The number of ‘crash for cash’ and ‘flash for cash’ fraudulent schemes is on the rise, costing the UK insurance industry hundreds of millions of pounds each year. With 48% of commercial fleet companies seeing a price increase in their insurance policies in 2014, it is paramount that fleet managers employ duty of care, by doing as much as possible to manage the risks involved with their fleet, promoting road safety and resulting in reduced insurance premiums.
To tackle this, we have put together a list of the top ten proven ways you can reduce the premiums for your fleet of vehicles.
10 – Increase the amount of excess
This is can be risky, but also very effective so review carefully and ask your provider first if you are allowed to increase your excess. Fleet managers who do pay a greater amount of excess will receive cheaper rates from the insurer so this is a great strategy for companies with immaculate safety and claims records.
However, on the flip side, in the event of minor incidents you could incur far greater costs than you would have spent paying higher premiums in the first place.
9 – Renew your policy
Quite often, we become frustrated with the bureaucracy involved with insurance paperwork and we just renew our policies to ease the pain. When your fleet policy is next up for renewal, shop around for things like breakdown and windscreen cover which could be done for cheaper when purchased independently.
At the same time, read through your policy and make sure you check the fine print for any supplementary extras and unnecessary additions it may come with.
8 – Consider a combined policy
Sometimes certain insurers allow certain policies to be combined into one, cheaper policy. Despite being a very competitive industry, this economies-of-scale approach is not readily available with all insurers, but by combining fleet insurance cover with your public and employee liability policies you could save money.
7 – Perform a thorough risk assessment
In-house risk assessments should be performed on a regular basis, detailing the accident claims processes and analysing which areas your fleet needs to improve on. Simple company policies such as a well documented employee handbook, that detail what not to do whilst driving, such as answering the phone should be presented to your insurer.
If you do not have the capabilities to do this, some insurance providers will have their own risk assessment departments who can work with you. If you demonstrate to your insurer that you are equipt to monitor incidents and take immediate action is a very effective way to reduce the risk your fleet poses and reduce insurance premiums.
6 – Use the right vehicles
Updating the vehicles in your fleet or leasing newer ones are not only more fuel efficient and will experience fewer breakdowns, but are actually cheaper to insure.
Make sure these vehicles are equipt with the most up to date safety and telematics systems, which can be expensive, but are much more secure, safer to drive and less likely to be involved in an incident.
5 – Vehicle telematics
Vehicle telematics can instantly track your vehicles location and help reduce the chance of you making a stolen vehicle claim. Telematics systems can also monitor how your vehicles are being driven, giving fleet managers the chance to dramatically improve driving behaviour, reduce incident frequency and ultimately bring your premiums down in price.
Utilise good vehicle security practices such alarms, immobilisers, secure overnight storage and even multiple storage locations will protect your vehicles round-the-clock, reduce fleet risk, and demonstrate to insurers that your assets are safe and there is limited chance of them being lost or damaged.
4 – Camera technology
Vehicle cameras or DVRs are becoming more and more commonplace in fleets because they provide valuable, real-time data for not only defending and settling claims but can be used to monitor driving behaviour. Seeing how your employees drive in the real world provides you with the necessary resources to create your own driver training tools.
A DVR is an advanced security system, linking together multiple cameras to a recording device. They utilise solid state drive technology which are incredibly stable, operate in temperatures from -40 to +80 degrees Celcius and have built-in shock absorption giving you hours of quality, HD footage. Multiple cameras also help with blind spots by providing several angles from within and outside the vehicle cab.
These DVRs can detect unsafe driving, log a vehicle’s journey history, vastly improve wear and tear and fuel economy as well as reduce incident frequency.
3 – Alcohol & drug testing
To increase the safety of your employees and the general public is every fleet managers duty of care. Ensure your drivers are aware that you have a zero tolerance policy on alcohol and drugs and demonstrate this to your insurer to protect the livelihood of your business and keep your premiums down to a minimum.
2 – Driver Management
With the amount of claims made by younger drivers almost twice that of any other demographic, with triple the claims cost, it is paramount that fleet operators review their employees and manage them accordingly to reduce risk. Ensure you have the appropriate procedures to train younger drivers and take out separate policies for accident-prone individuals.
Be thorough when employing new drivers, ensuring they have a clean licence, no criminal convictions, and driving penalties which can have a negative impact on your insurance premiums both in the short and long run.
1 – Extensive driver training
Well-trained drivers are less likely to be involved in incidents as they pose a far smaller risk whilst on the road. Insurance companies quite often reward fleet operators who offer driver training to their employees, but if not they will certainly reward companies who can demonstrate an improving claims record.
Fleet and risk management is a laborious but inevitable and necessary expense to protect your employees, company and the general public.
With the solutions provided in this article, you can monitor and improve driver behaviour, secure your valuable assets, protect your business and substantially cut the risk your fleets poses and your insurance premiums.