Australia is home to chartered coach and rental bus businesses. From tours to travel rentals, these vehicles with seating capacity from 8 to 15 people have been an advantage to local economies across the region. Aside from catering to parties and wedding transport, many schools, fishing communities and camping sites as well as corporate events also get hold of these hired services. No wonder why the demand for mini bus fleet insurance continue to soar over the years and along with it the number of scams.
For minibus operators, the rising number of scams is not just affecting their revenues but also giving them headaches in getting good premium out of their minibus fleet insurance policies. They also tend to lose industrious drivers as their licenses can be held hostage as consequences to these scams. What fraudulent activities on the road frequently besieged this thriving industry and what can fleet owners do about them?
To give you an idea, here are three of the most common fraudulent activities in the minibus business.
Crash for Cash. One of the most common scams hitting mini buses as well as trucks and bigger vehicles is the classic staged rear-ending. Also called a ‘Crash for Cash’, a scamming artist usually slows down or comes to a sudden stop in highly eventful areas or when at a busy intersection allowing rented minibus or a truck to hit the vehicle’s rear. As all influences in Australia put the blame on the rear vehicle, this becomes a potential insurance payoff. What makes it worse is that these scammers will add further deception by claiming physical injuries like whiplash or back pain even when such accident happen in the slowest of speed. To address this problem, operators can engage their drivers to go into defensive driving training. Smith System, for instance, suggest a one-car following distance giving the rear driver plenty of room to maneuver.
The Actress/Actor. Another common roadside scam targeting commercial fleet is fake injury claims. This usually happens after a simple collision like a fender-bender where the other driver reports some form of injury even when there is none. Apart from drivers, chartered minibus passengers or pedestrians can also engage in fake injury claims adding more burden to your mini bus fleet insurance premiums in the long run. To ensure protection from scamming actors and actresses, it is essential that mini bus drivers immediately file a police report giving a smaller chance for scammers to fake false injuries.
The Trickster. This scam often happens when a minibus encounters a roadside accident. Scammers posing as good Samaritans will take advantage of the situation by offering help. What they intend to do, however, is to trick you into giving over your mini bus fleet insurance information so they can file phony or fake claims. This is like having one’s house caught fire only to have thieves help get important stuff. To prevent this from occurring in your business, always open a communication line with your fleet drivers so that immediate help will be sent over before vultures start swooping in. Inculcate in their minds to not give any insurance information and simply refer them to the main office.
Other mini bus fleet insurance scams involved staged accidents and the use of phantom victims. These scammers often victimise unsuspecting drivers thereby tarnishing their driving records while embroiling your business in legal debacles and higher premiums. To keep safe, always have a regular discussion or pep talk with your drivers and present proper guidelines on reporting of incidents.