7 Considerations while Claiming Your Vehicle Insurance
One of your drivers has had an accident on the road and you need to claim against your vehicle fleet insurance policy. Before you do this, it is important to check that you have met all of the criteria stated in your policy. UK fleet insurance providers will have strict measures that must be followed in order to make a claim, including vehicle maintenance checks and driver training schedules.
In the event of an accident causing harm to someone outside of your business, or someone’s property, it is essential to have public liability insurance. This will cover you for any repairs to damage, compensation costs, legal expenses and medical fees. Public liability insurance covers you both off-site and on your business premises. It can cover any legal costs defending claims should someone choose to sue, as well as any compensation costs if your business is found to be at fault.
If one of your drivers has an accident which proves fatal or they suffer injuries due to someone else on the road being at fault, then legal protection cover will help to cover any legal costs. Similarly, if there is damage to a vehicle within your fleet due to someone outside of your business, this will also cover costs if you choose to take them to court. You may think you will never need this level of cover, but if the worst were to happen it’s usually better to be safe than sorry.
If you employ one or more employees then you are required to have employer’s liability insurance. This will cover you and your business for compensation costs if an employee becomes ill or injured as a result of their work. You will definitely need this if you deduct NI contributions and Income Tax, if you provide equipment and materials for your workforce and also if you have part-time or temporary staff. Failure to have employer’s liability insurance will cost you £2,500 in fines for everyday that you’re uninsured. To avoid unforeseen costs such as this, make sure you’re up to speed with what cover your business requires.
Beyond types of cover, there are several other considerations if you need to make a claim against your fleet insurance policy.
Do you have your operator’s licence?
If your vehicles are over 3.5 tonnes, then you will need an operator’s licence for your insurance to be valid. You also need to ensure you have the right licence depending on the goods you’re carrying and the transportation destination. A standard national licence allows you to carry your own goods across borders, but only other people’s goods within the UK. On the other hand, a standard international licence will let you carry all goods overseas and a restricted licence only allows you to transport your own goods. To find out more on this visit the VOSA website.
Failure to have an operator’s licence will invalidate your insurance, leaving you stranded if you needed to make a claim. This is an unfortunate position to be in, so it is always best to double check your insurance terms.
Does the vehicle have telematics installed?
If you have telematics installed in all vehicles within your fleet, it will make things easier when it comes to making a claim against your fleet insurance. If there is any question as to whether your driver or someone else was at fault, telematics can provide evidence of speed and harsh braking to determine if reckless driving caused the accident. This saves you having to depend on witness statements, as you can present your own evidence to your UK fleet insurance provider.
Was your driver’s training up to date?
Regular driver training is required by insurance companies so that drivers are polished up on their driving knowledge and safety measures when driving your vehicles. It is advised to have a system for logging your employee training schedule, including who is overdue, due or up to date on training. This will make things much easier if you need to claim off of your vehicle fleet insurance policy. You will be asked to provide evidence of driver training in the event of an accident by your insurance provider, so if your paperwork is a mess then it will make things more difficult to process.
Do you have dashcam evidence?
Similar to telematics, in the event of an accident dashcams are a brilliant way of providing evidence to determine who was at fault. If your driver was hit by another vehicle and it wasn’t their fault, a dashcam will provide video footage from the front and rear of the vehicle to prove this.
Without a dashcam, you have to rely on witnesses being around at the time of the accident to give a statement. This can be unreliable as many accidents occur on rural roads or at night, when no one else is around. This could make claiming against your policy tricky, so it’s best to invest in protecting your business interests.
Are your driver records up to date?
Before you go to make a claim, you must double check that all of your driver details are up to date. UK fleet insurance providers will refuse a claim if there are incorrect driver details, including job titles. Any promotions or job title changes must be amended and updated on your policy to keep your insurance valid.
This also includes any changes or updates with employee medical conditions. It is good practice to do annual check-ups on staff health and wellbeing. Any unreported medical conditions would completely invalidate your fleet insurance policy in the event of an accident. It is crucial to maintain these details properly should you need to make a claim.
The other consideration is changes to driver licences as this could impact your ability to claim. Any unreported driving offences committed or points on licences could invalidate your fleet insurance. This is another thing to annually check to make sure you are within the terms of your policy.
Was the vehicle properly maintained?
Regular vehicle maintenance checks need to be routinely logged to make sure that your fleet of vehicles is up to safety standards. Any modifications made to vehicles must be reported to your insurance provider in order to keep your policy valid. Modifications can alter the safety of vehicles which is why it is crucial that you alert your insurance company as soon as any changes are made. If you were found to have unreported vehicle modifications or weren’t up to date on your maintenance checks then your claim would be instantly refused.
Was the vehicle parked safely?
In the instance that one of your vehicles is broken into or stolen and you need to make a claim, where and how it was parked could affect your ability to claim. If your vehicles are stored in a locked car park overnight with CCTV then you should be covered. However, if your drivers park their vehicles at home or in public car parks, you must amend this on your policy to keep your insurance valid. Failure to update details on vehicle storage will invalidate your insurance and could leave you out of pocket if a vehicle is stolen or broken into.