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Insurance – Beat the driving ban

Directors and sales executives, the 10% of company staff who can bring in 90% of revenue, usually have to be able to travel around the country with a degree of speed and flexibility that can only be provided by a company car. So, if one of them is unable to drive because of injury or a ban, the implications for the bottom line are serious.

Re-scheduling meetings, arranging internal cover or hiring temporary staff are possible solutions, but you still lose the key skills and input of a valuable staff member. Businesses also face the expense of carrying a redundant company car on their books, with the added inconvenience of having staff shuttled around on public transport which isn’t too good for the company image.

However, insurance companies have come up with a solution to all these problems – insurance against injury or speed-related motoring convictions that prevent staff driving. Steve Crowe, managing director at independent financial advisory firm Bowland Group, drives 2,000 miles a month in his BMW 528 Sport. But he fell off a ladder while hanging his skis in the garage and fractured his foot. This meant he was unable to drive for a month, and his firm faced losses of tens of thousands of pounds if he couldn’t make meetings.

But Crowe was covered under Chauffeurplan, operated by Longford Insurance, and was provided with a chauffeur-driven car throughout his recovery.

“Almost 90% of my job involves driving, so without the cover I would have built up substantial losses,” he says. Longford also i

nsures against driving bans that do not involve drink or drugs, allowing policyholders to claim for travelling expenses for up to two years. This is probably a must for executives like Crowe who drive a performance car, and who, a year after they get back behind the wheel following an accident, are banned for speeding. “I received a summons through the post and was banned from driving for six months after being caught on a police speed camera,” Crowe says.

Once again, insurance came to his rescue, and Crowe successfully claimed for travel expenses during the period he was banned, recouping costs for taxi fares and a chauffeur service when various formal occasions and meetings demanded. “If I was unable to do my job while banned it would have cost the business £100,000. I would have had to have looked at cutting costs elsewhere,” he says. The incident prompted Crowe to question how he could keep his business going if he lost a key member of his team. Now all of Bowland’s sales staff are covered.

According to the Association of British Insurers an average business in the UK stands to make savings of £15,000 a year, or £300 a week, by insuring staff against immobility. Employing a chauffeur driven car for a year can be as much as £12,000, while a daily 10-mile taxi journey costs £500 a month.

“There are only a small number of specialist companies offering these types of schemes, but this is becoming a growing sector as big companies are now taking out mobility protection insurance for key staff who are crucial to their business,” says an ABI spokesman.

Home Office statistics reveal that 400,000 drivers were caught speeding or received fixed penalty notices last year – a figure which has increased by 150% since 1995. Average these convictions out and you can expect one in every 52 drivers in the UK to receive a fixed penalty notice or a ban this year.

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