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Insurance Must-Haves for Mobile Service Workers

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If you’re on the road all day for your job, your vehicle is your office. Chances are you take calls, create work orders, and process payments directly from the driver’s seat. But unlike a cubicle in an office building, your automobile is on the move all day, coming into contact with thousands of vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles on your route.

For mobile service workers, insurance is a must. Before you take your next job, go through this insurance checklist to make sure you’re fully protected against injury accidents, angry customers, and more.

  • Commercial Insurance for Work Vehicles. When you’re in your car eight to ten hours a day, your odds of getting in a car accident increase greatly. In fact, as many as one-third of all traffic accidents involve someone who is on the job, according to some estimates. If your job requirements involve being behind the wheel for hours each day, proper auto insurance is vital. Commercial car insurance can fill in the blanks often left by personal auto insurance. Namely, with commercial car insurance liability, the policy would cover not only the vehicle itself but also the work-related equipment being carted around inside that vehicle.
  • Commercial Insurance for Personal Vehicles. If your duties require using your personal vehicle for work purposes, making the switch from personal to commercial insurance on your own policy will mean the difference between a denied and approved claim if you’re ever in an accident. Whether the accident is your fault or not, either party’s insurance company could decline to pay if you were driving your car for work purposes without paying the extra premiums for this privilege.
  • Errors & omissions. If your services require the signing of contracts between yourself and customers, Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance can save you in the event of a lawsuit. E&O insurance covers you if you perform a service that the client decides was not up to their standards, then sues you for that discrepancy. Without this insurance, the legal costs associated with fighting a lawsuit could put you out of business, whether you’re guilty of the accusations or not.

Another form of insurance

Covering your bases financially and ensuring you have the proper insurance in place is an essential, but ensuring that you, or your mobile employees, are using good driving safety practices is the key to staying safe on the road. With so many distractions for mobile workers, there are a few apps that can help eliminate some distractions and help you stay safe. Textecution and DriveOff, from insurance company esure®, are mobile apps that you download to your cell phone and which completely disable texting while driving if the vehicle is going more than 10 mph. Another mobile app, DriveSafe.ly, actually reads text messages and emails aloud to the driver and responds automatically without the driver touching the phone.

Having the right insurance policies in place and the right tools to keep you safe can mean the difference between surviving and going out of business over something as simple as a fender bender. It’s far better to take the time in advance to ensure these areas of a business are covered than to procrastinate and regret it later.

Last updated: Feb 17, 2014

RAMON RAY | Columnist

Editor and technology evangelist at Smallbiztechnology.com, which covers technology trends for small business. His latest book is the Amazon.com best-seller Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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