Fleet News

Fleets could be left uninsurable: claim

THE bid to recover the cost of treating accident victims at the expense of those responsible could be 'the tip of the iceberg' for fleets with many left 'uninsurable' by cash-chasing National Health Service trusts. But despite universal backing of driver training courses among insurance companies and safety organisations warnings have been made that fleet managers will only be made to act if the premium increases are substantial.

Chris Reynolds, managing director of BSM Fleet Training said: 'Insurance companies will be much more severe in identifying fleets with high claim rates, but will also reward fleets which have a risk management strategy and penalise those which don't. This strategy will leave many fleets close to uninsurable, but there is a clear opportunity for fleet decision-makers to take some proactive measures instead of waiting and reacting to what may happen to benefit.'

Paul Austin, managing director of Drive & Survive, said that now the threat of increased NHS care cost recoupment had become reality fleet managers had 'no option' but to seriously address the problem of accident reduction. The most obvious way, he said, was to instigate a driver training programme.

But a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said the key to changing attitudes is in the levels of premium increases. 'If the premium increases are minimal then it won't make any difference to fleet managers' opinions of training. But if this legislation only jogs one fleet manager's conscience to do something to improve the safety of their drivers then it will be beneficial,' he said.

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