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Mitigating the Risk of Social Inflation at Your Business

A devastating company vehicle crash can leave a lasting impact at your business in more ways than you may realize. Businesses may need to consider the repercussions stemming from negative public sentiment.

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This mistrust toward businesses among jury members can lead them to return larger financial judgments and penalties than in the past when businesses were the defendants.

They may also need to contend with “nuclear verdicts;” an award that is significantly higher than would be expected given the facts of the case. In litigation, jurors are sending a clear message that businesses can be held accountable for the actions of their employee drivers.

Take action now to prevent an avoidable and devastating crash by:

  • Strengthening and enforcing your driving policies. A strong policy could:
    • Prohibit company drivers from using mobile devices and other distractions (e.g., eating, drinking, or using a GPS or navigation system) behind the wheel
    • Where appropriate, incorporate driver standards and screening for company drivers
    • Outline expectations for safe vehicle usage
    • Clarify consequences for failure to follow the company driving policy
    • Go beyond the minimum local, state, and federal laws applicable to your business
  • Using in-cab technology. Having a way to monitor your drivers’ behaviors while they are on the road can be beneficial. Programs like Federated DriveSAFESM Telematics can offer valuable insight into the performance of your company drivers and fleet vehicles — including phone use, speed, hard braking, harsh cornering, and hard acceleration. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances as well as collective bargaining implications for those signatory to a union.
  • Training and retraining your employees. Introduce company policies and best practices to employees upon hire and regularly review them with your staff.

For more information and helpful resources, reach out to your local Federated® marketing representative.


Visit the SMACNA association page for more on the products and services Federated Insurance offers, and to locate your local marketing representative and association account executive.

This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all risk of loss. The information herein may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. ©2023 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.