Many caravan parks have now purchased golf buggy type vehicles as a quick and easy way for staff to get around the park and many are allowing reception staff and cleaners to use such vehicles in their day-to-day duties.
However how many of you have considered the insurance implications of this activity? The roads within your caravan park could be deemed to be subject to the Road Traffic Act and therefore, to be on the safe side, all such vehicles should be covered by a Motor Vehicle or Motor Fleet policy (at the very least Third Party only) to protect the business in the event of an accident.
However, this is only half the story as you will then need to consider the driving status of staff using them as most vehicle or motor fleet policies are worded to cover LICENSED drivers and we have found numerous examples of staff using such vehicles who do not have a driving licence. This may breach the cover provided by your motor policy and, as such, those individuals may not be covered by the policy. The policy may also contain age restrictions for drivers and this will need to be taken into account for younger members of staff.
The problem isn’t that difficult to solve once it has been identified, in that most vehicle insurers will be prepared to provide cover for young &/or unlicensed drivers once they are made aware of things, as long as it is restricted to this type of vehicle. The key is to discuss it with them before an incident occurs.
It is also important to make sure that all staff using such vehicles are trained in their use and that this training has been recorded, particularly if the park is not a level park, as this will help to protect staff from injury and also help to protect the business if the worst should happen. Such vehicles may seem to be very simple to use but if you don’t have a licence and, therefore, experience of manoeuvring vehicles then it is wrong to assume that employees will be fine to jump into a golf buggy and drive off around the park.
One final point with regard to golf buggies is to make sure that staff never leave the keys in the vehicles when unattended. If they do, and the vehicle is stolen, the vehicle itself will not be covered by your insurance policy. This may be an unlikely scenario in an enclosed park but there is also the possibility that someone could take the vehicle for a joyride and thus endanger themselves and members of the public in the park. It is always better to be safe than sorry.