For many businesses the use of a motor vehicle is an essential part of the activities of employees within the business and it is vital to make sure that your information is up to date regarding your employees and their driving record.
Why is it important to check employees driving licences?
When you arrange your motor insurance for your business, whether this be for commercial vehicles, business cars or a motor fleet policy, the insurance will be arranged in one of two ways, either based on a declaration of all the individual drivers’ driving records or on the basis that no driver has points or licence endorsements exceeding a certain level.
Obviously at inception of any policy you should check the driver’s licence or when a new driver is added to the policy or allowed to drive but this should also form part of an ongoing process of review.
The downside of not having the correct information regarding a driver’s driving record can be that the cover under your policy could be seriously prejudiced in the event of a claim.
If the driver of a vehicle that is involved in a claim turns out to have serious current convictions or is banned from driving insurers can seek to avoid the claim and whilst if there are third party claims involved in the accident these have to be handled by the insurer under market agreement, no own damage claims will be met and the insurer can reserve the right to seek a recovery from the policyholder in respect of any money paid out in respect of third party claims.
When should I check employees driving licences?
As stated you should check the licence of any person who is to be allowed to drive at inception of the policy or when they are first required to drive and is very important that you check the original driving licence and not a photocopy of it. Many drivers are aware that a poor driving record could prevent them from obtaining employment or that a good driving record is a requirement of their continued and employment and with this in mind an unscrupulous or desperate driver may take a copy of a licence before it is sent to the DVLA for endorsement.
You should also perform regular checks of all drivers licences, perhaps once a year to ensure that all is in order and that the information tallies with the information that you insurance company has or that the driver qualifies to drive under the eligibility criteria of the policy. You should be aware of the law regarding convictions and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Many businesses find that it is good practice to include the licence check as part of an employee’s annual review or appraisal.
Certainly being able to show that you have acted prudently in checking licences may influence the decision of an insurance company in the event that any discrepancies are discovered after a claim.
What action should I take if a driver is no longer eligible to drive under the policy?
This depends on the specific nature of the problem and of course the terms and conditions of employment of the driver.
Clearly you must not allow the driver to operate a motor vehicle that is insured under the policy. If it transpires that the driver is banned from driving then this will be an employment issue, but if the driver is not banned but has convictions that were not declared you should negotiate with you insurance company to have the driver included once again or you may need to rearrange your insurances with an alternative provider. Do not allow the person to drive until ll the situation is resolved.
If you have any queries regarding this or are having difficulty in arranging insurance for a driver with convictions then get in touch with us directly.