Employer Pull Notice Program
Steven Cesare, Ph.D.
A business owner from Kentucky called me the other day to talk about a vehicle accident that involved a company truck and trailer. The owner informed me that his work crew was driving toward a job site on a normal workday. The driver was an experienced Foreman, accompanied by three crew member passengers, in a company truck pulling a standard work trailer. A typical workday event.
While commuting to the job site, the driver was unexpectedly flagged down by another vehicle on the same road. Startled by the attention, the driver pulled to the side of the road, and waited for the other driver to come to the company vehicle to inform the Foreman of the issue.
Long story short: Unbeknownst to the Foreman, apparently the company trailer made contact with the driver’s vehicle while in traffic, producing superficial damage to the vehicle. The Foreman stated he did not know such contact was made.
And then the Kentucky State Police arrived on the scene.
You’ve heard it before: “Driver’s license and registration.”
Unquestioningly, the Foreman produced his driver’s license and the company’s vehicle and trailer registration documents to the State Policeman for review. And review he did.
“Yes.” You guessed it. The Foreman was driving with a suspended license due to a spate of personal vehicle violations. Not good for the Foreman, even worse for the company.
As always with all insurance documents, the devil is in the details. The company vehicle insurance policy did not contain service for an Employer Pull Notice which enables commercial and government 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’s license and recognize problem drivers with documented driving violations on their DMV records.
Employer Pull Notice programs can be offered by insurance companies or stand-alone organizations. The service involves supplying all relevant driver information to the provider, who in turn periodically (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) reviews said information against current DMV events to determine if a company driver has received any moving violations (e.g., speeding, running a red light, DUI), had his/her driver’s license suspended for any reason, and/or lost driving privileges.
I am confident the standard finger-pointing between the company and vehicle insurance provider took place in a predictable form. “I thought we were covered for this!” “No. You are not covered for this program.” “Why didn’t you tell me my company was not covered for this type of service?” “You never asked us that question.” “Really?” “Yes, you never asked us that question.” “Really?”
Of course, the Foreman should have informed the company of his suspended driver’s license. But he didn’t. Consequently, the company assumed more liability for this accident due to the fact it did not monitor its Approved Driver’s List with sufficient detail, eventuating in the company violating state transportation laws.
It’s the sad nature of insurance: Details related to coverage are often implied, assumed, or overlooked.
Make sure your company employee handbook has a clear statement requiring drivers to divulge any change to their state-wide driving privileges to management immediately. Ask the right questions of your vehicle insurance provider before approving the annual policy. Contact several Employer Pull Notice companies to evaluate their service fees to determine if that offering can add value to your vehicle safety program.
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