Insurance premiums can swallow a sizeable chunk of a fleet’s budget and getting these down - and keeping them down - is essential for balancing costs and coverage on an annual basis. While paying insurance is a necessary part of fleet management, there are a few ways that you can achieve real-time lowering of motor fleet insurance to save the company money without compromising on coverage and, in this guide, we’ll tell you how to do just that:
Measuring your fleet’s claims performance
The first step to achieving your goal is to get a realistic idea of your claims performance. Your insurer will be able to provide you with your authenticated claims experience which is a document detailing the number of claims you’ve made, the level of exposure you’ve experienced based on the number of vehicles. This document will usually cover the past three years (or the length that you’ve been with your provider) and paints a picture of your fleet’s risk and performance. Measuring your claims experience is important as (a) this will give your existing provider a heads up that you may be looking elsewhere - which may put you in a position to negotiate a better premium and, (b) this is information that an alternative provider will use to supply you with a quote. A step further would be to perform a claims audit using a claims listing to truly understand your problem areas.
Insurer profit and negotiation
Insurers will always push for a deal which works in their favour and, as such, you should always try to negotiate. From a fleet point of view, if you’ve had a good year in terms of claims, you’re in a good position to negotiate a better deal as, often, making a move to another provider will save you more than a simple renewal.
How to tell if you have the right amount of cover.
While keeping costs down is important, having the right amount of cover for your fleet is essential if you don’t want to run into problems. For small to medium-sized companies, fully comprehensive insurance is recommended, however, there are some things you can look at - for example, examining the number of windscreen claims that you’ve made might result in a decision to remove windscreen cover from your premium. Additionally, reducing your cover to either third party only or ADFT could net you savings of up to 20% in some cases.
The location of your vehicles matters
The part of the country that your vehicles are located in can play a big part when it comes to your premiums and, a general rule of thumb is that you can expect higher premiums if your vehicles are based in a city centre. This is worth paying attention to as, you may, for example, have a central London address but your vehicles, may in fact, be based in more rural areas. With examples like these, it’s important to share this information with your insurance provider as it can make a big difference.
Examining your driver profile.
This section is all about taking a close look at driver risk management, who your drivers are and how they behave. Female drivers and those over the age of 35 tend to be considered a safe bet by most insurance companies and, if your fleet is largely made up of these demographics, you should be pointing this out to your insurer when negotiating a lower premium. In some cases, an insurance provider will create an ‘any driver over 35’ policy for you in order to allow you to enjoy lower costs. You will also need to examine the behaviour of your drivers and provide monitoring and training to make sure that driver performance and behaviour isn’t driving up the cost of your premiums. Attention needs to be paid to insurers with options such as Rideshur’s in-policy changes, where you do not need to wait for renewal dates to gain rewards for driver performance.
Fleets are able to gain more control by increasing their excess in order to lower premium costs by accepting a higher risk. This allows fleets to manage themselves more effectively and to gain rewards for improved fleet performance.
Getting to know how insurance companies work is your first defence when it comes to lowering your premiums while keeping coverage at optimum levels. The location of your vehicles and the performance and behaviour of your drivers are both incredibly important factors that providers take into account when working out your premiums - so focusing on these things is an investment. Finally, don’t be shy about negotiating with your insurance provider if you can provide evidence as to why your fleet may be eligible for lower payments.