You may have seen the business insurance page on our site about the different types of insurance you either have to have or might want to consider when you are running a small business and may even have seen the page about employers liability insurance for small businesses.
Having looked at the list you are probably thinking “how much is this going to cost me?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can reduce your insurance costs for your business. This article aims to give you several ways to reduce costs of your commerical vehciel or fleet insurance – there will be other articles covering other types of business insurance later.
I was reading recently about a haulage firm that was experiencing a large number of claims. Due to the fact that many of their drivers worked alone and the claims were made be people that had two or more people in the other vehicle their insurance company was having to pay out as the “evidence” was always against the lorry driver.The firm and their insurers decided to install dashboard cameras in every vehicle that they operated (part paid for by the insurance firm) and to everyone’s surprise the number of claims that had to be paid out dropped to almost zero. This then allowed the haulage firm to negotiate a reduction in their insurance premiums.
The author is aware of a few insurance firms that will offer a discount if a dash-cam is fitted and used on a regular basis (although you should be aware that in the event of an accident the insurers – and police – may want to see the footage and work out if your driver was to blame).
You can buy from many different sources, this link is to Dash Cams on Amazon which has a great selection.
Vehicle trackers (or black boxes) allow you to work out how safely your drivers are driving (for example do they brake and accelerate smoothly, do they exceed the speed limits on a regular basis – remember that vans have different speed limits to cars on some roads, which is something that a lot of van drivers seem to not know – do they drive smoothly). If you are lucky to have a good set of drivers then you may be able to use this fact to negotiate a reduction in your premium (and if you find that there are one or two drivers who are not “safe” you can implement training to improve their driving).
When it comes to renewing your fleet cover make sure that you are only covering vehicles that you own or operate – if you sold that car, van or truck a few months ago did you remember to take it off your policy. This idea is probably more relevant to larger businesses that have many vehicles rather than the typical small business but it’s worth checking just in case.
It’s a fact that drivers that undergo further, ongoing, training are safer and have less accidents. The type of training depends on the vehicles involved but why not think about “defensive driving” courses or advanced training with an organisation such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists here in the UK.
If the vehicle has an alarm and/or an immobiliser it’s less likely to be stolen and therefore poses less of a risk to the insurance company (that in turn should mean a lower premium for you).
When it comes to renewal time always take a bit of time to get alternative quotes – if you want to stay with the same insurers you can even say to them that you would like to stay but that you’ve been quoted £x less by another firm. It’s amazing the number of times that the existing insurer can suddenly find a discount they’ve overlooked.
Often (like with private car insurance), fleet insurance will come with additional cover and supplementary extras, which are not always necessary.Things like windscreen protection have the ability to bump up the cost of a premium, even though the cost of replacement or repair could be cheaper if you get it done independently, especially if you factor in the number of times you would want to claim of this (the author has been driving for 42 years and only had to claim once for a damaged windscreen).Often your insurance company will add in breakdown cover to the insurance – you may want to shop around for the best breakdown cover too and compare this with the price your insurance provider is quoting, although the authors insurance breakdown cover cost is considerably less that charged by the normal breakdown firms.
Purchasing a new car/van or fleet or leasing some updated vehicles can be an expensive operation for a business, but it could save you money on premiums.Newer vehicles with up-to-date security systems are less likely to be stolen, while the latest safety features could safeguard against personal injury claims.
Newer vehicles also benefit from the latest fuel efficiency advancements which in turn reduce CO2 emissions and as a result cost less to insure. This means that you will probably save money on fuel and hopefully also on repairs and breakdowns.