For those seeking to purchase fleet insurance, we have come up with a few tips and tricks to help you get the best deal possible. There are numerous things to consider, and although most of them are common sense, it doesn’t hurt ensuring you have all your basis covered before going out to haggle with a broker.
Have you purchased the correct type of cover for your needs?
It may sound like a very simple concept, but in all honesty fleet insurance can get rather confusing. If you own a small/medium sized fleet, you may want to consider getting fully comprehensive rather than a third party only cover. The reason for this is the fact that the cost difference between the two types of insurance isn’t that big at all really, and Len Benson, chairman of ACFO’s London West region and associate director at commercial insurance broker Peter Lole & Co. reports that “80-85% of insurance claims are third party”.
Also, although we always recommend being prepared with your insurance, it is important to differentiate from being prepared for accidents and being prepared for an absolute apocalypse; do you need windscreen cover? Check your claims history, how many windscreen claims have you made in the last two years? And how much money could you save by avoiding it all together.
How extensive is your claim history?
Our top tip for knocking a few pounds off your insurance is to request your authenticated claims experience. The authenticated claims experience is a standard industry from which provides details on how your fleet has performed over the past few years (typically 3 years). It give easy analysis on your claims history based on the number of vehicles your business/company runs on a regular basis and also outlines your claims (both paid and outstanding). This is a crucial tool in the fight for a better insurance price.
Len Benson said: “Asking for this form means your existing insurers will be thinking ‘we’d better not be complacent here because they’ve asked for their claims experience. Even if you get the form and do nothing with it, you might get a better quote from your existing insurer at renewal simply because you’ve asked for your claims experience.”
What are the profiles of your drivers?
Do your drivers have a list of previous claims? Always make sure that you decide carefully on who you insure when you choose who drives your vehicles, it is also important to consider the age and experience of each of your drivers.
It is a well-known fact that young drivers tend to face higher insurance premiums, so perhaps choose those in your company that are a little more experienced, or slightly older. “If everyone in your organization is over 35, tell your insurers and see if they will do you an ‘any driver over 35’ policy’ rather than the industry standard which is ‘any driver over 25’,”says Benson.”
Also you can use your own knowledge of your employees to help make decisions; have you been in a car with certain drivers? How do they drive? Do they take risks? These are all questions that could help you save bundles when it comes to fleet insurance.
Other points on saving money
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see businesses that own fleets with insanely high insurance premiums. This is because as Chris Waterstreet, owner of C&D Taxis explains; “someone makes a claim, we have no evidence to find out the truth and my insurance company always has to pay out”. Now let’s see if you can spot the key word in that sentence? No? It’s the fact that rising premiums are being based more and more on a lack of evidence. It is this that is forcing insurance premiums of many taxi companies around the UK to double in as little as two years. The answer?
CCTV… yes, it really is as simple as that, the instillation of CCTV Cameras to monitor the road, the driver and the passenger could save you literally thousand pounds on your courier fleet insurance premiums. In fact, companies have saved thousands of pounds on their fleet insurance premiums.
Chris Waterstreet continues to say: “After the initial installation costs, I will re-coup the cost in just one or two years. I won’t get bogged down with lengthy and expensive investigations when someone makes a claim and hopefully my insurance premium will stop rising each year”.
Indeed, The Cygnus cameras that Chris had installed come with a duel lens camera, one facing the road and one facing the rear to record activity not only inside the vehicle but also behind it. The main benefit to the CCTV camera instillation is that it can often negate false whiplash claims, as well as staged accidents or even accidents that were not the drivers fault. Many taxi companies are being targeted by false claims and staged accidents, and this number has risen dramatically within the last five years. We have found that this is mainly due to the civilian motorist having a more favorable outcome if the claim is disputable.
After the installation of Cygnus cameras, Chris said, “One insurance company is knocking £500 off taxi insurance premiums if you have CCTV installed. My colleagues and customers will feel safer when I have these cameras in. For me, I will be saving money and hassle every day. I would certainly recommend it to other taxi drivers out there.”
Furthermore, CCTV installation is becoming so important that there are ongoing talks with local UK councils which are scheduled to discuss the issue of making CCTV instillation mandatory in licensed vehicles.
As well as proving beneficial to the price on fleet insurance, one must also consider the other possible benefits CCTV camera technology can offer; after all, price is important, but safety is of upmost concern.
Gary Trotter, general manager at Hadrian Technology, the company that produces the duel lens Cygnus cameras, explains this issue in more detail; “Unfortunately serious offences like assault and sexual abuse, as well as accident claims relating to taxis come up again and again. A system like ours acts as a deterrent and a way of providing hard evidence when allegations are made against the passenger or driver. Cameras installed by Hadrian Technology capture footage that cannot be destroyed, even if someone rips the camera unit off from the car – the images that have been recorded are stored elsewhere in the vehicle. C&D Taxis will now have the evidence they need to avoid significant and avoidable losses. I hope we can help other businesses to tackle similar problems.”