Whilst some fleet companies have managed to remain buoyant over the past few months, others may have seen a slowdown in business. With fleet insurance premiums an expensive part of the business, what can companies do to help reduce their policy when it comes up for renewal or they are seeking a new insurer? Here we take a look at the effective risk management fleet operators can run to maintain compliance and keep premium fees down.
As every fleet manager knows, remaining compliant is a challenge, with various requests from local authorities as well as that of motor trade insurers. But remaining compliant also provides long-term benefits in terms of reduced accidents as well as less replacement of vehicles, fines, employee compensation and lower fleet van insurance premiums.
Effective risk management will prevent your business from being non-compliant and ensure fleet safety for your drivers as well as other motorists and pedestrians.
Risk management begins with a risk assessment. When purchasing or renewing a motor fleet insurance policy for your business, your premiums will depend on the company’s past claims experience. If yours doesn’t look too great at present, you can help by working with your insurance broker to analyse any previous claims history and highlight areas in which you can make improvements. Demonstrating proactive risk management can greatly improve your policy terms.
You will need to have put in place regulations regarding the use of all your vehicles, as well as defined post-accident procedures with a full investigation into all accidents and their causes, regardless of who is at fault. Fully analysing past accidents and putting preventative measures in place, can help to instil confidence in your insurance broker. Make employees aware that you are monitoring accidents and investigate driver retraining programmes if the situation hasn’t improved over time.
Any vehicle that is used for business purposes must be correctly maintained, regularly inspected and fully kitted out with the correct safety equipment.
Review Your Driver Profile and Training
All insurers will want to see demonstrated that employees within your fleet are fully trained to operate the class of vehicle they are allocated and have good knowledge of the company’s health and safety policies. Driving licences must be checked and any convictions or licence points noted.
It’s widely known that young drivers aged 17-20 are twice as likely to make an insurance claim as any other driver, with a claims cost about three times higher. Therefore, having more mature, experienced drivers without convictions will look favourable when renewing a policy. Female drivers are also a bonus due to their lower accident rate.
The Fitting of Telematics
By installing telematics, trips can be planned in advance with proper routing and driver behaviour can be monitored. Insurers will often offer a discount if your fleet has telematics installed or be willing to reduce your premium on renewal if telematics data proves driver behaviour has improved and accident claims have lowered.
Telematics can also help to ensure that work schedules offer reasonable working hours and rest breaks for all drivers, offering a safer working environment.
Other devices that are useful include forward facing cameras, which help when defending claims or settling at-fault claims more quickly, together with added vehicle security including trackers in case of theft.
Is the Cover Right for Your Fleet?
For a lot of medium-sized or smaller fleets, fully comprehensive insurance works out more cost-effective and adds better financial security than third party. When reviewing your fleet insurance, consider whether you need some of the extras such as windscreen cover. Look to see how many previous claims you have made for windscreens – it may be cheaper for you to fix them locally rather than have the additional expense on your policy.
Think about the amount of excess on your policy – if your fleet accident rate is low, it may be more worthwhile increasing the excess to lower your premium.
Safety First Culture
Overall, a company that can demonstrate it operates within a safe and secure environment will be looked upon favourably by an insurer. Whilst this needs to be driven from the top management, operating a corporate culture in which employees are freely able to share their ideas on how to improve fleet safety will vastly reduce accident claims. Regularly reviewing the safety of your company with the right procedures in place, together with risk assessments, driver training and the use of telematics, will ensure a broker has confidence when working out the best quote for your company.