Contractor Forum

Topic: Truck Insurance 

1.  Truck Insurance

Posted 10-21-2017 11:00 AM
I am curious if anyone has experience putting a vehicle onto a separate policy (Progressive) for a technician when your main insurance plan will not insure them.  My question is not whether to do it or is simply to hear if the technician payed for the additional premium?

Richard Jones
Comfort Solutions, Inc.
Springfield VA
(703) 266-3678

Best Answer
2.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-22-2017 08:14 AM
I don't know the circumstances that cause this question to come up for you. But I have some thoughts on this topic generally.

No, we haven't put someone on another policy and I will tell you why.  Our insurance person told me many years ago, when I asked him this very question, that of course we could put someone on another policy. However, he asked me to reflect carefully about why I would even consider hiring someone where this would be necessary.  As he told me then: "Prior behavior is the best indicator of future behavior and driving records are one of the best kinds of records to rely on in this regard."

I reflected on all the times I've driven -  perhaps not in the best way I could or should - and how few tickets I've ever gotten in my LIFETIME. It got me thinking that someone who's record was such that he had enough dings to need a separate policy likely wasn't a great choice.

We've had people too young to drive on our commercial policy. So, if we decide to hire them, we don't let them drive until they do have the experience and maturity to do so on our regular policy.

From a liability standpoint, one of our biggest exposures as contractors who have lots of folks driving lots of miles, isn't an accident on the job but an accident on the road.

The lawyer in me also tells me, that if I hire somebody to work for me who's driving record is such that he requires a separate policy - my exposure for any accident is going to be exponentially increased. If he has an accident, I'm going to get hit way harder than I would have otherwise because I knowingly and/or negligently entrusted this torpedo of a vehicle to someone who clearly shouldn't have been driving it.

Just a few thoughts.


Kathe Stewart
Precision Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC

3.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-22-2017 08:14 AM
Sorry, I didn't answer your main question. It depends on the law in your state whether the Employee can pay for it Typically, expenses that are considered part of the employer's  "cost of doing business" are to be paid by the business, not the employee.

Also - from a liability standpoint - it's still you and your business on the hook when the employee is working - no matter who is paying for the insurance.  Keep in mind a separate policy - especially one the employee has on himself - loses the umbrella insurance your company likely has on its main policy.  This could be the death of your business if a serious accident were to occur.


Kathe Stewart
Precision Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC

4.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-22-2017 09:07 AM
Richard,  I have done a similar thing and yes... the employee paid the additional premium. I explained that it was the only way he could drive one of the trucks and thus keep his employment. 
- Steve (Sent from my I-Pad) Steve Schmidt Frederick Air, Inc. 3 King Ave Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 663-0300

5.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-22-2017 12:20 PM
We use Progressive for our fleet insurance.  They have always been very good a explaining their policies and what they can offer.  I would give them a call and explain your needs.  In the past I have had some employees with age or driving record issues and they always would
give me the straight information and if they could quote a rate for that situation.

Curt Yaeger
Yaeger Services, Inc.
Orange CA
(714) 289-8337

6.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-22-2017 05:22 PM
We did it, and, yes - we had the tech pay for it. We gave him the choice of paying for the policy or paying for a helper to drive him around. After some time without incident, our regular insurance was willing to pick him up, so it worked out without any problems. That being said, I wouldn't offer that option unless I believed there was some reason to think the tech's driving actually had improved. Insurance or no insurance, we don't need a dangerous driver behind the wheel of one of our vehicles. Let them go work new construction or facilities...

Linda Couch
Chief Operating Officer
Parrish Services
Manassas VA

7.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-23-2017 07:17 AM

We have secured high risk coverage and each time the technician has been responsible for the incremental insurance cost.

8.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-23-2017 09:04 AM
I don't believe you can make the technician pay for it so I reduced the technician's compensation by the amount of additional insurance I had to pay. We were both in agreement and he was thankful.

Andrew Fitzhugh
Amazing HVAC
Baltimore MD
(410) 685-0383

9.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-23-2017 09:39 AM

Yes, we have had a separate policy on two occasions.  We had a discussion on the infractions, made it clear continued employment was dependent on them keeping a clean record, and we also made it clear no wage increase would happen until they become insurable again, which was typically three years from last infraction.  We paid the premium.  That has worked well for us.  One employee is with us 7 years later, he has remained insurable, and is a great asset  The other employee left but was insurable when he did and worked well several years for us.

Hope this helps.

Kellie Loudin
Rumer-Loudin, Inc.
St. Clairsville OH
(740) 695-2487

10.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-23-2017 05:07 PM


We have done it in the past. One time it was present employee (son in law to owner).  Another time, we hired a young man 20 years old and our auto policy wouldn't take drivers under 21.  And most recently we hired someone who told me he had 2 incidents on his license (which he did, 4 points) and the insurance company wouldn't cover him till 2 points came off.  About 6 months. 


The son in law did pay, the other two were new employees and their starting wage was adjusted prior to start.  The down side is you only have the coverage from this policy... the umbrella policy does not apply.  We were fortunate and nothing happened durning the time with the separate insurance.   I would never say never but I would think long and hard before going this road again.   And it would really depend on the circumstances.  A young person eager to get into our industry does not come along everyday, although the policy we have now does take younger drivers. 


Hope this is helpful,



             Lisa Schwentner Joles

             Lew's Reliable Heat & A/C, Inc

             General Manager






11.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-24-2017 08:59 AM
The biggest scare about this issue is the fact that if they did have an accident and someone got hurt, then you have really opened yourself up for all sorts of liability issues. This shows that you willingly allowed AND assisted a known high risk driver to operate your vehicle for the purpose of conducting business for YOUR company! Add to this the prior note about the umbrella no longer covering this vehicle either, it is just an extra risk that should be carefully evaluated. We did have one driver that we challenged and the underwriter came back and allowed us to apply him to only one vehicle. The vehicle took a higher rate, but it was at least, the same policy and all coverage were in effect. The following year, the driver was clear for all vehicles. 
We have kept some employees that had similar issues, but just did not allow them to drive. They must sign a form that clearly states that they are NOT allowed to drive ANY company vehicles. For some, it worked out until things were clear. Others moved on. So far....... it has not been worth the liability risk to us to pursue a separate policy. 

Rhett Prosser, President
Waccamaw Heating & Cooling, llc
Office  (843) 235-8082  ext. 1701


"Building lasting relationships by exceeding expectations."


12.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-24-2017 10:32 AM
I have done this before. But have never made the employee pay. To me it's a questions of his/her value to the company. 

Glenda Clark
Marlin James Inc.
Air Conditioning | Heating | Electrical
p:813.689.0817  m: 813.478.2173
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13.  RE: Truck Insurance

Posted 10-25-2017 07:11 AM

We have done this and made the employee pay the difference through payroll deduction. Accommodating bad behavior rarely pays off.

David Boelcke
Boelcke Heating
Stevensville MI
(616) 429-9261