CNA logoA Self-assessment Checklist

Home healthcare providers must be aware of the risks that can arise whenever an employee uses a personal vehicle on behalf of the company. Non-owned vehicle exposure applies to many common workplace situations involving use of employee-owned automobiles, such as office staff running errands, sales or marketing representatives driving to meet potential clients, or caregivers transporting clients to appointments or outings, or running errands on behalf of the client. If an accident occurs on company business and the employee is at fault, the employee’s auto policy becomes the first line of coverage. However, if the damage exceeds policy liability limits, the injured party may attempt to sue the company, alleging that it negligently entrusted the employee to drive a car on its behalf.

The following questions are designed to help home healthcare leaders evaluate their vehicle-related procedures. A negative response to any of these queries indicates the need to review policies and take appropriate action to minimize exposure. (For more information about non-owned vehicle exposure, see Home Care Briefing®, January 2011-Issue 3, “Non-owned Vehicle Exposure: Driving Down the Risks.”)

License, Record and Insurance Documentation

  • Are formal procedures in place to verify that all drivers have a current, valid driver’s license, and to periodically confirm license status?
  • Are employees’ Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) checked before they start driving on company business and at least annually thereafter?
  • Have acceptability criteria been established regarding MVR violations (e.g., anyone with a type A violation in the last three years is unacceptable as a driver, as is anyone with three or more type B violations or two or more at-fault accidents in a three-year period?)*
  • Are drivers with 2 moving type B violations or one driving accident in the last three-year period put on a warning from a company monitoring standpoint, with MVRs reviewed more frequently, but at least two times per year?
  • Is proof of insurance obtained upon renewal or at least annually from all employees who drive their personal vehicle on company business?
  • Are employees obligated to maintain auto insurance liability limits that comply with legal coverage requirements, preferably with combined single limits of at least $300,000?
  • Is the company named as an additional insured on the personal auto policies of all individuals who routinely drive on company business?
  • If caregivers are allowed to drive client vehicles, do you verify that the client carries full coverage on their vehicle and confirm they understand that their coverage would be primary in the event of an accident?

Vehicle Safety Program

  • Are driver selection criteria in place, with special attention paid to drivers who are under 21, and a medical statement completed for those over 70?
  • Does new employee orientation include a review of organizational policies, as well as driving safety rules and tips?
  • Are employees given ongoing safe driver training, and is this training documented in personnel files?
  • Is there a formal, enforced ban on the use of handheld cellular telephones and other distracting devices while driving on company business?
  • Are formal drug and alcohol testing protocols in place for all company drivers?
  • Are vehicle inspections routinely conducted and documented, to confirm that all vehicles used for business purposes are properly maintained and safe to operate?
  • Are employees required to report all accidents or violations to the company?
  • Are all accidents investigated, and are lessons learned applied to future staff orientation and training sessions?
  • Are driving-related disciplinary measures publicized and consistently enforced, up to and including revocation of company driving privileges and/or termination for serious violations?

*Type A violations include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, refusing to take a substance test, driving with an open container of alcohol, reckless or careless driving, speeding (at least 14 miles per hour over the posted limit), speeding while in a racing contest, driving while texting, hit and run, fleeing or evading police or a roadblock, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended or revoked license, vehicular assault, homicide or manslaughter, and using a vehicle in connection with a felony. Type B violations include speeding (1-14 miles per hour over the posted limit), improper lane change, failure to yield, failure to obey traffic signal or sign, accidents and past license suspension due to moving violations.

The information, examples and suggestions presented in this material have been developed from sources believed to be reliable, but they should not be construed as legal or other professional advice. CNA accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this material and recommends the consultation with competent legal counsel and/or other professional advisors before applying this material in any particular factual situations. Please note that Internet hyperlinks cited herein are active as of the date of publication, but may be subject to change or discontinuation. This material is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to constitute a contract. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice. Use of the term “partnership” and/or “partner” should not be construed to represent a legally binding partnership. CNA is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. Copyright ©2014 CNA. All rights reserved.