From Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR) newsletter 25th March 2021:
Are you and your drivers properly insured while driving for your organisation?
A driver was recently stopped by the police while driving on behalf of a charity, and through the subsequent checks and conversation it came to light that the driver’s motor insurance policy did not cover their volunteer driving role. The driver received a fine and points but was able to rectify the policy situation with their insurers before their vehicle was recovered.
This highlights the need for individuals and the organisations that they volunteer for to check that appropriate cover is in place.
The best way for an individual to do this is to contact their motor insurer to share details of their volunteering role and ensure this activity is covered by their insurance.
For organisations who have any driving activity undertaken there are two main scenarios.
- Volunteers driving a vehicle owned/leased or hired by the organisation
- Volunteers driving their own vehicles on behalf of the organisation
For both scenarios there are a number of checks that should be carried out including;
- Licenced to drive https://www.gov.uk/employing-people-to-drive
- Competent to drive the vehicle – use the same link above to confirm that category of vehicle is included on licence
- Insured to drive the vehicle https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/volunteer-drivers/
- Roadworthy vehicle https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-service-vehicle-drivers-daily-walkaround-check (the link is for a larger commercial vehicles, but it will act as a guide to vehicle checks generally.
Reasonable driver behaviour – Being legally able to drive and being a good/reasonable driver are not necessarily the same. Set some ground rules such as breaks and avoid placing unreasonable pressure on drivers to cover too much distance for them to be able to drive within the speed limit. You should not only consider the wellbeing of the people who drive and those around them but also there is a reputational risk to your organisation