For some reason insurers seem to believe that fleet managers‚ like foreigners‚ must be spoken to very loudly and very clearly.

The latest example of mildly patronising if doubtless well-intentioned guidance for the fleet fraternity come from Aviva who revealed last week that:

“Fleet drivers can speed up the insurance claims process if they gather information at the scene of an accident.”

Aviva technical motor claims manager Martin Smith is a compassionate and empathetic individual, albeit one with a patchy knowledge of comparative adverbs.

“Even minor accidents can be inconvenient and distressing for drivers,” he acknowledges humanely, “but capturing the right information at the scene will enable their insurers to determine responsibility quicker and reduce the length of the claim for all parties.”

The question of how it might reduce the length of the claim for some parties but not for others need not detain us here.

Making a note of the exact time and location of the incident and “what happened” are described as helpful, as are records of witnesses’ or third parties’ versions of events.

“But,” Smith cautions winding himself up for a brutally split infinitive, “we do urge drivers to avoid becoming involved in conversations about who was to blame and to never admit liability.”

Perhaps most pertinently in the current climate of PI fraudstership, Smith advocates that fleet driver should note whether “any person involved is physically injured or is complaining of pain or discomfort.”

“This can be useful,” he suggests, “in helping to avoid any fraudulent claims such as staged accidents which are an increasing problem.”

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