parking lot owner, agrees to indemnify the owner or business, and also lists the owner or business as an additional insured on a primary non-contributory basis. The Certificate of Insurance should include the following coverage: general liability, auto liability, workers’ compensation, and umbrella liability.
Additionally, from the perspective of the snow plow company, Holmes Murphy focuses on reputational risk, loss of goods or property, costs of damaged vehicles, or liability risks from poorly managing your fleet to help companies maintain safe fleets.
“Due to negligence, these unfortunate accidents are too often associated with brake issues or individuals not using seatbelts and lead to a tremendous cost to the company involved,” said RW Smith, Holmes Murphy Sr. Loss Control Consultant.
A $10,000 crash is not uncommon with the cost of today’s equipment. If a truck is generating a 1 percent profit margin on a $100,000 gross revenue, the driver would have to be 10 months claims-free to pay back that one crash.
“A fleet presents a liability risk – a company can be found negligent in hiring and retention, lending of the vehicle, and associated with the vehicle’s condition,” said Smith. “These issues can be prevented through proper training and commitment to compliance. Hiring qualified drivers, following regulations such as drug testing, hours of service, and continuing training will help in decreasing unwanted incidents.”