Although it isn’t a strict requirement for most truck insurance, I would strongly advice you to implement a proper system of reference checking for all your drivers and also make sure they have been trained to a high professional standard. When it comes to driver training, as of 2014, all drivers of heavy goods vehicles will require a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This will require them to undergo five units of training of around seven hours each. Certain businesses treat training as an afterthought and leave it until the last minute, but it’s well worth your while to get your drivers’ training arranged as early as possible when organising your truck insurance.
When you bring new drivers into your business, what questions do you ask them? Are you checking their CPC history? Are you looking into their road history? Are you taking the time to follow up on their references and speak to their previous employers? Do you require them to take a proper road test before they are hired? Once again, some of these things aren’t compulsory, but can save you a lot of headaches further down the road.
Things become a bit more complicated if you want to bring in agency drivers. Indeed, some insurers refuse to insure agency drivers due to the risks involved. Although there are certainly some excellent agency drivers out there, you have no guarantee they’ll be as vigilant as your regular drivers, nor that their history is exactly as they claim. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to take on agency drivers whom they subsequently discover have a string of past convictions.
If you do occasionally need to employ agency drivers to handle emergencies and the like, then I would advise you to make sure your insurers and customers are aware of this. Whenever you do need to hire an agency driver, make sure you request details of their licence and driving history before they are allowed to drive your vehicles. At Isis, we can actually produce documentation to help you with this, so you (and your customers!) can have complete confidence in the individuals driving your vehicles and that your truck insurance will cover you no matter what happens.
To find out more about truck insurance and how to ensure you’re fully covered, just visit www.isisinsurance.co.uk, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “An introduction to HGV insurance for business owners”, packed with the kind of advice I usually reserve for paying clients.