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FLEET SPEAK: A straightforward case of insuring clarity

Date: 27 July 2010

Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar

It seems so obvious, but why on earth isn't there a standard industry-wide wording among insurance companies for business insurance cover?

There are various levels of cover, and if the numbers found by Barclays (see page 1) are repeated across the industry then 5% of the gigantic grey fleet population do not have the correct insurance cover to use their vehicle for work business.

A straightforward universal wording so that drivers, fleet managers and anyone else involved in the administration of grey fleet drivers knows exactly what is covered from one insurer to the next seems like such an obvious suggestion, and would help weed out those people that either deliberately or unwittingly haven't got the cover for the way they use their car.

Barclays has a strong ethic of responsibility when it comes to fleet and risk management, yet confusion over the issue still meant that 500 drivers had inappropriate cover. I'd gamble that the average fleet would be higher than the bank's 5% ratio, especially if there's no culture of checking driver documents.

Unfortunately, the Association of British Insurers didn't show a great deal of interest. Although it said it supports clarity and transparency, it also said that it wasn't aware of widespread confusion but would discuss the issue with its members if such confusion presented itself. Basically, the association will look into the issue if enough of a fuss is created. Your opinions would be welcome.

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