Are your 'Grey Fleet' drivers correctly insured?

Are your 'Grey Fleet' drivers correctly insured?

6th, Feb 2018 General News
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding driver and vehicle compliance is the assumption that an employee-owned vehicle is not subject to the same regulation as a company-owned vehicle. 

GREY FLEET – the term used to describe any vehicles that are not owned (or leased) by a company but are used for business travel

The reality is that ANY vehicle which is used for business purposes is subject to the company’s Duty of Care, irrespective of vehicle ownership or job description.  This same duty of care is owed whether the employee works in finance and drives to the bank once a month or drives a delivery van for the company every day.  In each case the employee must be suitably trained and their vehicle should be reasonably safe to use and fit for the purpose.

It is therefore critical that businesses take the appropriate steps to ensure that the driver is eligible to drive and the vehicle is road worthy, taxed and insured.

Now this is where it gets a little confusing… and it’s all down to terminology. Most standard private car insurance policies don’t actually cover any form of business use, other than perhaps driving to and from a place of work. The majority of insurance policies taken out for private vehicles will specifically cover ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ use, but may not include any form of business travel cover or provision and as such would not cover the employee for using their vehicle during working hours for a number of common activities such as: 

    - Driving to meet a colleague or client or drop them off somewhere

    - Driving to a training course

    - Driving to the bank for the company or to a post office to send or pick up a parcel

    - Driving between depots and branch offices

    - Attending off-site company events

If a private car is used for anything related to a business beyond commuting, such as the actions described above, the driver will need business class insurance.  Even in the case of commuting to and from the place of work, suitable wording should be included in the policy.

There are three basic kinds of business cover; Class 1 (extended cover for the private individual), Class 2 (cover for named drivers) and Class 3 (cover for commercial sales-people). The majority of grey fleet drivers will require Class 1 business insurance as an extension to their normal basic policy cover.

"Unfortunately, not every insurer conveniently refers to business class insurance as “Class 1”, “Class 2”, etc. so, the obligation falls upon insured drivers to make sure they specify the exact levels of cover they require.   Sometimes, the policy is extended at no extra cost, but sometimes there is a fee to include this extra cover. 

Although the Consumer Insurance Act 2013 has made useful changes to protect drivers who accidentally or inadvertently fail to disclose information to their insurer, the responsibility to respond truthfully and accurately to questions about whether the vehicle will be used for work purposes remains with the driver."  - Terry Hiles, Commercial Director

Finally, before you go… don’t assume the Certificate of Motor Insurance tells the whole story.   The important document in each case is the policy schedule or booklet. It is within these documents that any restrictions or exclusions will be listed.   If in doubt, employees should contact their insurance brokers to check that they have the right cover.   A call or email now can save an awful lot of worry and expense should employees be unlucky enough to have an accident whilst driving for work.

DAVIS Grey Fleet Management provides a solution to effectively manage your grey fleet, ensuring drivers are eligible and vehicles are taxed and MOT’d for use on the road.  Insurance declarations and supporting document upload by drivers are standard components of the service.  

To enquire, call 0330 660 7107 or request a demo