If your company operates fleet vehicles, company car insurance for employees is a foundational part of your business. While preventative measures are key, with a busy fleet, accidents are almost inevitable.
So what do you do if a company vehicle is in an accident, and who is at fault? This article breaks down how to proceed when an accident occurs.
Basics of Company Car Insurance For Employees
Choosing the right company car insurance for your fleet is an important business decision. From July 2019 to June 2020, there were 131,220 road casualties in the UK– and that was down by 16% from the year prior. Every 20 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on UK roadways, with 25% of accidents resulting from work-related trips. Unfortunately, if you operate your fleet for long enough, you can count on an accident happening sooner or later.
→ One Minor Lapse In Driver Judgement Can Result In Serious Injury And Thousands Of Pounds Gone
Preventing Accidents with GPS Trackers
Of course, we want to prevent accidents whenever possible. Many managers don’t know that GPS trackers are one of the most effective accident prevention tools out there!
Trackers like Vimcar’s Fleet Geo:
- Reduce reckless driving through driver accountability
- Prevent vehicle theft
- Show vehicle locations in real time with speed and stop information
- Minimise vehicle misuse
Plus, with comprehensive route history data, fleet telematics systems allow you to prove your annual mileage to insurers, saving you money.
→ Because Vehicles With GPS Trackers Are Involved In Fewer Claims Than Untracked Vehicles, Insurance Providers Offer Reduced Premiums To Digitalised Fleets
Choosing the Right Company Car Insurance
It’s often more simple and cost-effective to insure your fleet under one inclusive fleet insurance policy. By covering them all at once, you save the hassle of researching the best coverage for each individual vehicle.
Typically brokers offer third-party, third party fire & theft, and comprehensive fleet insurance. Depending on how many vehicles are in your fleet, your vehicle models, claim history, driver risk profile, and time spent on the road, your insurance premium quote will vary.
What to Look For
When shopping for policies, consider:
- Types of damages covered
- If employees can use the vehicles privately
- Co-payment rates, and if they differ with damage types
- Maximum coverage
- Types of insurance included (e.g. liability, fully or partially comprehensive coverage, passenger accident)?
- Additional services such as GAP coverage for leased vehicles or brain injury damage
- If your drivers can switch between vehicles
- Customer service
The cheapest company car insurance for employees isn’t always the best: spending more on comprehensive policies upfront can save you costly deductible fees later.
When an Accident Occurs
When a crash happens, the first thing is to check on the physical and emotional wellbeing of your driver. Accidents can be traumatic, so even if the driver is physically okay, they may need psychiatric care.
The next step is to call your company car insurance for employees to make your First Notification of Loss (FNOL). Try to do this within an hour of the accident. Making an accident report quickly can dramatically lower overall costs and protect your business. Plus, the lower your accident costs, the lower your renewal premium will be in following years.
Next, review fleet telematics records to see a record of speeds and the incident; this data can help you determine how to prevent future accidents.
Depending on the accident severity, it’s likely in your best interest to hire a lawyer quickly. They can help you navigate negotiations with the opposing insurance company and protect your interests.
Determining liability for accidents with company vehicles can be tricky. Generally, drivers are considered responsible for their actions behind the wheel. However, an employer may also be considered vicariously liable for accidents occurring in the course of employment.
→ Employers Have A Duty Of Care To Their Employees, So You Could Be On The Hook If You Are Found Negligent
Fulfilling duty of care means:
- Ensuring drivers are following HGV guidelines
- Checking that drivers are fully licensed and insured
- Vehicles are properly maintained
- Cargo is safely secured
- Comprehensive driver training and safety policies
- Choosing the safest routes
Ultimately, liability will be determined by your provider of company car insurance for employees, but “keeping your side of the street clean” will protect you.
Handling Accidents Responsibly
Prevention and accident liability comes down to both the employer and the driver. Fulfilling your employer’s duty of care goes a long way, but the driver must also be accountable for their decisions.
Choosing the right comprehensive company car insurance for employees is critical in reducing your costs. But to reduce costs even further, don’t forget about fleet telematics, the best industry solution.
- Vimcar’s Fleet Geo lowers your risk of accidents and theft while reducing overall fleet mileage and costs.