Dealing with Reckless Driving to Avoid Claim Rejection

As the insured, your vehicle insurance policy requires you to drive safely. Inability to do so reserves the insurer the right to reject your claim in the event of an accident, especially if the insurer can prove you were negligent. Therefore, using telematics to manage reckless driving can help ensure your accident claim is not dismissed when your drivers are involved in an accident. 

The Two Clauses Found in Every Insurance Policy

With each insurance policy, there are two provisions that require drivers to exercise due diligence on the road. These are in particular the “Failure to Take Care” clause and the “Breach of Road Traffic Regulations” clause. The former clause means that if you drive recklessly, the insurance provider has the right to reject your claim. This can be done on the basis that, by testimony or evidence from other persons involved in the accident, they can prove your negligence.

The latter provision applies if, before the accident, the insurance provider has concrete evidence that you violated the rules of the road. For example, your claim can be rejected if you are caught speeding on a camera before the accident.

An Increase in Rejected Claims Due to Reckless Driving

Claims rejected based on reckless driving are the biggest grievances among drivers in South Africa. Statistics from the 2018 annual report of the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance show that the office experienced a significant spike in complaints from policyholders whose claims were rejected by motor insurance companies because the policyholders did not exercise due care on the road. This is an increase of 48% in contrast to the previous year.

The Implications of Having your Claim Rejected

The financial implications of having your claim rejected are enormous. Your business will not only face the cost of fixing its own damage, but you will also be responsible for any cost of third-party damage. This will setback your company and impose unnecessary financial strain, particularly at a time when companies are trying to cut costs.

Other consequences that can have a fatal impact on the success of your company are the unknown cost of your company’s reputation. And since a company’s reputation is a reflection of its public image, retaining its integrity may be difficult once tainted.

Using Telematics to Tackle Reckless Driving in your Fleet

1.     Monitor Risky Driving Behaviour on MyGeotab

Telematics systems have two main features. They monitor your vehicle location and how your vehicles are being driven. This not only helps fleet managers to locate vehicles in real-time but also gives them in-depth insights into how drivers move on the road. This ensures that fleet managers can determine the driving standards of their drivers in great detail and address any reckless driving issues very effectively.

2.     Implement a Fleet Safety Policy

Although vehicle accidents can be very costly, they can also cause you or others to suffer injury. Implementing a Fleet Safety Policy will, therefore, help you to ensure the well-being of those people who drive your company’s vehicles by outlining the best methodology drivers need to embrace to limit the risk of vehicle damage, injury and death as a result of accidents.

Using Geotab’s open platform system can help you create a comprehensive and thorough Fleet Safety Policy as well as quickly identify and respond against reckless driving activities that damage your vehicles and endanger your driver’s lives.

3.     Apply Exception Rules

The MyGeotab software has an Exception Rules feature to help fleet managers easily identify reckless drivers. By utilizing it, fleet managers can easily create customized rules for speeding, idling time, harsh cornering, hard braking and harsh acceleration. The rules can be applied to all vehicles and drivers.

Read more on how to prevent dangerous driver behaviour with exception rules.

4.     Driver Coaching via GoTalk

Armed with driver behaviour knowledge, fleet managers can provide drivers with personalized and detailed driving feedback through the GoTalk. This will help address any issues that may arise by providing the driver with real-time feedback, ultimately helping increase safety and minimize risks.

Read more about Geotab’s GoTalk.

5.     Using Video Telematics to See Inside and Outside Vehicle Activity

Implementing a video telematics system will make it much easier to ensure that your drivers are engaged in safe driving practices. This is possible simply because it helps identify a number of dangerous habits on the road that fleet managers were previously unaware of. This opens up a range of possibilities for fleet managers to increase road safety standards.

Read more on how to use video telematics to benefit your fleet.

Watch the Managing Director of Trojan Telematics, Steven Bure, illustrate how fleets can benefit from accident investigation and road safety by using video telematics.

Author: The Geotab Africa Team        

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