Towergate Insurance Brokers are acutely aware of the huge challenges facing every business brought about by the Coronavirus and the measures that have been put in place to restrict its’ spread. When the COVID-19 crisis is finally behind us, for those forced to lay up vehicles today, picking up the pieces will be that much easier if the vehicle fleet can be kept safe.
Even when vehicles are not being used for a considerable length of time, unless you are completely certain the vehicle(s) will not be manoeuvred or driven, you should maintain full cover.
If you have little choice but to lay-up a vehicle (or vehicles):
- Make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification, see www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn)
- Reduce your level of cover to accidental damage, fire and theft (more restricted cover is available such as fire and theft only, but that may leave you unnecessarily exposed)
Look carefully at your policy wording for stipulations such as:
- Vehicles must be kept in a securely locked compound
- A requirement for a specified degree of separation between parked vehicles (to cut the risk of fire spreading between them)
If there are no specific policy requirements in relation to vehicle separation, sound risk management practices point to exploring various measures such as:
- How can we achieve several metre separations between parked vehicles?
- Should we introduce compartmentalisation within the yard, perhaps even through the construction of appropriate fire-break walls?
- Can / should we park up our fleet of vehicles between more than one location to lessen the fire accumulation risk?
- Despite staffing issues, what regime can we maintain / introduce to regularly check and service the vehicle electrical system including the battery?
- Should we consider installing automatic vehicle fire suppression systems, particularly in high value or hard-to-replace vehicles or plant?
- What extra precautions should we take to minimise the risk of an arson attack?
- Is our perimeter security and yard lighting up to scratch and does our CCTV system work effectively?
- Are our parking areas completely clear of combustible materials and waste such as pallets that could be used by an arsonist as fuel?
Despite travel restrictions, home working and lockdowns, existing survey reports and / or technologies such as Google Earth may enable your premises insurer to provide advice and recommendations about managing the risk of vehicle-related fire spreading.
The information contained in this bulletin is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers advisor.