17 May 2019

Car insurance can be a complex area of driving, especially when it comes to managing a grey fleet and ensuring that business vehicles are used in the correct way for their role.

But it’s important for drivers and fleet managers to understand what could accidentally invalidate insurance policies. In this article we wanted to explore some of the things drivers could do that could void their policy if they had to make a claim.

Selecting the wrong level of cover

It’s vital that drivers understand which type of insurance cover they have, as the wrong level can void their cover. The three main business insurance categories are:

  • Business use by you
  • Business use for all drivers
  • Commercial travelling policies
Business use by you

These policies cover the main driver, and can sometimes come with the option to cover a partner or spouse as an additional driver.

They will be able to drive in connection with the business, including away from their normal place of work. This cover could be used by a salesperson who regularly meets clients off-site.

Business use for all drivers

This offers a similar level of cover to Business use by you, but comes with the added benefit that more than one driver can be included on the policy. This is ideal if a fleet has pool cars that are regularly used by more than one member of the team.

Commercial travelling policies

Commercial insurance is only needed when driving is a permanent part of work, for example, taxi drivers or couriers. Unless this is part of the business, then this level of cover shouldn’t be needed.

Using the wrong job title

This may apply more to grey fleet drivers, but they need to ensure that they have used to right job title on their insurance policy so that it isn’t voided if they need to make a claim.

Car insurance providers use complex algorithms to understand and determine how much risk is associated with a driver, and the job title that is provided can have a huge impact on this.

It’s not uncommon for drivers to adjust their job title to reduce insurance premiums, but it can invalidate insurance if the provider deems it’s inaccurate.

Underestimating your mileage

Underestimating annual mileage could see drivers facing a number of problems, especially if there is a big difference between the amount they have declared and the real-world mileage they’re driving.

For example, if a grey fleet driver claims their annual mileage is 10,000 miles and they’re actually driving 15,000, the insurance provider could technically refuse to pay out for the claim, if one is made.

This is especially true if they believe that the driver has knowingly misled the insurance provider in order to reduce their overall insurance costs.

Protecting the vehicle

Most car insurance policies will cover the driver against theft, as long as they are paying attention to standard safety and security procedures whilst they’re on the road.

For example, if they leave the key in the ignition whilst paying for fuel in a garage and it’s stolen, then the insurance provider may void their claim.

At the same time, if they leave the vehicle unlocked in a public place, the provider will see it as more likely to be stolen, and reject any claim if the vehicle’s damaged.

One way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to regularly communicate with employees, and provide advice on how best to protect their vehicles when they’re not at work.

Further reading

To find out more about safety within fleets, and to understand how to improve efficiencies, take a look at the articles listed below:

In summary, fleet managers and their drivers need to ensure that they are declaring, monitoring and updating their driving details throughout the year, to ensure that their insurance isn’t invalidated.

Not only does this help to ensure fleets are continuously on the road, it also helps companies maintain high standards of safety for their teams.

To find out more about our fleet management and leasingemployee benefits solutions and driver services, call a member of our team on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.