Does your business run a company car scheme? Or do you have vehicles necessary for daily job roles? If you do then do you know what action to take should one of your vehicles be involved in an accident?
General rule of thumb when it comes to driving ‘You are never the exception’. You cannot control every aspect of driving and even the most experienced of drivers will be involved in a car crash within their lifetime. So when the inevitable happens, a company car being involved in one does happen make sure you and your staff are prepared and have the solution.
We will talk you through some of the key factors you should consider when your company car is involved in a crisis.
First the facts
Globally there are 1.35 million deaths a year because of car crashes. On top of that 20-50 million are also injured or left disabled.
As of 2016 there were 181,384 accident casualties recorded in the UK and in the US the car insurance industry estimates that an individual will file a claim for a collision about once every 17.9 years.
In the deaths that occur, 90% are in low/middle income countries with Africa having the highest death rate and Monaco having the lowest. The UK is fourth to Monaco for the amount of fatalities caused on the road with an average of 2.9 per 100,000 people. So the UK is perceived as generally a safe country to drive in overall.
Although experienced drivers tend to have less accidents, you can’t predict how every car journey you make is going to go. Factors such as dangerous drivers, whether or not drugs/alcohol are involved, distractions from mobile devices and even multitasking whilst driving. All of these could result in an accident on the road.
Business Owners Obligations
As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that all workers that need to drive as part of the job are covered should there be any road accidents using a company car.
Taking out the right insurance policies to cover your employees, customers, building and vehicles. By law you are only required to have one insurance policy for your business and that is Employers Liability Insurance. This is the insurance you take out if you employ people to do the work for you. However there are more insurance policies that are also worth taking out if you are running a business these could be:
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Public and product liability insurance
- Building and contents insurance
When it comes to vehicles that are used as part of the job, every vehicle has to be legally insured. So when it comes to your business, it is always important to consider the right fleet insurance brokers to help provide you with the best solution to your company car insurance.
Most insurance companies will take into consideration how the vehicles are used, whether or not they will be used for personal use on top of business use. Also there will likely be a policy on the age of the drivers, most of the time they will exclude drivers under the age of 21. This is due to statistics that show that more accidents are caused by young adult drivers rather than by older ones.
The fleet insurance company will also provide different valuations depending on whether the vehicle would need to drive long distances and across the country.
An insurance broker should be able to work out how much insurance you would need to pay dependent on how you will be using the vehicles in your business and who will be driving them. As a business owner it is important that you research which insurance company is going to give you the best “all things considered” deal for your business.
What action to take when you do have a car crash
So you have been in a car accident what is your next course of action? Legally any car that is involved in an accident to stop. The next course of action will be to get the vehicle to a safe location should it be drivable and then to check the health and safety of all passengers of all vehicles. It is then courtesy to exchange insurance details, especially if someone has been injured.
Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that the driver of the motor vehicle must stop at the scene of an accident (this includes damage to a person, property or animal), regardless of the severity of the collision or who is to blame.
There are situations where the problem can be solved amicably without the need to go through the insurance policy. This is all dependent on who accepts liability. However accidents are not always that easy.
Should you come to disagreement over who’s at fault, then the best route to go down would be through the insurers. This is when statements of events will be taken into consideration, witness reports and usually there will be a check for any traffic camera evidence.
The vehicles will be assessed along with any statements to check for any irregularities and then the liability will be given to one or in fact both parties.
When it comes to fleet insurance, your policy will outline what happens in the event of a car accident. There will be times where it will be you as a company that will have to cover any extra costs. However if there are situations where the vehicle was not being used in agreement with the insurance policy, then there may be a time when the employee will have cover any damage costs.
This should all be outlined in your insurance policies set out by your brokers. As an employee driving a business vehicle it is their obligation to always carry the insurance details around with them while driving on the job and should an accident happen. They would also need to contact the business owner and make them aware of what has happened too.
Always have your business covered
So when it comes to fleet insurance (or any other insurance) you should always have your business covered. Failure to provide the correct protection for your employees could result in expensive lawsuits, fines or in the worst case scenario prison sentences. By keeping your vehicles insured with a suitable fleet insurance brokers you not only cover your back but also cover that of your employees.
Choose your the right insurance policies to suit your business needs and if you are struggling to decide then there you can always seek out professional advice to help you choose the most suitable cover for your business.
Interesting related article: “What is insurance?“