Do Food Couriers Require Commercial Auto Insurance?

In all questions of commercial auto insurance, we can basically break it down to this: If you drive your car to work, your personal auto insurance covers it. If you drive your car at work, you probably need to consider commercial auto insurance.

image of pizza delivery guy

This extends to food couriers. If you make your living delivering pizzas, burgers and Chinese food to hungry customers — whether as an employee of a restaurant or through a food-delivery app like Uber Eats — your car will likely be considered a commercial vehicle. You will need a commercial auto insurance if you hope to carry adequate protection.

You may be able to skip buying your own coverage if the company you work for provides insurance. Uber Eats, for instance, offers a limited insurance policy that covers you while you are in the process of delivering the food. DoorDash offers a similar insurance plan. However, these plans may leave you with insurance gaps. If you are in an accident while driving to the restaurant to pick up the order, the company’s plan might not offer coverage for that stretch of time, and your personal auto insurance provider might not recognize your claim, as the accident was technically business-related.

Talk to your insurer and find out what their policy is on food couriers. They may offer you full protection through your personal auto insurance while you are on your way to a pick-up, but only if you inform them that you are using your car for business purposes.

While personal insurance can be very limited in covering a commercial vehicle, the inverse is not true. A commercial auto insurance policy will cover your car when you’re driving it for personal use.

So, if you deliver food on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to consider buying commercial auto insurance rather than a personal vehicle policy.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Rig Injuries

As you might know, running an oil rig or well site is a dangerous endeavor. Multiple personal safety hazards exist throughout the complex. Numerous safety laws govern conduct. So, if someone gets hurt while at work, then you might face a variety of challenges.image of accident report Foremost, you might have to provide that person with workers’ compensation. Often, it you will have no option but to do so. Here’s why.

If a workers’ comp claim arises on your property, you usually must address it. You’ll have to remember a few things to do so.

Workers’ Compensation for the Oil/Gas Industry

Accidents might happen on your site at any time. They might include:

  • Burns
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Indeed, if it can happen, it very well might.

If your employees get hurt, then it might be the business’s duty to cover them for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp will provide supplementary income help for employees injured at work. Most businesses in the oil and gas industry must carry this coverage by law.

Workers’ comp is a heavily-regulated industry, so addressing claims might take time. It might also involve the authorities.

Documenting Workers’ Comp Rig Claims

An employee might approach you, and want to file a claim on the rig’s workers’ comp insurance policy. Depending on regulations in your state and from your insurer, the process for doing so might vary. However, most will go like this.

  • You will provide the employee with the workers’ comp insurance policy information. They will then file a claim on their own. The insurance company will likely require them to seek medical care. They might also have to gather more information from you. This ensures that the employee can prove that they got hurt at work. It reduces the risk of fraud.
  • In the meantime, you might have to gather information on your own. You might need to take pictures of the scene or take statements from witnesses. Sometimes, this is the employee’s duty or the insurance company’s.
  • You might have to turn over certain information to the workers’ compensation insurer. For example, if a camera captured the incident, the insurer might want to view the film to verify the claim.
  • You might have to report the claim to an industry regulator or your state’s workers’ comp board. These parties might launch investigations of their own into the injury.

Please note: Do not start your own investigation without checking with your insurer. You might face various rules that limit your ability to interfere in the claims process.

If you face an injury claim on your rig, immediately contact your workers’ compensation insurance company. They can help determine what the process will look like going forward.

Providing Workers’ Compensation for Rig Workers

You likely know that an oil rig owned or used by your company is a very hazardous place. Of course, there are significant risks of fires and explosions. However, other threatens await you or your employees. If something happens, even accidentally, someone’s injuries might

image of drilling rig

wind up costing them a lot of time and money. In such situations, you might actually owe them financial assistance. It’s called workers’ compensation. Here’s what it’s all about.

Workers’ comp helps protect employees hurt on the job. Therefore, it is some of the most important commercial insurance any oil & gas company should carry. It will particularly come in handy in case of mishaps on your rigs.

What’s Workers’ Comp

There are a lot of workplace safety laws, and workers’ rights regulations out there. All in all, they stipulate that you have to create a safe working environment for your workers. Furthermore, they often institute workers’ compensation requirements.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. It helps supplement the income of workers who get hurt or injured on the job. It stems from the fact that those injured at work can’t continue working in their recovery. Yet they need income nonetheless. It might help pay for their medical bills while they cannot work. It can also supplement their income and other critical costs until they can get well again.

Businesses usually have to offer this protection to their workers. Regardless of whether an accident was the business’s fault, the injured worker might have a right to file a claim. Even a simple fall in the bathroom that results in a shoulder injury might qualify for coverage.

Why Rig Workers Need Workers’ Compensation

Usually, as long as your rig workers are full-time employees, they usually qualify for workers’ compensation. Even in some cases, part-time employees qualify as well. A multitude of injuries might occur on your rigs. They might include:

  • Burns from fire and explosion risks
  • Slip and fall risks on slippery surfaces
  • Head injury risks from falling objects
  • Risks to limbs from machinery
  • Inhalation and breathing risks from smoke or solvents

In that vein, any injury risks that might happen in any office could also happen on a rig. Someone could twist an ankle in the restroom. Or, they might burn themselves in the break area. Therefore, it is up to you to do all you can to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. You should institute the strongest possible safety regulations and security requirements for all workers. Then if something does happen, provide them with full instructions on how to file, prove and investigate a workers’ compensation claim.

Property Insured By Your Oil & Gas Insurance

Drilling, marketing and selling oil is expensive work involving specialty equipment. You’ll thus likely spend a lot of money maintaining your business overhead costs. You’ll therefore likely not want to spend a lot of money cleaning up your property after damage occurs. If you have property insurance, you’ll probably find the coverage helpful. Here’s a closer look.image of natural gas rig

Given the wide range of property in the care of oil companies, how can coverage help? What property can qualify for this protection?

Understanding Oil & Gas Property Insurance

You don’t want accidents to occur on your business’s property. The damage to possessions, equipment and locations might prove extremely costly. That could put your solvency and success rates on the line.

Therefore, every oil business should have property insurance. In the event of a damaging accident, the policy can pay to help the business recover from the losses. They won’t have to lose too much money trying to rebuild and restart operations. Some of the incidents covered under your policy might include:

  • Damage from storms
  • Fire damage
  • Theft of materials or vandalism
  • Damage from unavoidable explosions or rig malfunctions
  • Collapse of underground lines
  • Pollution damage or hazardous material spills

Keep in mind, most covered damage must be the result of an unpreventable accident. Your insurer will likely investigate the claim to determine if you could have avoided it. If you could not, then you might very well have coverage, as long as the policy does not exclude the damage.

Covered Property

Think about all the assets in your business’s control. They all need insurance coverage in case they sustain damage. Just a few of these items might include:

  • Your building and office space
  • Personal property and furnishings inside the space
  • Electronics in your space
  • Oil drums and storage tanks
  • Leased property, which is property that exists on property you lease to salvage oil
  • Your rig and drill equipment
  • Equipment owned by your company
  • Rented or leased equipment
  • Certain quantities of crude oil

However, property insurance is not a one-size-fits-all policy. You’ll often need several different coverage types to combine to insure all the assets you own. Usually, you’ll need a combination of both property insurance (for your owned property) and oil lease property coverage (for property you lease on which to drill). Other policies might also prove beneficial. Talk to your insurance agent at 800.475.0001 about the best protection and coverage limits for you.

Common Safety Risks at Oil Drill Sites

The oil and gas industry is a major employer throughout the southwest. Indeed, over 50,000 people in Oklahoma work in the production industry, with countless others in related sectors. Neighbor Texas has over 220,000 industry employees. Given the considerable industry size, the risk of employment liabilities, namely workers’ comp risks remain prevalent. All industry leaders should implement the strictest workplace safety standards at drill sites. What are these? What are some simple steps you can take today to make a site safer?

Sunset over Oil Drilling Site

Common Injury Risks at Drill Sites

Oil is a dangerous commodity if mishandled. Likewise, harvesting it requires considerable manual labor and an exposure to potentially-harmful hazards. Without following precautions, employees could sustain grievous injury from a sudden mishap.

Some of the common injury threats at your drill site might be:

  • Burn risks from fire, explosion or toxic exposure
  • Amputation risks stemming from mishandled equipment
  • Fall and slip risks, either from heights or on wet surfaces
  • Head injury risks from falling objects, falls or other incidents
  • Poison risks, again from toxic exposure

If you can imagine an accident, chances are it can happen on your rig. Therefore, observe every possible safety precaution to keep your employees safe.

Protecting Your Employees

To reduce employee liabilities at drill sites, take a two-tiered approach. First, you must abide by all industry, OSHA and other legal safety practices. Second, it’s often a good idea to promote your own safety regulations on top of individual mandates.

  • Employees must wear safety gear, no exceptions. These might include harnesses, hard hats, masks, eyewear and other items. Often, fire-retardant clothing will also come in handy.
  • Ensure that all employees have proper training for their respective tasks. Employees should not undertake tasks that they do not understand.
  • Carry workers’ compensation insurance. Most employers in Oklahoma must offer this coverage, though some exceptions exist. The coverage will help you compensate employees injured or made ill while on the job. Talk to your agent about your need for workers’ comp risks. Furthermore, consider other policies like general liability, EPLI insurance and personal injury coverage.
  • Place security warnings throughout the drilling area. Make sure any machinery has a warning label and instructions on how to use it.
  • Clean up any spills immediately and isolate any machine damage if it occurs.

Don’t forget, in the end, to foster a system of security and safety for employees themselves. They should receive adequate training in safety procedures to protect themselves and keep an eye out for potential hazards. A secure working environment will likely go a long way towards reducing liabilities.

Standard Liability Insurance for Oil and Gas Businesses

image of oil refineryOil and gas businesses occupy a lot of unique properties, from rigs to refineries. However, most also occupy standard office space in some capacity. This space, like all the rest, will pose liability risks to your customers. Though you might focus on insuring the liabilities of high-risk areas, you must also do so for spaces like your office. You can often start obtaining coverage through a general liability insurance policy. What’s this coverage? Why is it so important to carry this coverage?

Your goal is to protect your business from the inside out, and the outside in. Give your office the same liability treatment as you would any other type of property in your care.

Liability Risks Within Oil and Gas Offices

You might not think that your corporate offices are high risk areas. Compared to a drill site, or a storage facility, they might not be. However, these properties pose risks in and of themselves. There’s always a chance someone could sustain harm just by visiting your offices.

For example, a buyer might simply visit the office to sign papers and go over finances. However, they might fall in the lobby because of a wrinkled carpet. Their injuries could prove serious. They could lead to costly medical bills, time off work and lost income. Given the costs to the victim, the company might have an obligation to compensate them. That’s where a liability policy might come in handy.

General liability insurance can help customers harmed through their interactions with your business. In the above situation, your policy might help the harmed party pay for their injury costs. Since the fall happened within your offices, the blame might fall on you.

Getting the Right General Liability Coverage

Liability coverage will vary based on the property you plan to insure. If you only want to insure an office building, you’ll likely need to start with:

  • Property damage liability coverage to insure harm you cause to other parties’ belongings.
  • Bodily injury coverage for physical harm clients sustain in and around the property.

Often, you can get office coverage within a Business Owners Policy. This is a policy package that contains many standard elements of commercial insurance. However, given that your oil and gas business is often multi-faceted (and has multiple locations), you’ll often need more than just a standard BOP. Your insurance agent can guide you in selecting more appropriate liability coverage.

You’ll often have policies to protect liabilities both inside your offices and at other sites. Keep in mind, you might need multiple liability policies, however. Make sure your agent understands the nature of your property ownership and occupancy.

Establishing EPLI Coverage in the Oil Industry

Oil and gas businesses employ millions of workers. Every worker, from the most junior to the most senior, has a right to a safe, secure workplace. If they allege the company mismanaged their employment, the company could lose out. With the appropriate liability insurance, namely employment practices coverage, you can respond to charges leveled against you. What’s this coverage? Why is it important within your industry?

oilfield workers

Your employees range from rig managers to high-level executives. They all could feel mistreated during in the workplace. Use your liability coverage to respond to these charges.

What’s EPLI coverage?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) pertains to mistakes made by companies in the course of hiring or retention. All employees have a right to fair employment. Therefore, should the company act incorrectly, the affected parties might have a claim against the business. Given that the oil and gas industry has as many employees as any other business, coverage is critical.

Let’s say that a rig employee alleges that a manager created an abusive and harassing atmosphere. That’s likely in breach of certain employment laws. As a result, the employee might file a lawsuit against the company and the suspect parties. EPLI coverage can step in here.

An EPLI policy might help you cover fees, settlements and judgements following suits. Thus, you will place your business in a more secure position. You’ll also be able to better compensate those wronged by your actions or inaction.

Establishing the appropriate protection

All businesses are individual entities, even within the oil and gas industry. So, the EPLI coverage yours needs might differ from that of your nearest competitors. Consider some of these guidelines to help you establish the appropriate coverage.

  • Determine which employees should have coverage under the policy. These might range from high-level executives to volunteers. As a rule of thumb, insure all those who might play a role in hiring or termination.
  • Consider the employment practices within your business. How does your hiring or termination process work? Does this increase the potential for an EPLI claim?
  • Think about some of the claims that might arise. Could someone allege sexual misconduct? What about infliction of emotional distress or improper reviews? Does your policy effectively address these potential risks? If it doesn’t, you might need to adjust more coverage.
  • Choose appropriate limits and deductibles for the value of your business. Examine the average claim cost in your industry. Adjust coverage to create as much financial protection as you can.

You don’t have to be an expert on EPLI coverage to get the right policy. Instead, provide your agent with a full description of your operating risks. That will help them determine the best way to insure you.

Why Your Oil and Gas Business Needs Pollution Insurance

An oil or natural gas product is an environmentally-sourced product. Nevertheless, these products, when extracted from the ground, become contaminants. In many cases, they can harm humans. If they get into the wrong place, they can harm the environment. So, in a nutshell,

image of industrial pollution

the products you deal in can cause pollution if handled incorrectly. If they do, you might have an obligation to clean up the mess. Luckily, within your commercial insurance, you might have pollution coverage. What’s this protection? What can you do to avoid ever having to use it?

In the oil and gas industry, pollution coverage is among the most important coverage from which you might benefit. Don’t hesitate to get this coverage today.

Why You Need Pollution Insurance

During the course of collecting or storing a gas product, there’s a chance of a spill or other damaging incident. The product (liquid, solid or gas) might enter into the surrounding environment. In other words, it will go somewhere it was not supposed to go. In its wake, it might damage structures, or cause fire or explosion risks. More importantly, perhaps, it could harm local vegetation, wildlife and people.

Think in the case of a gas spill that seeps into a local creek. It could permeate the local water supply, and sicken local residents. The cleanup alone will likely be expensive. The resulting medical bills, property damage or injury costs to affected parties might skyrocket. The reason that affects the business is that the costs of recovery might fall squarely on your shoulders. Businesses who cause harm to others, even accidentally, often have to pay for the recovery.

Should you face allegations of causing pollution, a pollution liability policy might come in handy. Consider its importance in helping your recovery.

Coverage Provided by Pollution Insurance

A pollution policy functions like liability insurance. It can help you pay for the pollution damage you cause to others. It might help you pay for:

  • Clean up costs, including wages and labor
  • Regulatory fees triggered by the mistake
  • Settlements or judgements imposed by courts
  • Legal fees incurred during defense of an allegation

The key is to get the pollution liability coverage that’s appropriate to your unique line of work. Therefore, talk extensively with your insurance agent at 800.475.0001 about the type of products you handle. They can therefore advise you on the right course to take to achieve full protection. They’ll also help you understand the financial limits, deductibles and exclusions within your coverage. Therefore, you’ll better be able to tailor your coverage. Don’t hesitate to ask about your coverage options extensively.

Fire Risk Management in Oil and Gas Drilling

If you are an oil and gas driller, you recognize that you work with a very sensitive commodity. Oil of any form is flammable. However, when drilling, you face an acute risk of fires and explosions. What can you do to reduce the risk of a catastrophic spark? Will your commercial insurance protect you against unforeseeable events?oil rig owners

Fire and explosion coverage for the oil and gas industry exists. In fact, it often comes tailored to these specific risks. Don’t let yourself go without this protection.

Coverage for Platform fires and Explosions

If an accidental fire occurs at a drilling site, your commercial insurance should cover some or all the damage. However, what protection you need to claim will vary.

For most drillers, commercial insurance is not just one policy. Many types of insurance combine to create a comprehensive portfolio of coverage. Most of these will address fire and burn risks as they apply to their areas of protection.

  • Property insurance can pay for damage to buildings or other physical assets. You’ll also likely need specialized equipment protection to pay for damage to your rig.
  • General liability insurance covers damage a fire causes to third parties. If it damages buildings on neighboring property, this coverage can pay for the losses.
  • Pollution liability insurance covers damage resulting from spills related to fires. Keep in mind, this coverage may not apply directly to burn damage itself.
  • Workers’ compensation to pay for the injuries or illnesses employees sustain in fires.

Other coverage like commercial auto, inland marine and well control protection might all offer help in case of fires. Your goal should be to construct the most comprehensive level of protection. Let your insurance agent be your guide in determining coverage.

Preventing Fires on Your Rig

Even if you have adequate commercial insurance, you shouldn’t let fires occur anyway. No policy will cover all damage, nor will it cover any intentional fires. Therefore, if you don’t do what you can to prevent fires, you might still face financial losses.

Generally, strict safety conduct rules govern drill sites. As a result, you’ll must abide by all protective steps. These might include refraining from smoking, controlling electrical use and using shock absorbers and spark eliminators. Control the flow of material and keep a lookout for leaks and damage that could raise fire risks. Have emergency equipment on hand to immediately contain risks and open flames.

If you have questions about your options, contact InsuranceOne Agency today at 800.475.0001. We’ll help you get coverage that suits your needs.

Why Oil and Gas Risk Management is Important

image of business owner dealing with risk managementOil and gas industry operators deal with an expensive and dangerous commodity. As a result, they’ve got to do what they can to keep accident risks low. Proper risk management, therefore, must play into standard operating procedure. Why is this important? What are some of the things you can do in your business to make it safer?

At the end of the day, the oil industry remains tightly regulated. Therefore, you’ll need to meet all minimum standards to keep operating within safe means. Engage in risk prevention and carry insurance to make the most of your protection.

Risk Management Equals Less Money Lost

If an accident like a fire or spill, impacts your business, damage costs might skyrocket. Injuries, lawsuits, workers’ comp claims, regulatory fines and property damage could add up. As a result, the smart business is one that prevents such accidents in the first place.

While you can’t prevent every business accident, you can keep standard mishap risks low. So, there’s a smaller chance of something coming along for which you cannot prepare. As a result, your likelihood of having to file a claim on your commercial insurance will likely drop. Your insurer might view this as a sign that you are less of a risk to insure, and this could lead to rate savings in the end. Risk management does not eliminate the need for insurance coverage. However, it can make it more cost effective.

Furthermore, you also decrease the likelihood of encountering problems not covered by insurance. As such scenarios won’t qualify for financial help, you might have to pay for them out-of-pocket. That’s a substantial loss which most executives don’t want to face. Thus, controlling risks can save even more money than just reducing insurance costs.

Preventing Commercial Risks

It’s virtually impossible to know every personal or property risk in your business. However, you should have at least a baseline grasp of where to take steps to make your business more secure. Target areas of concern first and foremost when making safety improvements.

For those who need guidance in risk management, various avenues exist. First, strict industry standards govern the oil and gas industry. Businesses must follow all guidelines, and not take liberties regarding safety or performance.

Furthermore, insurance companies, industry leaders and local entities can often provide risk management counseling for those that want to put in place further security. Use these resources to review safety procedures and implement strategies to keep your operations secure.