Fleet decision-makers need to get their drivers to act quickly after a collision to minimise the impact on their insurance bill.
Speaking at the Fleet200 Executive Club meeting at Company Car in Action, Andy Price (pictured), principal motor risk consultant at Zurich, told attendees: “You’ll all have seen the third-party claims cost coming through on your claims history from insurers and brokers and some of the figures are eye-watering for a rear-end collision involving a third party.”
He said there are usually two main reasons for this: credit hire companies supplying replacement cars and personal injury claims for conditions such as whiplash.
“With credit hire, if someone has been involved in a collision and somebody rings them up and says ‘would you like a replacement vehicle? Your insurer will pay for it’, they’re going to say ‘yes, thank you’.”
However, this can turn out to be expensive for both insurers and fleets.
Research by Zurich at the beginning of May found that hiring vehicles through a daily rental company is significantly cheaper than using credit hire: in the centre of Glasgow, using a daily rental company to rent a Ford Fiesta for a week costs £86, a Ford Mondeo £137 and a BMW 5 Series £478.
Renting the same vehicles through a credit hire company costs £300, £362 and £1,484 respectively.
“That is what is driving a lot of the costs from an insurance perspective,” said Price.
“If a driver choses credit hire, as an insurer there is no legal mechanism we can use to get them out of that.
“So however long that vehicle takes to be repaired, those are the costs that are racking up.”
Price said many fleets provide drivers with ‘bump cards’ which prompt them to collect relevant details from any third party involved in an accident.
This should include their contact detail such as telephone number or email address which should be passed on to the insurance company as quickly as possible.
“The greater the chance your insurer has to contact the third party, the more likely it is that we can get them into one of our cars than into credit hire and the more likely it is that we can manage those costs down to a reasonable level.”
Price said another benefit of the insurer contacting the third party quickly is that it can often prevent them from pursuing a personal injury claim.
“If we can offer the third party rehabilitation for any injury, often they won’t make a whiplash claim,” he added.
“The key to all this is to get the third-party contact details and get them to your insurers as quickly as possible.
“That maximises the chance that we can get personal injury lawyers and credit hire companies out of the equation and minimise the costs.”
> Price's Powerpoint presentation is available via email. To receive a copy email Jeremy Bennett