Many commercial insurance providers for Public and Product Liability covers, EXCLUDE liability when a motorised plant/vehicle is used in an area that members of the public have access too. This is because it can essentially be classed as being used in a ‘Road Traffic’ situation.
As Arborists, it is always essential to insure our vehicles and equipment. It is also important that you choose the correct insurance for your business and that you keep a lookout for certain things that may catch you off guard…
It is a legal obligation (Under section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (amended by the Motor Insurance (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 2000), to have third-party motor insurance for any agricultural or plant vehicles that are used in public places or public highways – no matter how small the job is or the amount of time you will be there.
So what do you need to know?
The equipment that requires third-party insurance applies to any vehicle or piece of machinery used on a job that moves under its own power in a public place. E.g.Woodchippers. Track-laying plant, including cranes and trench-diggers, also fall under this category.
Additionally, the term ‘public highways’ isn’t just limited to metalled and unmade roads. It also applies to any area that agricultural vehicles or motorised plant are used. E.g. Public footpaths, bridleways, permissive paths and tracks and driveways of private properties, just to name a few. Furthermore, it is also worth considering if you take jobs on or near any unfenced land that is adjacent to footpaths, bridleways, permissive paths and land that has a public right of access as well as any area that is not fenced off to prevent public access, to cover all your bases.
You must consider this as, in an unfortunate situation, you may find yourself falling short to insurance that doesn’t fully cover you.
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