Is your fleet insurance invalid?

Fleet insurance. It costs you valuable time and money and is required by law. It protects you from loss in the case of an incident. Or at least it should.

Within your fleet insurance policy, there’s a number of things that can invalidate your cover. This means your insurer could refuse to pay out for claims, or even cancel your policy.

Here’s some questions you need to consider:

1) Where are your fleet vehicles registered?

Fleet insurance premiums can vary depending on the postcode where the vehicles are registered. This is due to a number of different factors such as crime rates and flood risks for example.

To get around this, some businesses put their fleet address as somewhere different to where their vehicles stay every night. Or, for example, an employee keeps a fleet vehicle at their home address instead of returning it to a depot at the end of each day. But if one of your vehicles is broken into at an address not registered on your policy, your insurer could reject any claims made. Insurance companies have specific departments dedicated to check things like this when you make a claim. So you could end up without a vehicle and out of pocket.

2) Have you modified your fleet vehicles?

Fleet modifications can affect your insurance premium as they can increase the value of your vehicles. This can make your vehicles more attractive, which in turn could increase the likelihood of your vehicle being stolen. Modifications can also increase the likelihood of an accident.

Anything from stickers, tinted windows, new wheels and custom paint jobs can change your insurance cost. Even installing a different car alarm can be classed as a modification. Not telling your insurer about any modifications could mean your cover is void.

3) Are your employees informing your insurance company about minor accidents?

Whether it’s clipping a wing mirror or a small bump, your employees need to tell your insurance provider of any damage. Even if you intend not to claim.

If the other party involved changes their mind and decides to claim, the damage will at least be accounted for. Make sure the incident reported is as accurate as possible. If it turns out the damage is inconsistent with a claim, it could mean your claim is denied.

Any incident your employees have involving their private cars should also be disclosed.

4) Are you regularly checking your employee’s documentation?

Ensuring drivers are roadworthy is key to the validation of your insurance policy.

You should regularly check that driving licenses and insurance documentation is up to date. A study by TomTom Telematics found only 43% of UK firms do this more than once every six months1. 15% of UK firms only check documentation when a new employee joins and do not conduct follow-up checks. And a total of 21% don’t carry out checks on drivers’ insurance details1.

Driving convictions are a material fact and must be disclosed to your insurer, failure to do so may invalidate the policy in the event of a claim. If you are to protect yourself and your business from risk, it’s important to have the correct systems in place not only for ensuring checks are conducted frequently but also to ensure findings are properly recorded and acted upon where necessary.

5) What are you using your fleet vehicles for?

Fleet insurance type depends on vehicle usage. So you need to consider what your vehicles will be used for, as this can affect the type of insurance you require. For example:

  • If you run a taxi fleet you will need either public or private hire insurance.
  • If your business carries goods then you will either need ‘carriage of own goods’ to cover tradesman’s tools or cover for company products being transported.
  • ‘Haulage insurance’ is needed for those businesses offering long distance hire and reward services.
  • ‘Courier van insurance’ is the correct type of fleet insurance for local multi-drops of hire and reward services.
  • Failure to get the right type of insurance could mean you’re driving uninsured.
  • Finally as often with fleets, vehicles come and go. If you don’t update your policy and you need to make a claim, it could be invalid.

Without the right knowledge choosing your policy can become a bit daunting. If you have any questions, contact the team today to make sure you have the right fleet vehicle insurance in place.

1) https://fleetworld.co.uk/uk-fleets-still-exposing-themselves-to-risk/