There are all sorts of different insurance policies used by many different industries to cover various circumstances. One type of insurance is called drivers’ negligence insurance and it sometimes causes some confusion regarding what it covers exactly, and who is responsible for taking it out. Unusually, this kind of insurance is not normally taken out by the driver themselves, and is actually a type of insurance used by recruitment agencies to cover damage to vehicles caused by somebody they have employed.
Understanding drivers’ negligence insurance
When a recruitment agency provides a driver to another company to drive one of that company’s vehicles, the recruitment agency will often take out drivers’ negligence insurance. What this insurance covers is any damage caused to the company’s vehicle by the driver provided by the recruitment agency. This cover exists because when companies hire drivers through an agency, they want to be protected against any accidental damage caused by that driver. Insurance policies usually cover up to £10,000 of damage in each case.
This type of insurance could apply to many different industries, from a limo service hiring chauffeurs to drive their limousines, to a construction company hiring drivers to drive vehicles used on building sites. Haulage and logistics companies often hire drivers from agencies to deal with any additional workload they could not manage with their own drivers, and so they will sometimes have their lorries and trucks driven by temporary workers.
It is important to note that drivers’ negligence insurance generally only covers damage to a vehicle, and doesn’t really have anything to do with personal injury compensation should the driver or anyone else be injured.
Were you asked to drive a dangerous vehicle?
As we have seen, drivers’ negligence insurance is mostly about protecting the recruitment agency from claims that one of its drivers caused damage to a vehicle. What it doesn’t cover is when an agency driver is asked to drive a vehicle that is not safe. The company that owns the vehicle has an obligation to make sure that it is safe and roadworthy at all times, regardless of whether an agency driver or a full-time member of staff is driving it.
Regardless of whether you are an agency driver or employed full-time by a company, if you are injured because you were asked to drive an unsafe vehicle you may be able to claim personal injury compensation. The Health and Safety Executive reported that more than a quarter of road traffic accidents may be caused by somebody who was driving as part of their work at the time. Combine this with the fact that it was reported in the news a few years ago that more than five million motorists are driving unsafe vehicles in the UK, and it is easy to see how accidents can happen.
Checking a vehicle is safe to drive
Maintenance of work vehicles is very important, especially if they are large or heavy vehicles used in haulage or construction. There are a number of roadside vehicle checks commercial drivers can carry out to make sure the vehicle is safe, but the original onus is certainly on the company providing the vehicle in the first place. This is something which is completely different to drivers’ negligence insurance, and applies whether the driver comes from an agency or not.
When recruitment agencies provide drivers to other companies there is really no way of knowing how well that company takes care of its vehicles. This is why the above roadside vehicle checks may come in handy, and any driver being asked to drive a vehicle for the first time is entitled to make sure proper maintenance has been carried out. Each work vehicle should have a log of when it was last checked, and of course it should be road legal with a full MOT.
Compensation for road traffic accidents
When a road traffic accident happens, it is usually the case that there is a responsible party. This applies whether any of the vehicles involved are work vehicles or not, and if you were hurt by another driver, you may be to make a claim for personal injury compensation with Accident Advice Helpline. The injuries sustained in road traffic accidents can be extremely serious, ranging from bumps and bruises to life-threatening injuries and even death.
Sometimes when people are involved in an accident they simply contact their motor insurance provider and let them deal with the whole thing. Motor insurance companies usually focus on the damage to any vehicle involved and procuring the cost of repairs, rather than achieving compensation for personal injury. This is why it is important to contact a specialist law firm which deals in personal injury compensation such as Accident Advice Helpline. We are able to provide no-obligation advice and can take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Having the appropriate licence
Regardless of whether or not drivers’ negligence insurance is in place, any driver must have the appropriate licence to drive the vehicle in question. Most specialist vehicles need a specialist driving licence, and this is something recruitment agencies should check at the time of hiring. Failure to do so could put people in danger, as a driver driving a vehicle they are not supposed to may put them in charge of a very dangerous piece of machinery.
Contacting Accident Advice Helpline
If you feel you have been injured because of the negligent actions of a recruitment agency or another company, you should call Accident Advice Helpline to see if you are able to make a claim for injury compensation. Negligence is a very serious business when it comes to maintaining work vehicles, and it is only right that the negligent party should be held accountable for any injuries, pain or suffering you have experienced.
You can reach us on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) and by fully explaining what happened to you, we will let you know whether or not we feel you can make a claim, without any obligation to go ahead immediately.
Date Published: 21st July 2013