10 Tips to Help Reduce Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability for Home Health Care Providers
Transporting clients to appointments and to run errands is one of the many responsibilities of a Home Health Care provider. Often these trips are made in personal vehicles for errands and appointments, and in doing so, take on Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability Exposure. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability is commercial auto liability exposure resulting from the use of vehicles not owned by the company, but used in the course of its business.
As careful as your providers are, it is important providers implement a clear policy and set of controls around the operation of non-owned vehicles for company purposes. This could reduce the probability of loss, and better position the account for Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.
Following 10 tips for a Client Transportation & Personal Vehicle Use Policy to address hired and non-owned auto exposures related to Home Health Care:
Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) Grading Criteria
Make sure your MVR grading criteria has clearly defined acceptable, borderline, and unacceptable results including points, DUI’s, suspensions etc. Tie the criteria to a discipline policy and driver sign off allowing the provider to take corrective action and remove potentially unsafe drivers from the road. It’s critical to be consistent in enforcing the MVR Grading Criteria for all drivers.
Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) Ordering
It is important for management to immediately recognize potentially hazardous driers, take corrective, or disciplinary actions (when tied to MVR Grading Criteria). It is easier to stay ahead of hazardous drivers with an automated MVR update service if available. State DMV services and third party vendor services are available in some states. If ordering manually, MVR’s should be ordered at least annually.
Method of Client Transportation
Each of the following should be addressed in a provider’s transportation policy. In the course of review, check to see if all are covered by the current Hired and Non-Owned Auto policy.
Aide’s Personal Vehicle
Client Personal Vehicle (driven by aide) – These vehicles can be older and/or not well maintained. Avoid if possible.
Ride Share – An attorney should review the Ride Share company contracts to determine who is responsible for what in the event of a loss during transportation, transfer, etc. How confident are you the ride share auto insurance would respond? Define what staff are responsible for in terms of transfers, seatbelts, etc. Ride Share should be developed into its own procedure or checklist as an addendum.
Paratransit or non-emergency medical transportation company – Clients who are non ambulatory, or in a delicate state requiring higher level of care (ex. oxygen dependent or post medical procedure) should contract directly with a paratransit or non-emergency medical transportation company.
Personal Auto – Business Use Endorsement, Limits, & Proof of Coverage
The provider should require a Business Use Endorsement with a minimum limit of liability on each driver’s personal auto policy. Proof of coverage should be required annually. Standard personal auto policies could decline a claim related to business use, which is why requiring the business use endorsement is so important. If triggered, the endorsement could offer a “buffer” layer before the providers hired and non-owned auto liability policy responds.
Incident/Accident Reporting Procedure
An incident reporting procedure related to client and employee injury as well as an auto accident reporting procedure should be developed and reinforced.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage provides defense, settlement, judgement, and medical payments for loss resulting from bodily injury and property damage, for which the insured is legally responsible. This includes the Loading or Unloading of a client. Physical damage coverage (comprehensive / collision) can also be endorsed on to the policy.
Cell Phone Use & Texting While Driving
Make certain the policy includes a statement on cell phone use and texting while driving.
A policy should define the operating radius the home health care provider is allowed to drive a client.
Vehicle Inspection Checklist
Develop a vehicle inspection checklist and perform an inspection on each personal vehicle transporting clients.
Provide training for new hires and annually on Incident/Accident reporting, distracted driving, transfers, seatbelts and securing passengers.
Any new policy or update to an existing policy should be reviewed by an attorney.
If written well and consistently enforced, a Client Transportation & Personal Vehicle Use Policy can help a home health care provider reduce their hired and non-owned auto exposure and helps to ensure clients and drivers safely reach their destinations.
To learn more, contact:
John Hague, ARM | Senior Underwriter, Health and Social Services
Crum & Forster
t + 1.973.326.7784 | m + 1.908.433.8248 John.Hague@cfins.com
Send New Business Submissions to: CFSubmissions@cfins.com