Motor Accidents and Full Disclosure
It’s really important that employees understand the need to declare an accident in a company car to their personal motor insurer.
Accidents happen, and when an employee has a collision in a company car it is perhaps understandable that they do not realise it needs to be reported to their personal motor insurance provider. However, it is essential they do as their own insurer needs to calculate an individual’s risk as a driver. A common question often asked when obtaining a personal motor insurance quote is:
‘In last 5 years, have you ever been involved in an accident, regardless of blame, including fire, theft and windscreen claims?’
This question does not restrict itself in any way to the specific vehicle they are looking to insure but, instead, asks for the individual to notify any claims where they were the driver on any insurance policy. This doesn’t just apply to company vehicles either, it could include an accident they have had in a partner’s car, on a policy where they are a named driver, a rental car on holiday or a company car policy. Even claims that are not on their policy, must be declared.
Failure to declare an incident may have significant consequences. For example, if an insurer discovers that a driver has failed to report an incident, they may declare the policy null and void. It could also result in a driving ban, a conviction for driving without insurance and possibly result in difficulties obtaining insurance cover in the future. It is also possible that a claim may be partially paid or declined entirely.
Accidents while parked
If a ‘hit whilst parked’ accident does occur, the driver should report it to the police immediately. If it happens in a private car park (e.g. a supermarket) they should ask for any CCTV footage and provide details of any witnesses.
Employee culture shift
By understanding what employees need to report to their insurer, you can change the overall driving culture within your business and improve your organisation’s claims. Changes in driving culture requires good practice by all employees as well as a need to lead by example with a full buy-in from the top down.