Risk Management – Having Adequate Insurance Is No Excuse For An Accident

Not long ago I was talking to an individual who runs a towing service, and he was all about safety first. He had endless stories of tow truck drivers that have been run over, sometimes by drunk drivers, or sometimes by someone text-messaging drifting off the road over the line and hitting the crew while they were doing their towing services. It happens, and when a 6000 pound SUV hits a parked vehicle there isn’t much left, especially at freeway speeds. Okay so let’s talk a little bit about risk management shall we?

You see, just yesterday I was talking to someone at the local coffee shop and he ran a heating and air conditioning company. I asked him about his tractor insurance commercial insurance policy because he said that one of his workers was hurt on the job, filed a Workmen’s Compensation claim, and there was an attorney suing him and his company for the accident. He said it was the workers fault, and he should have known better, but took risks he shouldn’t have leading to the accident.

Apparently, a very heavy air conditioner unit was being lifted over a fence using a small tractor with a long boom on it, the tractor started to tip over, and dumped the air-conditioning unit crushing the individual’s foot as it hit the ground. The individual was guiding the unit forward, and telling the guy on the tractor that he needed a couple of more feet even when the guy on the tractor told him that it was unsafe.

Neither party worried about it much because if they dropped the air-conditioning unit and or the “rented” tractor equipment tipped over they had adequate insurance. Still, having adequate insurance is no excuse for an accident. Worse, now the individual’s foot is crushed, he might have a legitimate claim for disability or workers comp even though it was his fault. Will my small business acquaintance that I met at the coffee shop be able to buy commercial liability insurance next year after such a huge accident? Maybe and maybe not, but surely his insurance rates will go up and skyrocket.

Thus, one could ask if it is worth taking stupid risks just because you think you have a safety net or commercial liability insurance to cover yourself when Murphy strikes. Indeed this is an important topic of discussion for risk management philosophy, but when it comes right down to it and you do the accounting with such associated risks, it’s quite obvious; there is no excuse for an accident, not even when you have adequate insurance. “Safety first!” Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.


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