Auto Liability for a Home Care Agency

Auto Liability for a Home Care Agency

While there are some home health care agencies that own a fleet of vehicles that are available for their employees to use to get back and forth from a client’s house, it is more common that employees use their own vehicles for business purposes. Consequently, most home health care business owners believe that because they lack any “owned” autos, there is not a need to carry auto insurance.  However, there is still non-owned auto liability exposure for the business owners, as their employees use their own vehicle in order to perform their job duties.

After an accident, when there has been bodily injury or property damage, a claimant will often try to recover any loss from as many sources as possible.  As a result, the business is left open and vulnerable to potentially being named in a lawsuit.  If an employee is using their personal vehicle for work, the business can be held responsible for any damages resulting from an accident during the course of their work day. Thus, it is imperative that any business with any type of auto exposure to have Hired and Non-Owned Auto (HNOA) insurance for their protection.

In most situations, if an employee is in an accident, their auto policy would be the primary policy in the claim.  However, most personal auto policies carry much lower limits comparatively to a business auto policy, for example $15,000 as minimum state limits vs $1,000,000 limit that is carries by a business.  Those minimum state limits may be exhausted quickly and because the driver was performing their job duties when the accident occurred, the business could be named in the claim as well.  The employee does not need to be transporting a client at the time of the accident, simply because the employee was driving in the direction of the client’s home to care for them would be sufficient reason to deem the accident as being work related.

In an industry where much of your staff is on the road traveling to different locations, driving exposure is significant and could really cripple a business without proper insurance.  The smaller, fender bender type claims should be covered under the employee’s own auto insurance policy and will never even see the light of day on the employer’s claims report.  This gives the employer a false sense of security thinking auto related claims are not prevalent, when in reality, it may only be a matter of time until a serious auto accident leads to bodily injuries in a potential lawsuit of tens of thousands of dollars.

To ensure that you have the right coverage in place for your HNOA exposure, give us a call today schedule your free consultation at 267-888-4790.

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