Driving Customer’s vehicles? Are you covered or have you just assumed you are?
I know we have covered this topic before regarding driving customers vehicles, however I thought I would drop in a little reminder for everyone due to the number of questions I receive about this during the year.
So we will start with a question….. Do you drive customer’s vehicles or at the very least move them in and out of your vehicle bay, park them on the forecourt and/or the road outside the unit?
Well, if the answer is yes, then please do read on…….
Now are you absolutely sure you are covered to do this and also what type of insurance policy are you using to cover you?
From the conversations I’ve had many of you had just assumed that either your private car policy picked this cover up for driving third party vehicles or it was covered under your commercial combined policy. Well, no I’m afraid it is not covered under your private car policy and in the answer to the Commercial Combined policy, it depends!
Let me explain….
Whilst your own private car policy will cover you for driving a third party vehicle in an emergency, it certainly won’t cover you for Commercial use and moving clients vehicles about in the course of your business. The private policy is a private policy and even if it has a Business extension added so you may use it in the course of your business it still doesn’t cover you to drive third parties vehicles for commercial use.
By the same token, if you have a Commercial Van policy, this will cover you to drive that Van only for Business and Pleasure use, but not to drive any other vehicle.
So, what about the Commercial Combined policy?
Well, your comments to me have been “I only park client’s vehicles on my forecourt and that’s still on my property so I don’t need extra cover as surely my Commercial Combined policy would cover this”. Well, it may be your forecourt but depending on whether it is open or enclosed will have a bearing on whether your policy will cover this or not.
So, if your forecourt is surrounded by fences or a wall, is solely in your custody and control and also has lockable gates then your Commercial Combined policy may well pick up the liability cover for you however do check with your Broker as different restrictions apply to different policies. If it is not a policy specifically designed for the sign industry you may find cover may not be included as standard however it may be possible to include this cover if you ask.
Now if the forecourt is open, then your Commercial Combined policy will not cover the liability. Why ?
For example, Jim from the Unit next door walks across your forecourt to speak to Bill who has the unit the other side of you, you don’t see him and you knock him over as you reverse a clients vehicle out of the vehicle bay……
Now as there is public access across all of the forecourts, then in effect, Road Traffic Act (RTA) applies and technically, you have just driven on a public highway, uninsured!
Now the implications of this are not good, especially if Jim’s injuries are extensive, it will involve lawyers fees, court costs, medical bills, a personal injury settlement and with NO COVER, maybe criminal proceedings too perhaps……
So what are your options?
Well, either you can opt for an individual policy to cover you for driving customer’s vehicles in the vicinity of your business premises or one which allows you to collect and deliver vehicles also.
Ask your specialist broker for information as not everyone offers driving customers vehicles in isolation.
Alternatively you can look into a motor trade policy which will cover you for driving customer’s vehicles as well as incorporating your own commercial vehicles. This could also save you money by amalgamating the policies into one however the Insurer must be made aware that your Business is a Sign Maker and not a motor trader so it is not written on the wrong basis. Again ask your Broker or a Specialist Broker for more information.
So that about wraps it up but please do check your policies and do not assume anything……better to be sure and covered , than unsure and arrested!
Until next time…….
For more information please contact a member of the SignElite team on 01623 889525 or visit www.signelite.co.uk
Signelite is a Trading Style of Real Insurance Group Brokers Limited