Fleet managers are constantly having to keep numerous balls in the air in order to ensure that their operations run effectively and in a cost-efficient manner. Keeping costs down can be a perpetual challenge and choosing the right fleet insurance can help significantly when managing budgets. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the different fleet insurance options available and how to choose the best one for your business.
Types of Fleet
There are several types of fleet insurance within the market, the type of insurance required by your business will somewhat be dictated by your occupation.
In the main there are six categories of vehicles
- LCV (Light Commercial Vehicles)
- HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicles)
- PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicles)
- Specialist Vehicles
Within the categories there are then various sub-sets which perform a wide array of tasks. Once you understand your fleet and occupation you can then look at the type of insurance you require.
Types of Insurance
There are several types of insurance policies within the market depending on the usage of your vehicles.
General Fleet/Own Goods - This covers off the majority of fleet types, it covers the day to day operations of business where they are just transporting their own goods. This is the standard cover for most construction firms, solicitors et al.
Taxi Fleet - As the name suggests, this is specific to fleets of vehicles that are licensed to carry members of the public.
Bus/Coach - This covers the larger passenger carrying vehicles, it generally has larger limits to take account of the increased risk and extensions unique to the occupation.
Self-Drive Hire - Unlike most fleets, vehicles are hired for commercial or personal reasons for varying durations of time. Specialist wordings are needed to ensure cover is delivered to protect all parties.
Haulage And Courier Fleet Insurance - Relevant to the logistics and transport industries, this can cover a wide range of vehicles.
Waste/Hazardous Goods - One of the more niche market sectors, this cover provides certain extensions of cover unique to the trade for their specialist operations.
Bluelight - As the name suggests this is cover for vehicles which operate within the emergency services sector, cover is enhanced in consideration of the vehicle modifications and operational needs of the fleet.
Types of policy
Traditional - This is a fixed fee which the business pays annually to the insurance company in a lump sum to gain a discount.
Usage-based insurance - based on mileage - Mileage based insurance is a popular and cost-effective policy and is a kind of ‘pay as you go’ form of insurance.
Behaviour-based/How you drive insurance - As you would imagine, this kind of insurance rewards ‘good behaviour’ by drivers and those responsible for vehicle maintenance and storage.Not sure if we should just use the market terminology here.
Customers are able to select the level of excess and size of fleet they wish to protect and in the event of a fault claim they will have their excess reimbursed as long as the value of the claim is higher than the main policy excess.
How smarter insurance can add value to fleet departments
Telematics offers a number of benefits for businesses, including:
- Fuel savings
- Mileage reduction
- Driver safety
- Vehicle longevity
- Improved productivity
- Improved ROI
- Improved training opportunities
The use of telematics offers long-term benefits for a company and can help to create a culture of efficiency and mindfulness.
How to choose the best fleet insurance
In order to choose the best insurance policy for your needs, you need to examine several factors including:
- The number of vehicles
- The size and weight of the vehicles
- What the vehicles are used for
- The average mileage per vehicle
- The number of drivers
- Claims history
Armed with this information, you can then shop around for a policy that covers all of your vehicles and drivers. When making a decision, you should be making sure that your insurance covers the following:
- Third Party Exposure
- Physical damage coverage
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Legal Expenses
Not all insurance policies are created equal and, so, it’s incredibly important that you make sure that the policy covers everything that you need to protect the company - and the drivers - from extra costs and possible legal action.
Getting the best renewal deal
Securing a great deal on your fleet insurance is, of course, only half the battle. To maintain the fleet with optimum efficiency and cost savings, you also need to make sure that you’re able to get a great renewal deal. Customer retention is incredibly important to insurance companies and, so, when it comes to renewal, your first port of call should be to negotiate with your existing supplier. In many cases, a supplier will be prepared to offer a discount if the company agrees to a long term renewal plan.
Although this method cuts down on time and hassle for the fleet manager, shopping around is still the best policy for making sure that you have the best possible deal. Of course there are companies like Rideshur that offer in-policy changes using real time visibility, so there is no need to wait for a renewal plan.
Insurance management systems
In 2021, our lives are powered by software - and the world of fleet management is no different. Getting on board with a suite of fleet management tools gives the fleet manager real-time visibility into their entire operation and can help to improve productivity and reduce mileage and fuel usage for long term cost savings.
The role of fleet manager involves wearing many different hats, including safety and economics. Choosing the right fleet vehicle insurance is one of the most important decisions that a fleet manager will make and, as such, should always be treated as a priority. For this to be completely effective, the fleet manager will need to be clear on what they need from a policy and what is most important to them - for example, for some businesses a simple portal with policy wording will work whereas, for others, a more comprehensive system is necessary. Starting with a clear goal and expectation can sometimes be half the battle when looking for a policy.