WPS Town Council Insurance Scheme
Thank you to all our Town Council clients for the continued support. You may be interested to learn that we have a 100% retention rate of our Council clients and this is something we intend to maintain.
We now act and advise in excess of 210 Town Councils throughout England & Wales. Our rapid growth will not compromise our personal and professional service provided by a team of individuals dedicated to the Town Council sector.
Due to a number of Councils concerns over this issue we are pleased to provide our next quarterly e-bulletin, which this time reflects upon issues relating to your motor vehicles, and hope this is of use:
The Requirement To Insure ALL Vehicles Used On Public 'Roads'
The variety of motor vehicles owned by Councils range from private cars and commercial vans to agricultural vehicles such as tractors and motorised mowers.
Whilst Clerks are aware of the obligation to insure the obvious vehicles, e.g. cars, vans, tractors etc, some are less sure of the requirements to insure motorised items that are sometimes considered to be mere items of machinery, such as mowers.
As a rule the Road Traffic Act demands that any motorised vehicle used on a public road MUST be insured for Third Party risks.
The definition of a 'road' can be a grey area, but can include any area that the public have access to such as a car-park, a fore-court, or a grass verge.
As such, a motorised mower (even one that is transported by trailer) that is used on grass verges, playing fields or similar areas is likely to be deemed to be used on a public 'road', and therefore requires a minimum of Third Party Only insurance.
- Third Party Only cover starts from as little as £73.50
- Comprehensive cover from as little as £94.50.
Of course it is not always the cost that is important, rather that the Council is legally protected. If you are in any doubt about the adequacy of your insurance, please contact us to discuss your needs, we would be delighted to provide you with technical advise on the subject.
Motor Insurers' Database (MID)
The MID was set up primarily as a tool to aide the police in reducing the number of uninsured drivers on our road, (the costs associated with uninsured drivers exceeds £500 million each year).
Details of all road registered, insured vehicles (with few exceptions) must be submitted to the MID within defined periods. These strict timescales vary according to the type of insurance policy, but in regard to Councils we recommend that you advise your insurer or broker of ALL vehicle changes immediately so that they can update the database on your behalf, (there may be one or two of you that have undertaken the responsibility to update it yourself, in which case the same urgency applies).
Failure to update the MID can result in a fine of up to £5,000.
The MID is only concerned with road registered vehicles, so details of any un-registered vehicles will not need to be submitted.
Ministry of Justice Reforms - Personal Injury Claims
On the 30th April 2010 the Ministry of Justice introduced a new handling procedure for Personal Injury claims resulting from motor accidents.
The most significant aspect of these reforms from your perspective is that your insurers will only have 15 working days from the claim being notified (either by you or the other party involved) to make a decision regarding liability.
If your insurer is unable to comply within that timescale there will be financial penalties, which will ultimately affect your claims experience and therefore your premium.
So it is crucial that you notify your insurer immediately of any accident that you or your drivers are involved in rather than waiting to hear from the other party. Time is of the essence, and if claims are not notified quickly they will almost certainly end up costing you more.
Here are a few suggestions of how you can help your broker/insurer to help you:
- Make your drivers aware of your broker's &/or insurer's claims line telephone numbers
- Provide your drivers with an *accident report form to get the important information if they are involved in an accident
- Allow your insurers direct access to your driver - when notifying a claim let your broker/insurer have your driver's telephone number
- Equip your drivers with a camera or a mobile phone with a camera facility - a photo of the scene is a very useful addition to a description
- Review your own procedures, for example:-
- Implement & enforce a reporting procedure for drivers
- Interview drivers quickly
- Send on paperwork without delay (emailing copies if possible)
- Allow your insurer to contact your driver directly
- Be PRAGMATIC - if the accident is your fault confirm this to your broker/insurer straight away, as contested claims will certainly cost more.
*If you do not have an accident report form from your own insurer we have attached a template that you may wish to use, (you will need to insert your insurer's claims telephone number) - it would be good practice to have your drivers keep a copy of this in their vehicles.
The following links may of interest to you:
We hope you have found this bulletin informative, and if you have any insurance related queries please call us on 01752 675 647, we would be delighted to hear from you.