Fleet insurance is used to cover multiple vehicles, so any business involved in transportation, deliveries, pick-ups, etc., will need to have it in place.
Fleet managers work with tight budgets. Many things impact the profits of any business, and insurance is one of them. Fleet managers need to keep their business safe and fully covered while avoiding the payment of unnecessary costs.
Modern fleet insurance options include those that use smart machine learning and multiple data points to inform premiums, meaning that costs can accurately reflect everything your drivers do and optimise driver behaviour, enhancing road safety.
What are the factors that can invalidate fleet insurance? No fleet manager wants to find out that their insurance is invalid, but common things often trip people up.
Make sure your business address is kept up to date. Moving to a new location, for example, might mean vehicles are kept in an area where there is a higher risk of theft, and this affects premiums.
Any modifications or optional extras added to vehicles must be reported to the insurer, as not all types of vehicle modifications can be covered. Whatever modifications are made must be reported as they may affect the vehicle value or performance. All vehicles can be modified, Minis & BMWs, as an example, have many optional extras and these must all be specified if you take them up.
The way you use your vehicles massively impacts your insurance requirements. So, if you alter your service offering in any way that impacts the use of your vehicles – you might be a courier diversifying into removals, or a haulier broadening your remit to take on hazardous goods – you need to inform your insurer to ensure that your fleet remains covered. Failure to do so could lead to policy cancellation.
Employees failing to report minor accidents
It doesn’t matter how seemingly minor an accident is—the fleet insurance company needs to know about it. A small bump, for example, could cause issues in the future such as if the third party chooses to report it to their insurer, meaning the fleet insurer is in a tricky position if they make a claim.
If the vehicle is then involved in another incident and there is previous damage to the van the insurer doesn’t know about, this might invalidate a larger claim.
Failing to check employee documents
Anyone employed by your organisation to drive one of the business’s vehicles obviously should undergo a driving licence check, which is provided by the DVLA, and that looks at that person’s licence validity and expiry date, as well as setting out what vehicles the applicant is licensed to drive, and any penalty points or disqualifications. But if there are employees who don’t drive as part of their main job but use their vehicle to carry out work-related tasks, they need to be checked too.
On a fleet insurance policy it’s very important to ensure you have the correct level of usage, otherwise this could lead to claims being declined.
If employees are using work vehicles for social, domestic or pleasure, this needs to be specified on the policy and certificate, as any incidents that happen in that time would not be covered under a standard fleet management policy that applies to business driving only.