Car accidents are scary. And even when everyone is okay, the whole situation is stressful, especially once insurance companies get involved.
So what happens when your COMPANY car gets in an accident?
If you don’t have a plan in place for accidents involving your company’s cars, then it’s time to take action! There are surprisingly quite a few things you can do as a company to be proactive so that when and if your cars do get in an accident, you’re fully prepared for any situation that might arise (including get sued!)
In this episode, you’ll hear the Brandons discuss what they’ve learned from their own company car accident and how a few smart plans kept them from getting into huge (money-draining) messes.
Tune in and take action for the future of your cleaning business!
- How can Verizon Connect help you with your company car’s safety and insurance?
- Sandia Green Clean’s Car Accident Experience
- The Importance of Getting a Dashcam Setup
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Why Would You Need Insurance Adjusters?
- Dashcam MAGIC
- Why Business Cards Are Lethal
- The Importance of Getting a Financial Advisor, Attorney, and Insurance Person
Sandia Green Clean website: https://sandiagreenclean.com/
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/profit-cleaners-grow-your-cleaning-company-and/id1513357285
Episode 92: Episode 92: Company Car Accident? HERE’S WHAT TO DO!
Insurance has a cold, logical business. It's upsetting, but you gotta deal with it because it could also save you someday.
Yeah. That's the kind of like forward-thinking we need to have is entrepreneurs and just like, think out in the future, like what could go wrong? What could we be being more proactive about whether it's a car accident or someone trying to sue us for any number of reasons we haven't had that happen yet with the cleaning. But like you said, what the car is, Brandon, maybe it's only a matter of time. So just start thinking about these things, guys, start talking to your expert advisors. You should be building a business advisory team. Like Brandon said, you should have people that are experts in these different areas. And yeah, don't spend time trying to be the expert at all of these areas. Just find someone who's the best at it and delegate that to them and their wisdom and all of that knowledge they can give you when you do need them. And you guys will be out a lot better place.
Grow your cleaning business, make more money, have more time. This is the Profit Cleaners podcast with your host Brandon Condrey and Brandon Schoen.
Hey, everybody welcome back to another episode of the Profit Cleaners. Thank you for joining us today, guys, you are in place. The only place to learn from the top 1% of cleaning business owners from around the world to take it to the next level and win. And I am your host today, Brandon Schoen, and I'm joined by my terrific amazing cohost right over here, Brandon Condrey.
Yup. I am in I'm 10 feet away from you in the next room.
That's right. So we're back in the office, back in the old headquarters here and recording. And it's a blast we used to record right next to each other, but we're actually recording. We don't have our fancy mics right now because I'm moving around, but we're here guys. We're recording the podcast and it's going to be another awesome podcast today. Talking about something a little crazy that happened in the cleaning business recently and something you guys should probably be thinking about because it's going to happen in evidently. And we're going to talk today about company car accidents and what happens when your, one of your employees gets in a car accident, whether it's in their car, whether it's unaccompanied car and how you should handle that, how you should be proactive about thinking about all this. And it's funny, Brandon, because right before this happened, we were on a meeting with our CFO. And you literally said like a week before this happened, you were like, this is going to happen. And inevitably, there's going to be a car accident at some point, and we need to have a plan in place. So we're going to share with you guys, the plan, share with you guys what happened and how you can prevent this, or be proactive about this in the future. So let's share the story of Brandon.
All right. So we have 10 cars. Some of them drive a hundred miles a day. That's a lot of miles to be putting on cars without any incidents. And so a while back, we had kind of gotten to the point where like, look, we should be taking some proactive action here. So we did, we signed up with Verizon connect or Verizon reveal, whatever it used to be called Fleetmatics. And so it's a company that Verizon acquired, but it's attached to our Verizon business account and what we had added to all the cars. And I think we did this, like, I don't know, middle of last year. I think we've had them about a year. So what got put in all the cars were dash cams that you can have ours just record front facing, but you can have options to do rear facing. And in the cab of the car, like if you want to record, the people are cleaners. Weren't very comfortable with that. So we just have to go front facing. And then there's also this cool little device that's attached to the car on the onboard diagnostic port. And that actually measures the vehicle. So we get reports on things like if they break too hard, if they corner hard, if they're speeding, if the cars leave a certain area called a geo-fence and their GPS tracked. So there's a dashboard where you can pull it up, view all this stuff live. See if the cars are idling, where they are, what the video looked like when they got there. It's super duper slick.
It's expensive. I think we're paying $800 a month across the 10 car, something like that. And so that's straight overhead. There's no revenue generation from the dash cams.
And so that was kind of a hard pill to swallow, but Verizon cut us a deal when we signed the contract with them and it finally happened, we got in a car accident and the dash cam has paid for themself instantaneously. So here's the story. The team is going to a house. They're not speeding. They're driving just fine. They're making a left turn.
Some guy on his phone and a truck runs the red light and broadsides our car. All three cleaners were transported to the hospital via ambulance. Two of them were relatively, okay. They had a bump and a bruise and a sore shoulder do some physical therapy. You'll be good. One of them though had a compressed disc in her back. And so that one has really caused some debilitating pain.
So we have worker's comp. So I'm not concerned about that. We have insurance to cover all the medical bills and the guy hit us, pull up the dash cam clear as day, man, we got a green light. He's got a red light. He hits us after he hit us. The camera actually ended up pointing at the stoplight and you could actually see our green arrow in his red light at the very end in the same frame.
So it was crystal clear. So the police show up, ambulance has show up. Police reports are written. Anytime I've been in a car accident, I just get the other driver's info. So I can start that claim process. But because of the police and the ambulance and stuff, the cops, the only one who ended up with it and then ended up with a police report.
I don't know if this is like this everywhere, but the car accident happened on July 8th. I wasn't able to get the police report that told us who did it and what his insurance info was until July 27th. So it took 19 days to get the info. So in the interim, we had to go rent a car on our own so that we could keep our team going.
The car's been towed somewhere. They had to use the hydraulic jaws of life stuff to open the door like this wasn't a major car accident. They weren't like crushed in there, but the door wouldn't open. So they had to like pry it open. So this is our oldest car. Actually, they got in a car accident. It's from 2010, it's got approaching 200,000 miles.
I'm assuming they're going to total it. So that's my guess. That's very old. So we had to rent a car in the interim. We did that. So you should be able to set something up like that. We told them it was a car accident and that there'd be an insurance claim. So they gave us a deal on the weekly rate.
I think we're paying $300 a week for this car. And so we get the other driver's info. Now the ball's actually rolling in the police report. This is the best part. You got story from driver one's story from driver two, both of them said they had the green light. So idiot on cell phone thought that he had the green light, of course,
cause he wasn't looking. And so had we not had the dash cam, this would have devolved into a, he said, she said thing. And it would have ended up being something like that guy takes 60% of the blame. And you take 40, which means that we only get 60% of the payout on our busted car, because they're going to assume that we're at fault,
even though we definitely weren't. But because we sent them that video, they admitted fault right away. Of course we're 100% of fault. How can we work with you? So now it's all down to haggling with the insurance company, but I've got a couple of tips for you there as well. Yeah. And just to recap like that video on the dash cam is that like HD video,
like super clear man, you can find, I mean, it's a 10 80 P camera. There's no denying it, man. It is crystal clear video. And we had access to that. The video was already in my inbox. Like I got an email alert from Verizon that said, Hey critical. And you click that and you get a video of it.
Boom. They were going through a light and they got broadsided. Like the sensors on the camera detect that it happened and fired the video out right away. The nice thing about this system is because it's connected to Verizon. It's constantly uploaded through the day. There's no like SD card that we got to go get. It is wirelessly attached to Verizon's network and we're getting real-time video.
We can plug into live video on this system whenever you want. So we got that, sent it to him instantaneously. Video's clear. Yeah. I was just going to say, like I remember early in the days when we started the business from time to time, like a customer call in or something happened and they would say your team's just sped by or cut me off or whatever.
And there was a couple of times I was out about in town and I like saw the teams flying down the street a little faster than they should. But I think this is a really great system. Maybe you don't need it right in the beginning when you're starting your cleaning business. But it's definitely like, as you said, Brandon, like proven itself and paid for itself already.
But now that we have a lot more teams on the road, you got to start thinking about liability and like people, when they see a business or a company they're going to sometimes take advantage of that. And so the more of the ground, you can cover your back kind of thing. Like you just kind of have to think more proactively instead of reactively,
which is probably what would happen in a lot of cases, this would happen. Nobody would a plan. They probably wouldn't have had a dash cam in place or any system in place to capture this. But because we had the system in place and you were just talking about how one day we're going to need to use it. And it's, and then lo and behold it had happened.
Yeah. It's not really funny, but it's just kind of ironic how that happened. And it's, as far as the employees, I'm glad the employees are not extremely hurt, but that's another just benefit to them is we can prove now, like they weren't doing anything wrong either. So they're not losing their jobs. No, one's like nothing bad's going to happen to them.
And we really can like work with everybody a lot better cause we have the proof of it. And it's just like how simple as that, just the fact that we had that little system in place, the videos to capture the camera, to capture it. I mean, that just solves a huge problem. So in this case, it paid for itself because we're going to get 100% of what we're entitled to from the insurance.
If it had that split, we get less of it. The worst case scenario is that we're found at fault for an accident that wasn't our fault. And depending on the severity of those accidents, man, sometimes there's concussions involved and people don't remember anything. And so without video, some cop who would talk to people around is going to come up with a story and be like,
yep, you did it. And then the insurance is going to lean heavily on the police report. So this is a really big cover your ass situation right here. So highly recommended. Obviously I have a dash cam in my personal vehicle and you should too, but there's just no refuting video evidence. It is right there. Clear as day, your guy did it.
I want my money. And so I've got a couple of tips for you guys when you get to this point, hopefully you've got your dash cam set up and you need to talk to an insurance adjuster. Now because of the pandemic, this car was paid off. It has no loan payment on it, but it's probably worth in their mind something like 2000 bucks,
2,500 bucks, maybe we'll get out of that car, something along those lines because it's high mileage. I can not replace a paid-off car with 250,000 miles on it for $2,500. It's just not going to happen. So what we need to do is do the legwork, tell them like, look, we are going to replace it with a light vehicle. Here's a vehicle that's 10 years old and has the same amount of miles on it.
It costs $10,000. This again is because of the pandemic and inflation right now is that the real world cost to replace that car is way more than they're going to give us. So you go back to him and say like, Nope, I reject your initial offer here. So here's what it's actually going to cost to get me that vehicle back on the road and making money for the company.
So I need this much money out of you. And they'll probably agree to that. And then there's also this concept of business interruption. So we have business interruption insurance. And if you don't know what it is, you should be looking into it as well. But it's things like a fire happened. Fire insurance is going to cover replacing your building. But if you are unable to conduct work,
you're losing out on your daily revenue every day, business interruption, insurance steps in and covers that while the building is repaired or whatever. So we're going to go after this guy's insurance for business interruption as well. So like the three cleaners they're back at work, but they're on modified work schedules. They can only work X amount of hours per day. And then we're bringing them back and sending them home.
So we are losing out on 25% of what that team could be bringing in over that timeframe. So we have to document that we have to show that before the car crashed, they were doing this much daily revenue. And after the car crash, they're doing this months daily revenue. And so his insurance should hopefully cover the gap. And if they don't,
then we're going to go to our insurance and say, we need coverage on this business interruption. Want to hear all the latest news from Profit Cleaners first, want to make sure you don't miss out on our next courses and some amazing discounts. We'll be sure to follow at Profit Cleaners on Instagram and sign up for our emails on Profit Cleaners dot com. Insurance is there for a reason you are supposed to use it in these situations.
You are insuring against losing your shirt on this stuff. So yeah, I'm gonna use my insurance. Our rates might go up in the future, but insurance is not on our radar. As far as a hefty expense is very little in terms of what we pay out for labor. So if it goes up a little bit, so be it, that means that between business interruption,
haggling over what the car should be. I think that we could get 10 to $20,000 out of this. And then we can use that to replace the car, put some money in marketing, like that's just money on our end to replace it. So we're going to do that. And I think it's doing good. Yeah. So like in the case of the rental car today,
we'll cover, that's covered as well. Right? Like the other vehicle we had to get to cover running the business still. Yeah. His rental car will come back and say like, yeah, his covered for $20 a day. I'm like, well that you can't get a rental car for $20 a day anywhere. So here's what we're paying. We're paying $300 a week.
So reimburse us for the $300 a week. So yeah, we're going to go after them aggressively. Like you can't let an insurance adjuster just steamroll you, it's just not going to happen. I mean, it happens all the time, but you shouldn't let it happen to you. You need to push back on this stuff and make sure that you're getting what you think you're deserve.
Like the insurance adjusters job is to offer you the bare minimum that you will take to sign the papers, to close out the claim, your job, your fiduciary duty to yourself is to get as much money as possible in these situations to make sure that my business can keep going. I can replace my car and keep going. That it's very smooth. Like we didn't shut the team down.
They were up and running in that rental car the next day. So I would suggest in your situation at this size and happened to you, maybe you only have one car. You need to put a plan together. Like this is what happens in the event of a car accident. If everyone's uninjured, make sure that the team members there take pictures of the car,
get witness names and phone numbers of people that saw the accident have a dash cam installed beforehand. You can't go backwards. Like you're going to kick yourself in the face. If you could have saved yourself a lot of headache by having a dash cam, you need one. I don't know why cars are coming out with them as standard equipment these days. Yeah.
So we got ours through the Verizon connect service, but like, is there another one, like in your car that you're using or like what other companies can You can DIY at? Absolutely. So like I use one from, they make a mini one that doesn't have a screen on it. And they're also very cool. Like that one does record to an SD card and it has a wifi app where you can tell the camera,
if it's connected to this wifi network, it'll back up to the cloud, the cloud service, if you use it is a per monthly cost, but yeah. Even recording to an SD card, those will survive car accidents. They won't survive fires. So like the benefit of the connected one is that the videos in the cloud right away. So like,
we're not worried about the camera being destroyed and not being able to recover the video. We got the video. So yeah, you can buy a bottom of the barrel dash cam. Like I think you could go on Amazon and find a cheap Chinese off-brand one for something like $40. And so that would be better than nothing. Like get that going. The Verizon one that we have is kind of like top of the line,
super fancy stuff. But it's also from a cleaning business owner standpoint, you're getting other info out of it. They call it telematics. So you're getting speed data, all these things. And you can use that data over time to do things like when we look at our routing, let's look at the routes that cars are driving and see who's driving the most who's idling the most.
Why are they idling? Like, why are you burning gas? Like sit in front of someone's house? Like, is it because it was cold and you were trying to keep yourself warm or it was hot and you're trying to keep yourself cold, whatever it is. It just gives you more tools in the toolbox to be able to become more efficient, but get leaner and use these things to your advantage,
to find out which teams are behaving badly. I'm like on the surreptitious side, you could potentially catch a team where they said they were mopping the house. So in your CRM, it looks like they're still busy. But if you look at the live video, they're actually in the car idling, like taking an unsanctioned break, like that's happened. We've caught that a couple of times,
that's them just trying to milk the system a little bit and get paid for work. If they're not doing, they finished that house 20 minutes ago, they should have been onto the next one. So they could go home earlier instead of complaining that they're not going home early enough. So I would recommend going with what you can go with, but if you can afford to go with the higher end one,
go with the higher end one. Verizon's not the only game in town that does that. There are lots of companies that offer that service. Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's more than anything, like just like the bonus system we have in place that incentivizes the things that we want them to do more. And it brings awareness is what really the bonus system does.
But this is just another system. Like if the teams know, they know like we're not like peering over their shoulder, like to spy on them, but it's more to like protect them. And like in a case like this, like an accident, now we can prove what actually happened. But it's also just bringing that awareness because as you grow, as your company grows,
you got to remember that you're out there in the community, your cars are driving around. Whether it's a company car or they just have, I mean, maybe like a magnet on the side of the car or whatever, but they're representing our business and the community. So if they're speeding and running red lights or stop signs or whatever, and if there's a way that you can bring awareness to that.
So the teams are like, Hey, we're not gonna speed anymore because we know we're getting, you know, like there's something tracking that now. Or they got maybe a bonus point taken off for speeding or whatever it is that you work on your bonus system. But I think just bringing awareness and also just like letting your teams know that like you got their best interest and you got their back obviously.
But I think that awareness definitely comes through and you know, they're, they're going to drive more carefully. They're going to not maybe paying attention a little bit more, just as much or more hopefully than the other guy like this other guy that ran into us. But yeah, I think that's a great point. Just start small. If you don't need the whole Verizon setup right away,
we looked at it like years ago and we were even then we're like, it's too much for us, but we probably should have gotten like a dash cam even then, even if it was the cheapest one, just to start, like you're saying, you know, just 50 bucks, get something to start and just start somewhere so you can cover your bases.
And then as you grow, move up to something like Verizon, where it's a lot more automated system and it all just gets done and gets uploaded automatically. And I think that's a really great system. We'll let you guys know if we find a better one, but I think that one's working really good for us right now. Yeah. I mean, it's all attached to the same thing.
We got a discount because we were a Verizon business customer already. You get a discount because you can pay through your phone bill. The other thing to really hammer this home is that let's say that it was a split, the other guy's at fault, but the police report finds you guys were 50 50 at fault. You're driving a business card. That's brain.
That is a business car. The other driver could see some dollar signs there because you're a corporation and Sue you for personal injury stuff. I hurt myself on the accident that you were 50% of fault out who talked to my personal injury attorney that happens all the time. But if you had the video that straight up showed that, Nope, that was all you man.
Like they can't Sue anybody. They're not going to Sue your insurance. I mean, they can Sue, but like you show them the evidence and it gets dismissed out of court. Like you're suing us for something you did to yourself. So this again is a strange one where you got to like swallow the lost funds that you could be putting towards other things.
But when it happens, it pays dividends because that means that you're in the clear, obviously, if you're a fault, it's going to, you're going to have an HD video of your drivers being a jackass. But assuming that your drivers are driving safe and you're encouraging them to drive safe, then this is really going to back you up at the time when you need to have Absolutely,
we're going to wrap it up here and it's like, but you said something that kinda like piqued my interest. Cause just recently, like a year or two ago you got in a car accident actually. And the lady was her. You weren't driving a company vehicle, you're in your truck. But I'm just curious, like at what point, if I think you were wearing your company shirt actually,
cause you were coming back from an estimate, but like at what point do you start to like, think about that too? Like if you're just out driving in your family car and someone runs into you or you run into somebody and people want to come after you because they realize you own a business. I mean, that's like a whole nother can of worms.
Yeah. I mean, I wouldn't be handing out your business card at car accidents. Like you just want to write down your info, don't drive a personal vehicle with your stuff all over the side that makes you a target for upset customers. It makes you a target for people to intentionally cause a car accident, which is also a thing that happens from time to time.
So it's cool to own a business, be proud about it. Just don't be slapping it all over your car with a wrap. And when you get in a car accident, they're like, cool, I'm going to your maid company because obviously you're doing really well. You wrapped your car with this thing. Like people will jump to those conclusions. That's what I'm thinking is maybe what we should do is get like a brand or a financial advisor type expert on here at some point on the podcast that would just advise us and other people that it's like when you do start creating more money and value in the world,
you're going to have money sitting in your bank account and people are going to want to come after you. So at what point do you start thinking about, yeah, like setting up a trust or something else where you're protecting yourself and your assets as you grow your business, because it's just something you got to think about. So I know we're not experts on that,
but There's a couple of things that you could do right off the bat. So my wife and I have a personal umbrella insurance policy, I think it's a million bucks. It's very inexpensive. And all it does is it kicks in when other insurance policies are maxed out. And so like it's a last line of defense before someone would Sue you. Like if your car insurance maxed out on the accident claim before they can Sue you,
the umbrella kicks in the business also has umbrella insurance for the same thing. So like if our workers' comp gets maxed out or our general liability gets maxed out on some claim, there's an umbrella policy on top of it to make sure that we're set before they can go after personal assets. And then there's, you can do things where companies own companies and ones have assets and others don't and it gets very complicated and you can get as crazy as you want to get with it.
But part of your trusted list of advisors, when you're running a business should include a financial advisor, an attorney, and your insurance person. You should be talking to all of those three people when making decisions like this, to make sure that like run a scenario by them, you can be totally metaphorical. Let's say I crashed my personal vehicle and I had a shirt on and someone thought that they were going to Sue me,
like what happens? Tell me like where it goes first. So yeah, make sure you're covered in those things. And if you put your insurance on autopilot and it just gets renewed every year, eventually you're going to be left in the dust. You need to be sitting down with your insurance person for meetings at renewal, to make sure that they're aware of how your business practices may have changed.
If you brought in new chemicals that have injury risk to your employees, that you should be upping certain policies in those cases. So insurance is a cold, logical business. It's upsetting, but you got to deal with it because it could also save you someday. So keep that. Absolutely man. Well, yeah, maybe we'll do another episode with like branch or somebody on here to talk more about that.
But I think that's the kind of like forward thinking we need to have as entrepreneurs and just like think out in the future, like what could go wrong? What could we be being more proactive about whether it's a car accident or someone trying to Sue us for any number of reasons we haven't had that happen yet with the cleaning. But like you said, what the car is,
Brandon, maybe it's only a matter of time. So just start thinking about these things, guys, start talking to your expert advisors, you should be building a business advisory team like Brandon said, and you should have people that are experts in these different areas. And yeah, don't spend time trying to be the expert at all of these areas. Just find someone who's the best at it and delegate that to them and their wisdom and all of that knowledge they can give you when you do need them.
And I think that's a huge, huge point here is just build that advisory team and have key people on it. Like for one, this of stuff happens and you guys will be at a lot better place. Yeah. All right guys, I think that's it for today. Hopefully you don't get in any car crash and never have to use the dash cameras,
but you definitely want it in place before it goes down. That's right. So be proactive guys before we're thinking and until next time, keep it clean. Typically. Thanks for joining us today to get more info, including show notes, updates, trainings, and super cool free stuff. Head over to Profit Cleaners dot com and remember keep it clean.
Thanks for joining us today. To get more info, including show notes, updates, trainings, and super cool free stuff. Head over to Profitcleaners.com and remember keep it clean.
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