Any business with job positions that require employees to operate company owned, leased or personal vehicles for business use faces a heightened liability risk.
One small distraction behind the wheel can lead to a serious accident causing injury or death to others. Or, a not so serious accident with someone who sees “deep pockets” because they were hit by a vehicle operated by a business can lead to a large defense claim.
Think about it, you constantly hear personal injury attorney advertisements on the airwaves encouraging people who have been hit by commercial vehicles to call them because “big money can be at stake.”
What this means is your business must have a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Program in its driver qualification and selection process.
Without going into full scale detail about MVR programs in this post, businesses should, at a minimum, require applicants for driving positions, to submit a copy of their driving record as part of the application process. Additionally, require drivers to provide updated MVRs on an annual basis to evaluate driving performance and qualify them for continued operation of company owned and/or leased vehicles.
Drivers that received violations and/or were involved in preventable vehicle incidents may need training, counseling or other appropriate actions to correct poor driving behaviors.
This is where the the California DMV Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program comes in to play.
The California DMV Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program enables commercial organizations to monitor the driving records of employees who drive for them. By monitoring their employees’ driving records, organizations can:
- Ensure that each driver has a valid driver license.
- Recognize problem drivers or driving behavior.
- Improve public safety.
- Minimize liability.
How it Works:
Each employer enrolled in the EPN program is assigned a requester code. The requester code is added to applicable employees’ driver license records. When an employee’s driver license record is updated due to an action or activity, the DMV makes an electronic check to determine if a pull notice is on file. If the action or activity is one that must be reported under the EPN program, a driver record is generated and mailed to the employer.
Every year on the enrollment date, the EPN program automatically generates and mails a driver record when any of the following actions or activities occurs:
- The driver is enrolled in the EPN program.
- When a driver has any of the following actions or activities added to their driver record:
- Failures to appear (FTAs).
- Driver license suspensions or revocations.
- Any other actions taken against their driving privilege.
With the potential risk your business faces by having owned, leased or personal vehicles on the road, now is the time to put any and all risk management practices into place to to help lessen the likelihood of a loss. And the California DMV Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program is a great starting point. Check it out for yourself and contact me if you need any help with this.
Thank you to Candy Messer from Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll Services for interviewing me on the topic of “The Different Types of Insurance To Protect Your Business” Some of the key items we discussed are:
- Tailoring Insurance Coverage for each unique business
- Commercial General Liability Insurance
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Errors & Omissions (Professional Liability) Insurance
- Do home based businesses need a business insurance policy?
- Is business insurance required by law?
- Insurance for contractual requirements and lease agreements
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- The difference between Commercial General Liability and Errors & Omissions Insurance
- Cyber Liability / Data Breach Insurance
- How much does business insurance cost?
- Ways you can keep your insurance costs down
- Negotiating premiums with Carrier underwriters
Check out our interview together here:
Thanks for watching
California approved emergency temporary Cal/OSHA standards on COVID-19 infection prevention on
November 30, 2020. These new temporary standards apply to most workers in California not covered by
Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.
With some exceptions, all employers and places of employment are required to establish and implement an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) pursuant to an Emergency Temporary Standard in place for COVID-19 (California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 8, section 3205(c)).
Cal/OSHA has developed this model program to assist employers with creating their own unique CPP tailored to their workplace. Here is information on the regulation and a sample program for your use:
Also a link to a FAQ page about the regulation HERE
This is the link to the COVID-19 resources from Cal-OSHA. There are 5 good sections here, there is guidance by industry, FAQ’s page, training and educational materials, webinars and an online training section. All of the sections have good resources that have been helpful to me and others. I think you will find them useful as well.
Stay safe and healthy out there…
A lot of businesses are shut down right now and suddenly there are many individuals who find themselves out of work. Premises’ that are typically bustling with business and commerce are at a standstill sitting vacant as we wait for this Coronavirus pandemic to pass.
I’m hoping this doesn’t become a trend but just this morning alone, I had two different retail clients call in to report claims burglary and theft overnight with the doors busted open as a point of entry. Luckily due to monitored alarm and surveillance cameras, the burglars didn’t seem to get away with much based on early indications.
This serves as a reminder to be vigilant with your business premises and your neighbors in the surrounding areas.
Here is a Burglary Prevention Checklist from The Hanover Insurance Group to help get your brain thinking about measures you can take to help prevent burglary and theft at your place of business. We have enough to deal with right now, so let’s try to eliminate additional perils like this if at all possible.
State Compensation Insurance Fund, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, offers free seminars on Active Shooter Preparedness. These half-day courses provide important information about useful actions you can take to prepare for an active shooter event.
Participants will learn:
• The characteristics of an active shooter situation.
• How to identify and report criminal planning and preparatory acts.
• How to prepare and respond to active shooter and workplace violence incidents.
Each seminar is fast-paced, interactive, and includes lessons learned from previous active shooter incidents.
Local Southern California Dates are:
San Diego, CA
February 5, 9am – 12 pm
University of Phoenix, 9645 Granite Ridge Drive
Monterey Park, CA
February 12, 9 am – 12 pm &
1 pm – 4 pm
State Compensation Insurance Fund, 900 Corporate Center Drive
Remarkable (watch with audio):
Most lines of insurance cycle between soft and hard markets over a number of years, which has a direct impact on the price of insurance. The commercial auto insurance market is currently hardening after many years of a soft market, which has resulted in higher prices for both commercial and personal auto policies.
Between 2011 and 2016, competition between auto insurance carriers created a soft, buyer-friendly market. Since then, however, the high cost of claims and increasing costs of vehicle repairs have contributed to a noticeable transition in the market.
Contact me today. I can provide you with resources to help you understand and save on commercial auto insurance, including this prior post, “California Commercial Auto Insurance – Losses & Costs Rising.”
Business insurance coverage for a commercial operation can include the following and more:
General liability insurance: Covers third party liability claims for injuries to other people.
Professional liability and malpractice insurance: aka Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O). E&O covers professionals against loss due to negligent professional duty, wrongful acts, and advice and services that lead to another person’s loss or injury.
Product liability insurance: Covers against faulty products and damage, illness, injury or death that may occur from using a faulty product.
Property insurance: Covers loss and damage to your commercial business property due to fires, theft, storms and other causes.
Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers commercial vehicles and drivers for collision, liability, property damage, personal injury and “comprehensive” (now known as “other than collision”).
Workers compensation: Covers your employees if they become ill or injured while working on the job.
Loss of income: Also referred to as Business Income, this covers your business expenses such as rent and employee wages if you can’t operate your business.
Key person insurance: Covers loss of income that may result from the head of the business or other key personnel becoming incapacitated or passing away (also known as key man insurance).
Cyber-crime insurance: Provides protection for risks due to Internet use and online communications.
Each and every business is unique. A food products manufacturer or distributor doesn’t have the same risk exposures as a software developer. As an everyday Joe, you’re expected to know if you need these coverage’s or not for your business. If your head is spinning or you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is why you work with an insurance agent or broker.
Let’s face it, most people really don’t like insurance, they don’t care to read their policies, and they just wish someone else would take care of it for them. I like insurance (don’t judge me), I read policy forms all day long for my clients, and people call me to handle all their business insurance needs so they don’t have to. Pick up the phone and call me today or email me if you have questions about these overage’s and whether your business needs them or not.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants to assist small- and medium-sized businesses with their compliance and safety initiatives through their On-Site Consultation Service. This program offers confidential advice in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard work-sites. Consultation services are totally separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.
Using a free consultation service largely funded by OSHA, employers can find out about potential hazards at their work-sites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. The service is delivered by state governments using well-trained professional staff. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the work-site are also available. This safety and health consultation program is completely separate from the OSHA inspection effort presently in place. No citations are issued or penalties proposed during the consultation appointment.
Your name, your firm’s name and any information that you provide about your workplace, plus any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers, will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff. Your only obligation will be to commit the organization to correcting serious job safety and health hazards; a commitment which you are expected to make prior to the actual visit, and carry out in a timely manner.
Since consultation is a voluntary activity, your organization must contact OSHA to request it. The consultant will discuss your specific needs with you and set up a visit date based on the priority assigned to your request, your work schedule and the time needed for the consultant to adequately prepare to serve you. OSHA encourages a complete review of your firm’s safety and health situation; however, you may limit the visit to one or more specific problems.
For more information on the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program, visit HERE
Benefits of On-Site Consultation
Knowledge of your workplace hazards and ways to eliminate them can only improve your own operations and the management of your firm. Your organization will get professional advice and assistance on the correction of workplace hazards and benefit from on-site training and assistance provided by the consultant to you and your employees. The consultant can help you establish or strengthen an employee safety and health program, making safety and health activities routine considerations rather than crisis-oriented responses. This program provides incentives and support to smaller, high-hazard employers to develop, implement and continuously improve effective safety and health programs at their worksite(s). The program recognizes employers who have demonstrated exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health by receiving a comprehensive safety and health consultation visit, correcting all workplace safety and health hazards, adopting and implementing effective safety and health management systems and agreeing to request further consultative visits if major changes in working conditions or processes occur that may introduce new hazards.
Yesterday, A 96-foot-tall Christmas tree went up in flames outside the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel in Costa Mesa. The tree was reportedly a $120,000 Evergreen. Fire investigators don’t know how it started.The flames sent up a large plume of black smoke that could be seen from I-405 Monday morning. Here are a couple videos of the Christmas tree fire:
Here was the tree during the real lighting ceremony a few weeks ago:
Essentially, you can say there were two tree lighting ceremonies this year.