Tips to manage down your claims cost

A self-drive hirer can make an enormous difference to the type and cost of claims. In this article we endeavour to provide you with some best practice tips to help you manage business risks and keep those all-important claims costs down!

Hire best practice

  • All insurers issue a hirers guide. Make sure everyone is familiar with the content. You can go beyond the requirements if you wish such as by refusing to hire to anyone under 30 on a mini bus

  • Always create a rental agreement

  • Check both copies of a licence

  • Call the DVLA where only the picture card is available and refuse to hire where neither is available.

  • Always check the licence category, endorsements and penalty points

  • Insist on ID checks such as passport, utility bill, medical card. Make sure the forms of ID match each other

  • ALWAYS take a photograph of the hirer

  • Go with your gut feel, if things don't feel right it's usually for good reason. It's better to lose £50 in rental rather than have a sizeable injury claim made against you

  • Make sure the hirer has the reporting number in the event of an accident or vehicle breakdown. Point this out before they take the vehicle

  • ALWAYS make sure you check the vehicle over on return with the hirer. Ask about any minor dents or scratches as they may have been involved in an accident

  • Report all incidents quickly, ideally within a couple of hours, particularly fault claims. Insurers can usually offer to deal with the other party on a direct basis which can save £000s

  • Think about installing cameras with lockable SD cards. Usually the driver will not be available to give evidence in disputed cases. Camera footage is invaluable both in terms of understanding what has happened and also in the fight against fraud!

  • Manage keys carefully. Never leave them in vehicles, on the counter, or in sight of customers. Keep keys securely locked away in a purpose-built key cabinet

  • Install appropriate perimeter protection and CCTV

  • Carry out pre-employment security checks on staff you wish to employ

  • As part of your internal control procedures, use two employees to check vehicle inventory (one to run the report and another to carry out the physical check) and change all computer passwords regularly

  • Check the last four numbers on a credit card match the last four numbers encoded in the magnetic strip and use ultra-violet light to check any identity items that may contain suitably-embedded security features. Don't accept cash payment

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