Keeping your fleet fine post-COVID
Sue Messaoud of Bridge Insurance Brokers outlines a quick checklist for all managers of teams with fleet vehicles.
As new ways of working continue to evolve during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are liaising closely with all our clients on their fleet management needs.
Lockdown has had a massive impact on organisations who have fleets of vehicles. Delivery lorries and couriers are busier than ever, while company cars have probably sat on driveways or in garages, unused for months.
Our advice to all these clients was and is the same – keep checking the rules. And keep communicating with your team.
The government guidelines are changing constantly and while larger businesses with fleet managers will have access to expertise and knowledge, those who have company vehicles without a fleet manager will need to ensure that their communication is up to date. There is plenty of professional advice out there on what needs to be checked and maintained – and with people working (or not working) remotely, communication is key.
As well as being kept safe – ideally in a garage if possible – company vehicles need to be maintained during time off the road. Tyre pressure needs to be checked, engines ‘run off’ now and then and valuables removed from view. Here is the advice from the government on how to keep things ticking over while no miles are covered.
These were temporarily extended for six months from March but it is still the driver’s legal responsibility to keep the vehicle roadworthy and safe. The rules are stated here – all businesses should share these with their team and ensure their vehicles are maintained and repaired if need be.
Do liaise with your whole team to check that their licences are up to date and ensure you know of any additional points or penalties that they might have incurred over recent months.
During lockdown, your drivers may have had health issues that you are not aware of. HGV drivers in particular are bound by law to have regular medicals. It’s imperative to keep in touch to check that they are ok, from a physical and mental health point of view. As well as standard checks such as eyesight, you may want to talk to them about their overall wellbeing.
Behaviour of drivers
Whether they have been on the road throughout COVID or are just heading back out, your drivers will need to change their behaviours and be aware of the social distancing rules, the rules on masks in various public situations and the cleaning requirements for the vehicle itself. These are small changes to make and will soon feel the norm.
Communicate with your insurers
As soon as your drivers are heading back out onto the road, you need to inform your insurer and check that everything is up to date and the covers are still appropriate. If there are any changes to be made due to restrictions being imposed post-COVID, your broker will be able to advise on additions that might need to be made to your policy.
The day to day changes will have an impact on your team: the extent of this impact will depend on whether they are couriers, drivers, technicians or sales reps – but whatever your line of business, you have a duty of care to your employees and the vehicles that are registered to your organisation.
For more information
If you have any concerns or queries about your fleet insurance, please contact:
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