Whew! No one likes and examination but everyone likes a pat on the back.
It is hard to believe that an inspection by our insurance company was delayed by snow. I mean, seriously, no one ever expects snow to affect Bakersfield, Calif. As it worked out, all roads leading to Bakersfield were closed by snow and ice on the date scheduled for our original inspection. It was only a brief reprieve.
Last week, the inspector came and spent about an hour at our facility. The inspector was not employed by our insurance company, Zurich North America, but was contracted by them for the inspection. The inspector’s business card defines the inspector as a “Safety and Risk Engineer.” In terms of inspections, it was relatively painless.
It consisted of a review of our driver policy manual, a review of driver files, previous accidents and how they were documented internally; and a review of maintenance records including oil changes, driver write-ups and subsequent repairs. We also walked the property and the inspector took photos of our vehicles and inspected the interiors of a few.
The inspector provided a checklist before his arrival of documents he wanted to review. Having everything in order and ready for inspection seemed to make the process go smoothly. I would recommend if you go through such an inspection that you apply the same rule we give to our chauffeurs: “Don’t speak unless spoken to.” Don’t volunteer anything. Answer only what is asked of you and provide only the documentation requested. Remember, anything you say may be used against you.
Most importantly, do things right. Be safe. Document everything. We live in a litigious society and we need to think about anything we are doing that may result in a lawsuit that the carrier has to pay out on your behalf. The purpose of the inspection is to see just how risky you are operating. Flying by the seat of your pants, hiring a chauffeur, and handing him the keys with no formal training program will not help your cause.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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