Like many people I drive on the roads for work and leisure. What I find remarkable is the volume of vehicles on the road; every major town or city suffers from congestion at some time during the day and with this increased volume of traffic, is there any wonder that accidents happen? Indeed in 2016 there were in excess of 180,000 casualties, from minor injuries to fatalities, on UK roads. The good news is that the number of fatalities has actually decreased but the volume of accidents is still colossal.
Inevitably business drivers are at the forefront of this battle. They tend to drive the most miles at the busiest times and this means that they suffer a significant number of the reported accidents. Businesses are also often an easy target for people who choose to make spurious or exaggerated claims. Haulage and van fleets are particularly susceptible and it’s a fact that many drivers do not give larger vehicles the right amount of space to enable them to make the necessary manoeuvres and many claims can be contentious.
Often business owners and fleet managers operate under the misguided belief that they can manage fault claims themselves which means there isn’t any necessity to report the incident to their own insurers which, they believe, will protect their insurance record and help them keep their premiums under control – the evidence proves otherwise.
If a claim is reported on day 1, the date of accident, to your insurer, this will allow them to contact the third party, arrange for the vehicle to be repaired quickly and minimise additional hire costs, storage charges and the potential for injuries and the associated legal costs. Financial evidence shows that if a fault claim is reported immediately it likely to be settled at a fraction of the cost of a claim that is reported in 30 days. Allianz Insurance Company have suggested that a claim reported 30 days after an incident will cost 4 times more than a claim reported at day 1. The implications for anyone operating a fleet are considerable as their claims record could be impacted negatively by late notifications and the inevitable consequence is that premiums will be higher than necessary.
The message is clear. Report claims as soon as possible to prevent costs escalating. To help with this process ProAktive will shortly be launching a new motor claims app which will operate on smart phones and allow third party data to be collected instantaneously with GPS mapping and the ability to upload photographs. Watch this space for further developments.
By Andy Morley, Group Managing Director