Did you know that there are currently over eight thousand vehicles in various fleets around the United States? If you own a fleet company, then you know how important insurance is for your business. Unfortunately, insurance rates for fleet transport services tend to get pretty high.
Considering the risks involved in the trade, this makes sense from the insurance companies’ perspective. Sadly, it can put a serious strain on the different fleet businesses out there.
So, is there any way to lower the cost of fleet insurance for your company? If you want to know how to bring your insurance rates down, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting more affordable fleet insurance. Let’s get started!
Eight Ways You Can Lower Your Fleet Insurance Costs
A fleet company can’t protect itself against everything. There are bound to be accidents. While some of these will be due to other drivers, statistics support the fact that most accidents are often caused by fleet drivers themselves. Insurance companies predict that 95% of fleet insurance claims are due to user error.
As such, it’s not hard to see why rates are so high for this type of business. The good news is there are things you can do to lower some of these costs. Often, the best course of action is to invest in your drivers and vehicles so they don’t let you down. So, let’s take a look at eight ways you can lower your fleet insurance costs.
1. Offer Driver Safety Courses
If you notice that one or more drivers are experiencing a lot of accidents, then it might be worth hiring a safety course for them. These types of courses can help the drivers identify bad habits. Ideally, it will help them avoid potential accidents in the future. Many insurance companies will offer you a discount if they see you gave your drivers a safety course.
If you aren’t sure what to look for in a driver safety course, then make sure to keep an eye out for these thirteen elements. While you’re looking at safety courses, you might also want to look at more specialized programs.
For example, we offer a transportation safety awareness program that trains fleet drivers to handle and transport hazardous material. Taking one of these classes can allow your fleet to take on a greater number of jobs.
2. Set a Standard for Your Employees
It’s important to set a company standard for your employees. After all, when one of your fleet drivers messes up, it doesn’t reflect badly on them. It reflects badly on the whole company. This is especially true if you drive vehicles with your logo pasted on the side. You can set a standard by talking to new drivers and letting them know your expectations.
If you feel comfortable, then teach them why they must go by the standards the company holds. For example, you might want to be known as a fleet company that never drives over the speed limit. It might be helpful to remind your employees that speeding contributed to almost 10,000 traffic deaths each year. Another example is drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI). Depending on state and local laws, regular testing for drivers (breathalyzer or drug tests) is an option to make sure all drivers are healthy and ready for work. Hopefully, this will help reinforce how seriously they should take this job.
3. Make Sure Your Vehicles Are in Good Condition
Staying on top of your fleet vehicle maintenance is a key part of running a good business. If your vehicles aren’t in working order, then they’re more dangerous on the road. They even have the potential to breakdown while driving. This could cause deadly accidents. So how do you make sure your vehicles are in good condition?
First, delegate the different responsibilities so that no one is confused. Remind drivers of their duties to maintenance while driving. For example, they might be in charge of changing the oil and making sure the tires are okay. You should also prepare for both routine maintenance and unexpected repairs.
Unexpected repairs are the worst because they’re often the most expensive. As such, if you notice certain vehicles experiencing a lot of unexpected repairs, then you should consider replacing them.
4. Carry Out Driver Assessments
A risk assessment is a way of checking an employee’s driving history. If there are any issues, then the report highlights them. It benefits both you and the insurance company to identify these potential liabilities. Most of the time you can contact your insurer about an in-house risk assessment team.
However, there are other outside parties you can hire as well. Alternatively, you can also compile your information on your fleet employees’ driving history. If your company is safe than other companies, then you might be able to leverage that to your advantage. For more information on how to carry out driver assessments, make sure to check out our guide here.
5. Single Out Accident-Prone Drivers
Even the best driver can get in an accident now and then. However, that’s a big difference between an occasional claim and someone who’s accident-prone. If one of your drivers is getting into accidents every week, then it might be worth it to take them off your company insurance policy.
If they want to keep driving for you, then they’ll need to the driver with their insurance policy. This might seem drastic, but it’s important to teach these problem drivers a lesson. It’s not just for saving money on your insurance rate either. Large trucks account for 8% of all fatal crashes. As such, there’s a good chance they could die if they aren’t careful.
6. Pay Closer Attention to Your Younger Drivers
It’s an unfortunate fact, but younger drivers are more likely to drive recklessly than older drivers One study found that motor vehicle crashes peaked in people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Because of this fact, many insurance companies will up insurance rates if they notice a young driver.
Each company has different policies in regards to young drivers. However, if you aren’t sure, then it might be worth it to go with older drivers. However, don’t be afraid to hire relatively young drivers. Just be sure to watch them closely and make sure they’re driving safely.
7. Shop Around for Fleet Insurance Policies
It can help to switch insurance providers now and then. This is especially true if you notice an insurer offering a better deal suited for your fleet. Changing insurance providers also help keep the market competitive. After all, they’re working for your business. If you want, you can also go through an independent insurance agency. These parties will do all the negotiating work for you.
8. Buy the Cover That You Need
One mistake many new fleet companies make is buying the maximum protection. The only problem is the expensive nature of this coverage seriously cuts into earnings. In some cases, maximum protection might suit certain fleet companies. However, the vast majority of them don’t need this high level of protection.
We’re not suggesting that you undervalue your fleet vehicles. We’re just suggesting that you measure the pros and cons of premium price and coverage. Most of the time, the perfect coverage lies somewhere in the middle ground.
Consider Installing New Technology
In addition to those tips, updating the technology on your fleet vehicles is a great way to make insurance claims easier. These days this new tech can do almost anything short of driving the truck. Some of this technology improves the security of the vehicles in your fleet.
However, more often than not, this new fleet tech tracks the driver and the vehicle. This makes it easier to provide evidence for claims and to hold your employees accountable. Let’s take a look at how the latest technology can help with your insurance costs.
Electronic Logging Devices
Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, are the hardware that records the driving time of vehicles in your fleet. It’s important that your drivers only drive the amount allotted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As such, an electronic logging device can help prove that your fleet drivers adhere to protocol.
If you send it to insurance companies, then it can also help prove that your fleet is made up of responsible, safe drivers. In many cases, you can receive discounts simply for using them. While some drivers might think they’re invasive, they have the potential to save a lot of money.
The most important role of dash cams is showing who’s at fault in an accident. If you have footage of someone crashing into you, then it makes the insurance process much smoother. Dashcams can also show you what your drivers are doing. This is invaluable if you want to catch behavior like distracted driving.
Remember that nine people die from distracted driving every day. As such, you should do everything in your power to prevent it. Dashcams allow you to point out common errors your drivers make.
This allows them to become better employees in real-time. Some products even come with AI sensors. This tech alerts you when your driver might potentially be driving unsafely. So, dash cams can make your driver more alert and reduce a fleet company’s liability to accidents.
Collision Mitigation Systems
Collision mitigation systems are also known as crash avoidance technology. The most popular example of the technology is the auto brake feature that’s becoming commonplace on many new cars.
At its simplest, this technology warns the driver that they need to brake. However, more advanced systems can even brake for the driver. This type of technology might not directly impact your insurance costs. But, anything that prevents crashes is worth investing in.
Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warnings
One unfortunate part of driving a truck is the huge blind spots that come with the vehicle. If a vehicle is hanging out in this blind spot, then the driver is likely to hit them if they try to merge the truck at any point. Luckily, there is a technology that gives off an audible warning if there is a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.
Another helpful piece of tech is the lane departure warning. This product gives off a loud beep if the driver starts to drift out of their lane. This can keep fleet employees alert while they drive. It can also reduce the risk of blind spot accidents.
GPS tracking is used to know the whereabouts of your vehicles at all times. There are a lot of reasons you might want to be doing this. For one thing, you’re likely transporting millions of dollars worth of goods. As such, if it ever gets stolen, then GPS tech can help the authorities seize it as soon as possible.
Ideally, you want to put GPS technology in the trailer of the truck. Many thieves will try and lose the tracker by ditching the tractor. On top of that, GPS can also be used to help your drivers find their way. By sticking to approved roads, you can ensure that your fleet takes the safest route.
Need Help With Compliance Courses or Insurance? Check Out Advantage Insurance Solutions
We hope this article helped you learn some ways to keep your fleet insurance costs down. Ultimately, none of these tips matter if you’re with the wrong type of insurance provider. So, how do you make sure that your insurance provider is the right one for you? Simple: go through a company like Advantage Insurance Solutions.
At Advantage Insurance Solutions, we operate as an independent insurance agency. This means that we aren’t beholden to one specific insurance company. As such, we’re able to get you the best policy for your specific needs.
That means lower rates and better coverage. Plus, we offer safety training programs for your fleet employees. So, whether you need insurance help or compliance courses, get in touch with us today.