Top tips on what fleet drivers should do in the event of an accident, from the incident management experts
7th November 2017 – For immediate release
Accidents, whether minor or more serious can be very costly. As well as insurance excess payments, increased premiums and vehicle repair costs, there are hidden costs that aren’t always considered. These hidden costs can be between four and 32 times the cost of repairing the vehicle and include the cost of replacement vehicles and staff; management and admin time; the cost of replacing a damaged / missed order; and reputational damage. The impact can be huge, especially for SMEs with tight budgets and smaller profit margins, as well as being devastating for the individuals involved.
To help fleet managers reduce the impact and costs of an accident, Autofinity Assist Client Manager and incident management specialist, Rishi Bala, has put together some tips for drivers if they are involved in a collision:
Call the Emergency services
Call the police if anyone is injured or if the road is obstructed, and an ambulance if it’s a serious injury. The police should also be called if any driver is unwilling to exchange details.
It is important to report the accident to the insurance company immediately, from the road side if possible. This will give your insurer / claims representative a better chance to control costs.
- Your fault – if the accident is your fault, quick action would be needed to repair the vehicle and keep the not-at-fault party mobile. If the incident is reported late – even later that day – the third party might well end up in credit hire, have a credit repair and may also claim for injury. On average, the cost of a bent metal claim through early intervention is circa £1500 to £1800. If reported late and it goes down the non-fault credit hire/repair route it could be in excess of £4,000. If you include injury (most common is soft tissue) then the total claim could be in excess of £8,000.
- Not your fault – Even if you feel the incident is not your fault it is best to report it immediately, as this will give the incident or claims manager a better chance to dispute liability and be on the front foot. Often drivers don’t think they are at fault but they are. We have had drivers insisting they are not at fault when they have hit a parked vehicle as it was illegally parked! A narrow road collision with no witnesses would be 50/50, so even if you have pulled as far as you can to the side of the road it would be split liability. Best to report the incident early and leave it to the experts.
Use your smart phone, if you have one, to take photos of damage to all vehicles involved, property and street furniture. This helps with liability and accurate reserving (assessing quantum) plus any claims for non-accident related damage.
Make a note of occupancy in all vehicles. This will help identify any “phantom” passenger injury claims.
Collate independent witness details
Make a note of names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of witnesses. Do this even if the police have taken the details as due to data protection the police may not give you these details afterwards.
Fleet managers should ensure their drivers understand the importance of reporting all incidents and that they are aware of reporting procedures. This should be documented in the driver handbook and communicated through inductions and training.
The Department of Transport reported in 2013 that 2000 crashes were caused by vehicle defects, 42 of them causing deaths. Employers must ensure that their vehicles are well maintained to limit the risk of accidents and protect their drivers and members of the public while avoiding costly insurance claims and repair bills.
Notes to Editors
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About Autofinity Assist:
Autofinity creates software solutions which connect the key stages of the vehicle lifecycle. Assist provides insurers, brokers and fleet operators technology-driven solutions for vehicle incident management. The Assist team and technology fits with and enhances clients’ existing processes to streamline the tasks involved with managing an incident. Our primary goals are to create cost savings within the fleet motor claims process and to get fleet drivers back on the road as quickly as possible.
For more information contact:
Hayley Hollidge, Marketing Communications Executive
Tel: 01252 237037