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Fleet drivers incorrectly accepting responsibility for accidents

Using telematics, accident reconstruction technology and its own bespoke forensic techniques, APU has identified an increasing number of erroneous insurance claims.

It added that most common misuse of fleet insurance cover comes when drivers accept fault prematurely or falsely because they wrongly think their personal No Claims Bonus will not be affected.

The trend is believed to result from a lack of awareness and, in some cases, could be motivated by the possibility of financial gain but, either way, it results in corporate insurance premiums increasing.  

In a recent APU case, six personal injury claims topping a total of £32k were dismissed after an In-Car Cleverness telematics device contradicted the driver’s account of the accident. The device was installed on the car of the individual who claimed fault for the accident. 

The collision, between two vehicles rounding a bend in Widnes, resulted in multiple personal injury claims involving all drivers and passengers. 

However, intervention by APU, which analysed the vehicle’s telematics data, enabled the insurer to refute the claims. 

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at APU, said: ‘After an accident, determining fault is often complex and is reliant on the drivers’ versions of events. Any business with a fleet of vehicles knows how hard it is to keep its drivers safe, avoid accident disputes and prevent an often large insurance premium from rocketing. 

‘Fleet drivers, by their very nature, are most likely to be working and pushed for time when accidents happen on the road, so they are perhaps even more likely to admit fault quickly in order to get on with their day. 

‘But if they are doing so believing that it won’t impact on their personal insurance, they are sadly wrong and will be in for a big shock when they come to renew.’ 

In-Car Cleverness technology monitors and reports on speed, time, distance, location, impact angle, g-force, various engine parameters and driver inputs.  

‘Some drivers simply don’t know that accepting liability on their corporate policy usually hits their own private insurance. Others, unfortunately, accept liability if there is a cash incentive to do so,’ concluded Thomas.  

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.