There are lots of potential risks that people who work with tow trucks face every day. Risks, or exposures, are why people get tow truck insurance within the first place-so that they're protected from whatever life might throw at them.
As someone who works in the tow truck industry, it is important that you simply know very well what you're up against. There are many types of risks that your company faces every day, so we've outlined the kinds of exposures you need to be familiar with when thinking about getting your insurance policy. The exposures and risks depend on which kind of tow truck business you have (mainly whether you’re strictly towing or else you have a body shop), however these are the main ones to consider.
1. Property exposures:
If your business repairs or refuels vehicles, then your property exposure is fairly high. Most of the risks are associated with fires, as there are many items in a repair area that might be inclined to combust. For instance, flammable liquids (i.e. gas and diesel) pose a threat. Activities for example welding also cause a significant risk-the high level of heat produced may lead to fire.
Theft can also be a property risk, particularly should you store things for your customers or should you keep their cars in your shop.
- Have separate areas for just about any liquids liable to catch fire and repair work which involves creating lots of heat (like welding.)
- Provide a safe, ventilated booth for spray-painting.
- Make sure that any underground fuel tanks are maintained. Keep them in good repair.
- Be mindful of fire risks coming from any stored items that belong to customers.
- Keep the area clear and simple to navigate for firefighters so they can respond quickly and safely within the event of the fire.
2. Crime exposures:
One of the main crime exposures is employee dishonesty, which is when one of your employees steals from your business or your customers. Money and securities will also be an exposure, as they can be stolen.
- Conduct background checks on all employees who deal with money. Look into their criminal records, too.
- Have different people oversee different tasks (deposits, billing, ordering supplies, etc.) when you are looking at handling money.
- Hold consistent internal and external audits.
3. Premises liability exposures:
These usually aren't high since people aren't typically allowed on your property. Off-premises risks are connected to using the trucks themselves.
- Have plenty of outdoor lighting.
- Have a fence around your property.
5. Environmental impairment exposures:
Fuel and the environment don't mix very well, so environmental impairment exposures can be high because of underground storage containers used for gas or diesel. Another environmental concern is disposing from the liquids used when the tow trucks are now being serviced.
- Ensure that your fuel tanks stick to state/federal regulations.
- Regularly test the tanks for any leaks.
- Have a system to appropriately discard all hazardous chemicals.
- Have spill procedures so that no waste oozes in the water system.
6. Automobile exposures:
This is a big one. Your company probably loads and unloads lots of cargo, and this increases the risk of something happening to your workers or the property being moved. Then there's all of the risk that comes along with operating a tow truck around the roads.
Tips for reducing your auto exposures:
- Teach your drivers how to correctly lift and carry heavy items.
- Be sure that your drivers have current commercial driver's licenses. This allows them to drive the trucks and handle the loads being towed.
- Check your drivers' Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) frequently to be certain they're up to scratch.
- Driver's logs really are a must. Ensure that your drivers aren't going over the limits for hours behind the wheel.
- Have random drug and alcohol tests.
- Keep your trucks in good repair.
7. Workers’ compensation exposures:
There are different risks for tow truck drivers and garage employees. Drivers are on the roads, sometimes in bad driving conditions. Loading and unloading cars and other cargo can cause back strains, sprains, hernias, and other injuries. Garage employees face the chance that the vehicle could fall and injure them while it's being lifted, and they're also at risk for injuries associated with lifting. Various injuries for example burns can result from welding and painting, and using cleaning chemicals can cause skin problems. And of course, there's always the chance of slips and falls.
- Sleep is essential. Make sure your drivers get enough time to sleep.
- Train your drivers well so that they're comfortable using the equipment.
- Keep the work area tidy and clean.
- Make sure there's good ventilation in the vehicle servicing area.
- Always use the right safety equipment.
The risks might seem extensive, but we are able to help you manage your exposures and discover the best coverage to protect you from them. It's impossible to understand what the future has in store, but understanding the potential risks that threaten your business is a big step towards being prepared for anything. Our agents have lots of experience with insuring tow trucks, so reach out to us today so that we can get to know you and your business. We are able to even get you a free quote.